We would meet on The Bend, Kai’s paradise on the Tugela outside Bergville. The guys from Doories in Johannesburg studying to be optometrists and engineers at the Wits Tech and the gals from NTC in Pietermaritzburg, studying to be teachers of the future fine upstanding youth of SA.
We’d sing and dance, play loud music, down many beers, fall in love, salute General Armstrong the whisky bottle, dance, laugh, swim in the river, jump off the dam wall, have a ball, dance, laugh, recover and start all over again. In hunting season some of us might shoot a few guineafowl.
Sundays we’d load up and go back to school like responsible students. Speronsible, as Lloyd Zunckel would say.
On this occasion Lettuce loaded up the Clittering Goach to head SE back to PMB and Spatch loaded up the beige Apache and Simmo the green VeeDub to head NW back to Joeys. We decided to help Lettuce pack, out of the kindness of our hearts, slipping a dead guineafowl in amongst the girls’ suitcases. HA! That’ll give them a surprise when they get back!
Couldn’t wait to phone them from the nearest ticky box later that Sunday night.
How was your trip? Fine.
How were your suitcases? Fine.
How was Lettuce’s boot? Fine.
Oh! Um, was there anything unusual in the boot? No. Why?
DAMN! We suspected Hood Simpson: Are you so in love that you removed the fowl to spare the girls the smell? No, wasn’t him, but someone must have removed it. Damn!
Oh, well, it was a great idea for a prank! Pity it failed . . . .
A week later we got a parcel slip:
A parcel from PMB awaits your collection at the General Post Office in Jeppe Street.
It was big and quite heavy and read: Contents: Musical Instrument.
Unwrapping layer after layer of paper and one plastic bag after another we unveiled: THAT GUINEAFOWL!! The girls had suckered us!! We had been (in 21st century-language) SERVED!!
Hummed? It honked! It ponged! – that was obviously their “musical instrument” clue! Heave!! Vomit! Yuk!!
What to do with it? Holding it at arms length we carried it out. It was 5pm rush hour. Traffic backed up under the Harrow Road flyover. Innocent hard-working people on their way home. A little plumber’s bakkie looked easy, so as the light turned green we deposited the offending deceased foul fowl discreetly on his loadbed. He’d have an interesting mystery when he got home!
We then made our way to the nearest ticky box. We had a concession phone call to make to PMB. Girls 1 – Guys 0