20 May 2009

Is It Appropriate To Wear White Face Paint After Labor Day?

I’m not a fan of putting lengthy journal-type entries on my blog because, honestly, I feel like if it’s too long people won’t read it. But, I like this story and wanted to share : )

So, like the title says, I try to make my first response funny to everything I encounter. It’s so easy to find the funny when you just look for it.

This weekend I was at Spar, a local supermarket, and they just opened this particular location. I have to admit, I was pretty bummed because the café I typically visit was closed, so I had to go to Spar to get some lunch (they have a really great buffet!). I also don’t really buy or cook meat since I’ve lived in South Africa (too expensive) so I eat meat on the weekends when I can go out and have someone else make it for me. (Haha, I hope that doesn’t sound too stereotypical-American.)

Since this is the Spar Superstore grand opening weekend, it’s crazy! There are tons of kids, the local radio station is blasting music and there are these guys on stilts who remind me of, gulp, clowns. (They even have their faces painted white!) And for those of you who know me, I am like deathly afraid of clowns (thanks mom, dad and Stephen King).

So I’m standing in line at the buffet figuring out what I want when I see – out of the corner of my eye – the stilt guy is walking towards me! Yikes! I think. What does he want? I’m not a kid; I don’t want to talk to a skinny clown on stilts. But, then, as I’m about to have a panic attack because he’s getting ever-closer to me, he says in a thick Afrikaaner accent, “It smells like burning.”

I try to bite my lip to keep from laughing (since said clown who smells burning is still right behind me), but I can’t. I just bust-out laughing. In my head, I keep hearing him say “It smells like buuuurning.” In his accent, the ‘u’ in burning is really drawn out and the ‘g’ goes up at the end – like it’s burning but it ends on a happy note. He’s not trying to be funny, it’s just the accent. Afrikaans is the language created by the old Dutch settlers and it's sort of Dutch/German/Swedish sounding. (Say it out loud, you’ll hear it - or in case you need the audio, here's a clip of my re-enactment:)

Casey's janky re-enactment

I have a flashback to when my cousin Patrick and I were kids and used to watch the Simpsons. We’d quote everything Ralph said, like on his Valentine’s Day card to Lisa: “I cho-cho-choose you!” And I swear one episode he says “It tastes like burning” in that dumb sweet kid voice of his.

Now a conversation ensues of where the burning is coming from and the stilt-guy is insistent that the chef go check it out. By this point, I’ve had enough, I’ve got to go, I don’t want to look too crazy laughing to myself!

I eat my food at the food court area and then leave. Thank God. Oh – and while I’m eating, the radio station plays “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club*/Boy George and “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” by Shania Twain. Where am I?

Ahhh, so anyway.

This is why I love the balance of life. Just when there’s a bad day (café closed) something good or funny will happen (skinny stilt-clown smells burning).

I really do love my life. I never know what’s going to happen!

Sala sentle,


* I was part of starting the Culture Club at my high school. We went to plays and art museums. I thought it was awesome! But I think it folded the year I graduated. Heck, I went to a high school out towards the sticks. Football and confederate flags were much more popular than the Culture Club that the art teacher started. This side note has nothing to do with anything, other than the band Culture Club reminded me of this fun memory of those three or four outings we took before the whole club fell apart. Maybe if we only had a hit song, the club could have made it… : )

1 comment:

Dr. White said...

Hi there!
I'm Barbara Jo White and I created the World Map Project just over 20 years ago while serving as a PCV in the Dominican Republic ('87-'89). Love the World Map you all made!!
I've put materials and pics on my new website
and hoping you could spread the word
I'm also on twitter