21 May 2006


I'm the Captain

This is about as much as we normally see of hippos.

That rings a bell.
I grew up as a much loved and protected kid.
At about 15 years of age the parental reins were loosened, or I rebelled.
Anyway I made friends with a "wilder" bunch of boys (some of them had actually had sex).
Divorce? I knew of nobody who had divorced.
These new found friends had a couple of mothers and fathers each.
I loved my new freedom and the friendship thrived.

We are still talking hippos, just hang in...

Experience of alcohol? A few tipples and maybe an uncle or two who'd had a few too many on occasion.
Here I was expected to serve and drink along with everybody else!

So Piet, my friend and I, and his dad and his uncle - on a 'dad's weekend' away -landed up at the Hartbeespoort Dam at a cheap caravan park next to the Neft Nature Reserve.

Piet's dad and his uncle were both Captains in the SA Prison Service.

These two 'grownups'(about 250 lbs and 6 ft tall apiece, clad in the briefest of speedos) settle into two comfy beach chairs with their rods and tackle in the blazing African sun. Under the umbrella they place a gas fridge groaning with coca cola and a crate of brandy.

They toss the closest kid the car keys and a couple of bucks and grunt "park the caravan and level it and then find some pussy. Don't knock anybody up or I'll skin you alive, now fokof"

On their normal weekends they don't use the caravan at all but stay in their chairs drinking and fishing for 2 days and 2 nights. This was also the first time ever that I had bunked school (Friday and Monday).

Late on the night of day two we come 'home' after spending most of the money that we lifted from dad's wallet (uncle was still sitting on his, stingy bastard).

Both dad and uncle were now sitting heavily having consumed 2 bottles of brandy each, in about 9 hours. They were seeing Pink Elephants by now.
They acknowledged our presence with a few grunts and fokof's. And we retire to the caravan, about 50 yards from the water.

At 3 O' clock the next morning we are awakened by an awful commotion. We rush out and see these super athletes stumbling towards the caravan because a Hippo was stomping out their fire.

500 lbs of Captain with four flailing arms and legs unite at the caravan door of two and a half feet wide. Ouch!
We stay well clear.

The Hippo also stomps on one chair and returns to the water satisfied.

Neft Nature Reserve has a few hippos and a fence that runs far into the dam.
The dam's level was low.
One hippo swam around the fence and saw the fire.
Both our Captains apparently saw the creature as it emerged slowly from the water, but refused to acknowledge it to his partner in crime - as this would indicate, "I am drunk", which is a mortal sin - until said Hippo as is his wont, started to stamp out the fire.

Pink Elephants indeed (yah, about as pink as their sunburned skin).

Ouch and Indeed is trademarked by Glen and I use it with his permission.

South African Rednecks is trademarked by myself but I acknowledge this post in their forming.

"rods and tackle" is words I learnt from this man, I never equated angling with fish.
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