Lowlights from the life of Cape Town lawyer, Grant Clark
Your week might have been bad but mine was probably worse, says Grant
‘Every now and again, life conspires to make my life as interesting and trying as it possibly can. Were I a sensitive person (which thankfully I’m not because it requires too much effort), I might take umbrage at such unfair treatment. But after a moment of reflection I remember I’m a lawyer, and in terms of karmic payback I’m actually getting off pretty lightly. It also makes me glad I’m not a politician, estate agent, second hand car salesman or mother-in-law because I’m sure they get it even rougher. At least I really hope they do. To make you feel better about your week, here for your enjoyment is mine.
MONDAY: TLJ (The Lovely Jacs) started her week by heading off to Osman’s Wholesalers to buy a plethora of paraphernalia for the insane number of children’s parties we would be hosting this year. Having purchased her fill, her bounty was very kindly placed by Osman’s staff into a massive box lying around on the floor that was then dumped into TLJ’s boot.
Now, I only really have two jobs at home which I’m allowed to attend to unsupervised. Picking up the dog poos from the lawn, and fetching heavy stuff from TLJ’s boot. Everything else requires adult supervision. So on the day in question I was dispatched to fetch the monster box from TLJ’s boot. Just as I opened the boot and managed to wrestle it into the light of day, I spotted one of our neighbours. Being the polite person I am, I turned, box in hand, to say hi. The neighbour, usually a very genial person, pretty much shut me down, made some feeble excuse and rushed off. Thinking this a tad unfriendly, I sauntered inside with the box to report to TLJ that the neighbours had finally gone mad and, glancing in our hall mirror, caught sight of the printing on the box. There, in massive bold font, it announced: CONTROL PLUS. ADULT DIAPERS FOR INCONTINENCE.
Really? ‘For incontinence’? Is that something that really needs to be printed on a box? Is there some other reason for wanting to wear adult diapers of which I’m not aware? Now my entire neighbourhood thinks I’m perpetually leaking. I bet you we don’t get invited to anyone’s house again. Thank you very much, TLJ, and thank you very much, Osmans.
WEDNESDAY: So I’m sitting in a meeting at work (it’s amazing how comfortable adult diapers actually are) when I get a picture message on my phone. It’s a message from TLJ with a photo of her hand holding a little white object the size of a tooth saying ‘Question: what is this?’ I’m quite clearly in trouble for leaving something small and white lying around which could be ingested by daughter Sizzles, to her detriment. Another SMS arrives, reading: ‘Answer: the Tic Tac your daughter just stuffed up her nose’. It turns out that daughter Mackers had nicked one of her Mom’s spearmint Tic Tacs and did what any self-respecting little moron would do: stuffed it up her left nostril. Fortunately no lasting damage has been done, though she does now have a permanently minty-fresh left nostril.
FRIDAY: Fridays are always a time of celebration, so my week ended with a traditional festival: the breaking of the zipper. Usually celebrated at work and right before a very important meeting, this festival involves your pants zipper busting wide open: the wider the better. Not unlike the running of the bulls in Pamplona, navigating your way thus through the day can be extremely tricky, not to say marginally distracting to all present, especially in a work context. On discovering my predicament, the real quandary for me became whether I should announce it to all present and make light of my situation, or just be quiet about the whole thing and run the risk of someone pointing it out to me as if I hadn’t realised. I chose to confront the issue and make light of my ‘hilarious’ predicament. The negotiation was brief, conducted in clipped tones, and tinged with a sense of panic. At least I got home early.
So when you’re having a bad week, just remember it could always be worse. You could be a politician, an estate agent, a second hand car salesman or a mother-in-law. Even worse, you could be me.’
Grant Clark is an attorney specialising in maritime law.
He’s also a pastor at Common Ground Church, Constantiaberg, Cape Town.