Everyone who knows me will tell you I suffer from a mild form of FIMD (Foot IN Mouth Disease). The disease began very early on in my life…and for a minute there, we thought we had a cure. Sadly, it had emerged that this was not the case and the disease began to progress over time. I suffered greatly in my adolescence and early adulthood with mild headaches, delusional perception, blackouts, convulsions and something Lindsay Lohan called “Word Vomit” in Mean Girls.
The defining moment in the progression of FIMD was brought to my attention with one particular incident that occurred in Spring of the year 2002. It was the year like no other. I was in my 3rd year at what is now called UJ, then RAU, (2nd Academic year because I F@#$ed up the first one) and I was competing with Alicia Silverstone for the Clueless title. But then maybe it was just pure naïveté or innocence that contributed to the events that transpired that afternoon.
I remember it was warm…hot even…and it was the day of the Fietas Festival in Vrededorp, Johannesburg. The objective of the festival was to mark the anniversary of the year that all the Indians, Malays and Coloureds were expelled from Vrededorp and relocated to Lenasia and Eldos under the Apartheid regime.
Vrededorp is a tiny suburb made up of a few streets, nestled between Mayfair, Fordsburg and Auckland Park. So naturally, the place was packed! They had various stalls lined up in each street selling all kinds of things and of course, one whole street was dedicated to the food stalls. It was our first time at the Fiestas Festival. Mother reminisced about the many times my late Portugese looking Grand-Pa would smuggle them onto the “white” buses and INSIST that he had every right to be there while they (the Whites) were trying to kick them out; while Tazmania, Nisa and I browsed through the various pieces of fake jewelry and sunglasses, looking for ways to waste the little money we had.
I was decked out in my finest gear at the time…a Spanish-type top and these killer platform heels I remember…strutting my stuff and feeling good. Anyways, the time had flown by, the men had gone to mosque and before we knew it, it was Supper Time…
Inevitably, we were hungry, because that’s what happens when you walk around aimlessly for five hours. And because we are all very strong-willed, opinionated women that want different things, we decided to go ahead and order separately from different vendors. I wanted a Wors-Roll…aka Sausage in a Roll with various condiments sloshed all over. They were going for around R12-00 at the time…and the prices at all the stalls were pretty standard.
Let me just say, that I am many things…but Patient is not one of them. I walked towards the first food stall, saw the number of people there and automatically carried on walking to the next one. I paused briefly at the second one, they were just starting with their preparations…so I moved on….The third stall didn’t have the coveted Wors-Roll…so I continued. I carried on walking down the aisle of food stalls until I came to one that was un-inhabited. There was a nice lady there and she was buttering the Rolls and her very attractive son was seeing to the Wors and Sausages on the grill. I couldn’t believe my luck! I hit the freakin Jackpot!!! No lengthy queues while I watch HotOne make me a Wors-Roll…geez what else could a girl ask for?!?!?
So there I am smiling at the guy like an idiot…and I ask his mom “Can I order a Wors-Roll please”. She looks at me and says “Sure”…then she tells HotOne to get a piece of Wors ready. So the poor guy looks at his griddle and they were all still raw, but he had one prepared (It looked like it was a plate that he had prepared earlier for HIM) - so at a loss…and he gave the plate to his mom. I was so touched and OVER THE FREAKIN MOON…a nice guy giving up his meat for me?!? Unheard of!
It was then that his Dad showed up. What a nice Uncle. He rocked up, greeted me and when his wife told him that I had ordered a Wors-Roll…he announced to the world “Get the Lady a Wors-Roll Pronto!”. Then out of no-where all these people arrived…HotOne’s Uncles, Aunties and cousins…they were all so cool and I briefly wished I was part of this family. I looked at HotOne…and he looked back at me smiling…I was smiling too…even flirting a little…and I didn’t even care that his male cousins were standing with him and smiling at us. Then Uncle asked me if I wanted some salad with my Roll…I initially said “No thanks” without taking my eyes off HotOne…then I said “Wait, what’s in the Salad, because I don’t like Radish”…Uncle was just too happy to help me, picking out all the Radish from my salad. Then Aunty asked me if I wanted some tomato sauce (ketchup) and mustard…I was like “Yeah, why not”…eyes moving to and fro between HotOne and the Roll.
So when all was said and done, I reached for my purse…and asked Aunty (who was chatting away to her sisters and in-laws in the interim) “How much?”…meaning for the Wors-Roll. Uncle looks at me and says, “For you, free…just make dua for us ok”…and I was like “No you guys are too nice, seriously, how much…it’s R12-00 everywhere else”. They insisted that I should not pay and we kept going on that way until it dawned on me. It hit me like a Freakin Bus! They were NOT selling Wors-Rolls and they did NOT have a stall…they were having a family BRAAI!!!!!!! I was MORTIFIED!!!!!!!
I had never wanted to DIE so much in my life! The truth hit me like a ton of bricks and I said “OMG – so I just walked up to a strange family and asked them for a Wors-Roll?!?!?!”…I turned to look at HotOne and the cousins…and they were all just smiling at me incredulously and laughing.
I was so embarrassed, to depths I had not known before! If only the ground would open and swallow me whole. I didn’t know what do to…so I tried to run…
And like the cherry on my cake of humiliation, one of my platform heels gave way, I tripped and almost fell….in front of the whole freaking family! Then to add insult to injury, everyone gasped and screamed “OH NO Are you OK?!?!?”…I was like “nooo...dont look at me” (trying to hide my face) and made a run for it…I still remember HotOnes handsome face of amusement upon my departure.
I found Mother and told her what happened. She laughed for 3 years. Needless to say, I will never look at another Wors-Roll in the same way again :)