Monday, October 22, 2012

Stop! Drama time!

 Sometimes I’m a total drama queen. And like fellow drama queen Kanye West I bring it on myself!
            As the low-rent Yeezy, I am able to sense drama opportunities approaching and optimize them for maximum dramatic impact.
            For instance, if I am running low on petrol, I will avoid filling up until my fuel gauge runs deep into reserve and beyond.
            That situation adds so much spice to life. Every car trip becomes fraught with increasing risk, with danger, even. A trip to Maboneng, at night, with the gauge on reserve is suddenly a super-hectic stress mission. The very atmosphere begins to crackle with tension. And say now you do run out of fuel, well that’s the beginning of a whole new adventure, a whole new drama.
            Sometimes it does get a bit ridiculous, though.
            Like I’ve got this radio show on this digital station called EuroTrashMusic. I love my radio show. I love the freedom of expression and the utter lack of a playlist. I love it being live, without a safety net. And I love the discipline of having to be at the station at 4pm. It creates the illusion of a proper job.
            So on afternoon I’m merrily cruising down to EuroTrash for my show, fuel gauge on the customary red, frisson of drama and tension in the air like farts, when the car coughs once, loses power and quits in the middle of the M1 South.
It’s 26 minutes till my show starts. Drama time!
I’m roughly two kays from the nearest petrol station – I’ve got to run. Also, I have my laptop with me to do the show off, and I don’t want to leave that thing unattended in my car, so I’ve got to bring it with me.
            So commences a desperate, hell-for-leather plunge through the streets of Oaklands to that Shell there by the previous offramp. And you must understand, I’m going at full pace.
An obliging petrol attendant gives me a used five-litre canister for strawberry Slush Puppy flavouring, we fill that thing and I stagger those two kays back to my car, laptop over one shoulder and canister leaking pink petrol all over me in the other hand.
            With a kay left to go, I start feeling the effects of extreme exertion. I haven’t felt this shattered since I hit that cramp halfway up Inchanga in the Comrades. I’m still wearing my jersey, so I’m now overheating something terrible. I’m the exact colour of a 93-octane Slush Puppy, let alone smelling like one.
            It’s a twisted, magenta, fully-clothed Crossfit challenge. My phone is vibrating in my pocket like some lady’s massager, no doubt the station manager wondering where the hell I am. I’m giving these Fidel Castro wheezes and my face is now a violent purple, oozing sweat like Big Show’s leotard.
            It’s nine minutes to showtime when I collapse into the side of my car and start pouring petties all over the side of it, fiddling with the fuel inlet and crying with desperation. Three missed calls so far.
            I make it to the station with seconds to spare, dive behind the desk and start my show shrieking and coughing while something pops alarmingly in my left lung.
            The video webcast of Hagen’s House featured a bright pink person who’d either had a pulmonary embolism or just been in a fight and then had a bucket of brake fluid poured all over him.
            Being in that sealed studio on a warm spring day was like being inside the petrol tank of a Bangladeshi ferry. The main dramatic element of the show was my cough deteriorating into petrochemical pleurisy, to the strains of Machine Head and the Stooges.
            For the pink Kanye West of Braamfontein, it was about enough drama for one day.

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