When did the 16-age restriction become porn?

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I’m not a prune.  I have used the f-bomb before.  Yes, even on this site.  I use shit often, at least once a day.  It’s a regular thing.  I’ll giggle at a dirty joke and if it’s really dark, I might even burst out of laughter and then cover my mouth in shame, especially if Wife’s around.  As a rule I tend to avoid r-rated stuff when I’m around my kids, because they’re a… you know, my kids.

Weekend winter nights in our house are synonymous with a fire place, pop corn, blankets and a movie.  The only obstacle to cross is the actual selection of the movie because our tastes are varied, to say the least.  We like superhero movies and they like real life drama.  The only thing we have in common is the fear of horror movies because life is bad enough already. We prefer comedies but here is where it becomes difficult.

We usually take note of the age restriction because few things are more embarrassing than viewing an explicit sex scene with your teenage kids.  And we’ve had the talk, so we know that they know, how babies are made.  And with what.

The age-restriction thing is becoming rather confusing.  Back in the day one would assume that a move rated 16 would imply that audiences under the age of 16 are prohibited from viewing the film, as it might contain scenes, featuring moderate violence, strong language, nudity or sex.

What one doesn’t expect from a 16-rated movie is full frontal nudity and a lot more than the mere suggestion of sex.  We’ve tried this twice, where we rented a movie, and both times it backfired completely.   In the one they showed way too much of the male anatomy in a toilet scene, whilst the other had a title sequence with larger than life ladies dancing, wearing nothing but firelighters, pom-poms and a hat.  And none of those were held in strategic places.  And yes, both times it added NOTHING to the actual plot of the movie…

I’m the first to take responsibility for renting both of these movies because I assumed incorrectly, that a 16-age restriction would be safe to watch with my kids.  And it was as safe as a punctured condom.

At what point did a 16-rated movie become porn?

Parents be warned.  If you opt for the 16-age restriction, you’ll end up grabbing the remote, attempting to forward the scene, only to mute the sound and pause the image so that it is burned into the memory of the whole family for the rest of their lives.  You will turn to your Wife with a redness brought on by the uncomfortable silence, whilst Princess covers her eyes and Dude sits on the couch with the biggest grin in the world.

And Wife will look back at you, utterly disgusted, wearing the age-old expression of “I told you so.”

Because she did.

Wife is the greatest Mother in the World (or How I score brownie points.)

Nurturing.  Loving.  Giving.  Selfless.  Unconditional.  Guidance. Compassion. Sympathy. Trust. Patience. Consoling. Supporting. Transport. Taxi. Food. Money.

These are all synonyms and/or characteristics for the earthlings known as Mothers.

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And my kids has the best Mother in the world.  And I should know, as I’m the eldest kid in our house.

  • Who else would provide a perfect balance between the erratic behavior of a father and the erratic behavior of a teenager?
  • Who else would drive up and down a thousand times just so that the kids don’t have to sit at school and wait for half an hour?
  • Who else would delay a pee just so she could finish watching her son play his game?
  • Who else makes my kids laugh from the pit of their stomachs?
  • Who else would teach their daughter to turn the other cheek when bitches surround her on a daily basis?
  • Who else allow her kids to take risks and learn from their mistakes and be there to console and support them when they do?
  • Who else makes my job as a parent so much easier?
  • Who else keeps track of all the detail in the busy lives of our family?
  • Who else can built a spectacular refuge which is also the happiest, warmest, funniest, safest haven in the whole frigging world?
  • Who else would sacrifice her life and everything else to ensure her children’s happiness?
  • Who else is the poster child of what it means to be a Mother?
  • Who else is there who can make every day great, just by hearing her voice or seeing her eyes lit up when she smiles?
  • And who else can inspire me to be a better version of me?

I love you more than I love Baby Groot.

There’s a good chance that the kids love YOU a little more than they love me but I don’t blame them, you feed us too.

To all the Mothers out there, may your day be extra special this year!

What’s in a name?

director-shareholder-name-changeThis is a confession of a personal struggle.  A little Groot sitting on my shoulder.  And the best way to get rid of this horny devil would be to call him out for what he is…Everything but a horny devil.

I’m about to reveal a deep, dark, dirty secret that has been lurking in my soul for decades but is actually not a secret at all.  The more I think about, the more I know this post is going to turn out like my wedding night, just a highly disappointing reveal.   Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m finally accepting a flaw that most people in my circle of trust are very much aware of.  And I’m not referring to my nose for that also needs some work.

This is like getting out of a closet when nobody actually thought I was hiding in one.

Here goes… *takes deep breath and prepare for the big reveal*

I suck at names.

No, that’s wrong.  It would be more accurate to say that the filing cabinet in your brain, where normal people store the names of people they meet in life, doesn’t exist in my brain. I have no space left for human names as that space is currently occupied by more important things, i.e the names of Superheroes and the chronological order of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It would have been a lot easier if parents simply choose the names of their kids based on their appearance at birth.  Like Pinky or Wrinkles or Banshee or Mongril. And don’t get me started on those condescending, pompous, “creative” names some people like to burden their kids with. Names that could only be defined as letters thrown together under the influence of crack, weed and heroine.

My issue is not limited to an inability of remembering the names of people I encounter because if that was so, it would be a very typical problem for most men.  A much bigger concern is the fact that when I do meet a person whom I’ve met before, I will simply assign them a name.  From my lack of memory.  It would be something that I think would suit them.  It might even start with the same letter as their actual name.  Or it probably will not.  And I wouldn’t be subtle about their newly assigned name because then it wouldn’t be me.  I’ll approach the person with so much confidence that they would either (1) Assume I’m talking to someone behind them and completely ignore me or (2) Assume that the name written on their birth certificates are incorrect.

I’m fine when the Wife is at my side because she would provide me with the correct name of the person and I don’t end up looking like a jerk.  The embarrassing situations occur when I’m on my own.

One would think that I must have learned my lesson by now.  But one would be very wrong.  What can I say, I’m a work in progress.  I pledge that from this moment on I will stop assuming the name of the person I meet.  And simply call them friend.  Or Pinky.  Or Mongril.

Besides I don’t think I’m as bad with names as some people might think.  I get the names of my kids right at least 60% of the time…

Princess doesn’t exist

We need an unabridged birth certificate for my daughter so that she can participate in the provincial trials for Netball, a sport that incorporates a net and a ball and some throwing.

Therefore we need to go the department of home affairs.

Aaaaand let me put that into perspective.

I’ve known people who went there and never returned.  At least not as the same people.  Others required intensive counselling.  Some people have developed a severe twitch, as it is the place where hope goes to die. A market place for incompetence, despair and frustration.

It’s basically like taking your kid to the dentist for a root canal.  And that’s on a good day.

Like any normal citizen, I took medication before I went there to ensure my patience levels remain within the boundaries of “This is pleasant” and “I want to attack someone with a stapler.” The Wife and I (Yes, she came with, to protect me from a heart attack) slogged through many counters and different forms and a dozen of unfriendly staff to finally leave two hours later with a moderate level of satisfaction.  More importantly, no person was harmed throughout the ordeal.  The least of all me.

Two weeks later I received a text from the department, informing me that I have to return to the place where happiness disappears because my daughter doesn’t exist.  Or more accurately, no records of her birth can be found on the population register of South Africa.  Now I’m pretty sure my daughter is real, otherwise my life would have been the most severe case of post-traumatic stress in living memory.

So I went back, partly because I needed the birth certificate and partly because I wanted to scream at someone for losing my daughter’s records.  I did manage to phone the office before I left to try and make some sense of this newfound reality of me living with a ghost.  Unfortunately the call center was as helpful as a fridge in Antarctica.  I did use the opportunity to confirm what documents I would need in order to sign my Princess back into existence.

I went back for a second time but forgot to take my medicine.

Upon arrival, I ended up in a queue that wasn’t going anywhere.  A lackluster clerk was trying to do as little as possible behind her information counter.  When I finally arrived at the front, albeit three birthdays later, I challenged her on the little predicament, waving the original birth certificate in front of her like it was a checkered flag at the end of a race.  She didn’t think I was funny, but truth be told, I wasn’t trying to be.

With the warmth of an Ice Queen, she threw two blank forms in my face.  One of them was an affidavit that I had to sign, providing a reason for the late registration of my daughter.  I looked at her with as much disgust as I could muster and she looked at me with a blankness that I’ve never seen on a human face.  It must be what a black hole looks like.  I told her that this wasn’t a late registration and that they actually lost the birth records and that I think it’s completely unacceptable for this to happen and that I’m extremely frustrated at the bureaucracy of this institution and…

Then she interrupted me asking why I took so long to register her birth… In that moment I lost my will to live.

And then it gets worse.

After accepting my fate and signing the document where I confessed to something I never did, she scanned my documents and told me I needed a few more.  Aka WTF!!

I made a sound that can only be described as a primitive growl, even though it didn’t cause any change in the expression of Miss I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-your-problems.  She didn’t even flinch.  I did managed to bark the words: “But I phoned and you told me this is…” and then I completely shut down because I knew my words will not change anything.  It’s wasted on the ignorant.

I took my documents and turned around, releasing a sigh that sucked the life out of three people in the queue.  They all dropped like flies.  I left the place where masochists are home schooled with a tsunami of cuss words, if only in my head.  Only to return twenty minutes later to the back of the same queue I just left.  My previous altercation with the woman who I want to run over with a Zamboni, didn’t cause any additional motivation for her to assist me again.  She ignored me like a stop sign on a quiet street.

If I were an animated figure I would have a cloud hovering on top of me with rain and lightning bolts plummeting down to earth.  I got to the front, after planning at least seven perfect murders, when she took my forms and told me to wait.  As if it was a national pass time.

As I’m in a fight against time for the trials of Princess I did ask for some kind of temporary document I could use as proof in the event that the real document is not ready in time.  She confirmed that there is such a letter and that I need to apply for it.  I said: “I would like to do so now”.  She said: “I can’t”.  I asked: “Why?”.  She said: “Because the supervisor is not in”.  I asked: “So when can I apply?”.  And she said: “Two days before you need the real certificate”.  It was the second time in an hour where I died a little inside.  And wishing for her to die a lot.

Back to waiting.  And fuming.  And scheming.  What else could I do?  I eventually turned to my superpower to stabilize my heart beat and control the urge to punch someone in the throat. (My superpower being able to blog on my phone.) In the process I also received the unabridged birth certificate of Dude, which I didn’t need at the moment, but at least I know my son is real.  Small miracles.

I then left the underworld and breathed the fresh air of normal life but yes, unfortunately I have developed a twitch in my left eye and immediately booked a session with a psychiatrist as I want to be the same man I was when I woke up this morning.

Are you alive?

On Monday morning a dear friend collapsed at work and was admitted to hospital, not being able to walk.  That evening she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome.  GBS is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, leading to weakness in your extremities, spreading quickly, eventually resulting in paralyzes of your whole body.

As of this morning she still hasn’t gained full feeling of her lower legs and she has to rely on help to be able to move in her bed.  She is still in bed and fighting her illness with a whole lot of support from a million people.  I know she’ll pull through.

And to think she was still doing everyday mommy things at the beginning of the week.

Life can change instantaneously.

In one fleeting moment things we consider to be fix and firm can turn brittle and bizarre.  It’s there now, gone a second later.  I’m still left with an overwhelming feeling of shock and despair, knowing how difficult this must be for her, a person who never sits down.  Who never stops being busy.

And I’m left with the question: How many of us truly appreciate this gift called life?

I was reminded of how important it is to BE ALIVE.  Not just live but attacking life with vigor and passion.  Seizing the frigging day.  Taking life by the short and curlies and squeezing every single ounce of joy and happiness from it.

Stop complaining about the weather, get an umbrella and dance in the rain.  Stop complaining about the long working day, make friends with your co-workers.  Stop complaining about the barista who doesn’t smile or the old lady who drives too slow. Stop fretting about the neighbours new car or the price of bread.  There are bigger things happening around you.

Go home and tell your Wife how much you love her.  Hug your kids. Love them with everything you have.  Phone your friends.  Say hi.  Make amends.  Forgive.  Forget.  Love. Smile.  Have fun. JUST BE ALIVE!

Make a memory of every day because it might be the last one you have.

Being home alone sucks.

As parents we fantasize about being alone without the kids…yes we all do it!

Dreaming about having a night off.  Experiencing an evening of bliss when we don’t worry or talk or ponder about our kids.  Especially if it happens in the midst of the tough parenting stages, which occurs from the time they’re born until you die.  Because parents are never NOT parents.  Once we take on the role, it turns into a life-time appointment, like a supreme court judge.

The only trouble with fantasizing about having a night off from parenting is that it’s never as great as we imagine it would be.

Having teenagers in my house means my kids have grown into little adults with whom I can have a conversation with.  (As long as their friends are not in close proximity, because that would make them extremely uncool!)  The older they get, the more interesting they become.  The Wife and I encouraged conversation since they started talking, so they’re fairly comfortable to discuss most of the things that’s happening in their lives.  And it is fascinating to listen to the stories they tell. (We are blessed with two kids who talk all the time.)

So when they decide to do other things and leave us alone, like Dude going on a rugby tour and Princess spending the night with her BFF’s, our place of joy becomes a real dreadful space.  A boring house where dreams go to die and the air is saturated with emptiness.  It’s filled with a longing for overly loud music, complaints about the speed of our Wi-Fi, requests for food, sounds of motorbikes and the voices of friends.  We stroll around searching for empty plates, school bags and piles of clothes.

I’m not sure what other couples do when they’re left alone but we couldn’t stay in the house.  We went for dinner and wondered what our kids were eating.  Then we got home, watch some series and wondered what our kids were doing.  And then we went to bed and wondered where our kids were sleeping.  Wife even had a dream about Dude surprising us by coming home a day sooner.

Isn’t that the saddest thing you’ve ever heard?

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It involves a lot of weeping

What’s even worse is how we realised that this is how our lives will be when they finally go off to college.  And for our youngest that’s only THREE years from now.   Dude’s finishing high school next year!

The problem with the mind of a parent is that we never remember the bad stuff, the nasty things.  We don’t recall the nappy changes, or the tantrums, or the fights, or the disappointments.  We only remember the pride and joy and indescribable love we feel for them.  So how do parents retain their sanity when their kids are ready to move on with the next chapter in their lives? How do parents get up every day and not just sit and cry?  How do we NOT move to the same city where the kids will choose to study after high school?  How do we let them go?

I can only imagine it is by stocking up on barrels of wine and mountains of prescription medication.

What to do at an airport without a laptop

In the wake of the astonishingly and somewhat surprising revelation that the US, and it’s little brother the UK, has imposed a ban on travelers who want to carry laptops, tablets, camera’s, vibrators, vacuum cleaners, boom boxes and other big electronic equipment on a plane, I instinctively knew I had to assist my fellow travelers.  Especially those who travel on one of the eight airlines listed.  Fortunately the Southern tip of Africa is as yet still protected from the wrath of the Oompa Loompa King.

I immediately rushed to the closest phone booth and changed into my alter ego, Mister Know-It-All.  I was ready to fly off, faster than a speeding bullet and provide all my loyal followers with insight into handling this precarious position because no-one likes to leave their electronic partners at home.

So I’ve taken the liberty of listing a few things a person can do at an airport whilst waiting, without the luxury of having a laptop around.

  1. Follow random people around the airport like you’re an FBI agent tracking a suspect.
  2. Take as many selfies as you can with strangers sleeping.   Try and beat your record every time you’re stranded.
  3. Stand in a corner with hat in hand and sing or rap or dance for cash.
  4. Buy a magazine and start swotting imaginary flies around the terminal.
  5. Buy a book and read it like some kind of savage from ancient times.
  6. Go into a sportsbar and start cheering for the other team.
  7. Send random sexts to people on your contact list.
  8. Mimic the action of random strangers.
  9. When you see a parent scolding their child, go and criticize their parenting skills.
  10. Shout “bomb” or “fire” and see if you can outrun everyone else in the ensuing dash.
  11. If you’re in a group stand in a circle and chant.
  12. If you’re with family discuss (very loudly) all the dirty laundry you might have between you.
  13. Start a fight with your spouse about the alien mistress you’ve had since the abduction last winter.  If you’re alone, have the fight with your imaginary friend.
  14. Ask the person at the information counter for a massage and/or the closest place to donate sperm.
  15. Provide live commentary about the clothes that people are wearing whilst standing in line.

I’m convinced most of these things would help you pass the time but there is a risk of pissing off a few people, if you plan to commit to all of the activities listed above. Therefore I will write another post entitled “Things to do whilst incarcerated by airport police.”

Have fun.