They Love Cale Yarborough in Jo’burg

We had dinner last nite in a mall. It took a while for our food to show, so time was killed on banalities such as lecturing the Indian waiter on the “horsehit” qualities of Hawaiian Punch and taking pictures of [The boy…] through a glass of Windhoek, which we’ve taken to calling Namibian Budweiser.

The boy + the beer

I should point out that [The boy…], of course, had no opinion of either Hawaiian Punch or Windhoek, because he’s too polite to say things like “horseshit” at a table of eight adults and too young to drink Windhoek—and anyways he was mesmerized by his own drink: Sprite, which here they call “lemonade.” As Vincent Vega once said, “It’s the little differences….”

One thing we can all—South Africans, Americans, possibly even some Europeans and the odd Japanese car fanatic—agree upon is that we should all have an abiding love for the history of NASCAR, especially the period encompassing the late 1970s and early 80s. To wit: During the aforementioned lull in the eating, I went to Executive Books looking for a copy of The Hobbitt. (It’s for work, trust me. Stayed tuned—it’ll make sense in a week-and-a-half or so.) And what did I see in primo position?

Remember, Mandela Day is a little more than a month away. A NASCAR book makes a great gift.

Still plenty of copies left, World Cuppers! After dinner and the celebrity and pseudo-celebrity sightings (see below), it was home for what should have been a nice night’s sleep, one that was ruined by the plaintive wailing—for hours on end—of some type of dog right outside the door to the Two and a Half Men Cottage. Around 5:30, Mravic theorized it was a coyote caught in a trap, which now that I’ve had time to think about it is patently ridiculous but at the time was troubling, not so much because of the idea that there might be coyotes nearby, but rather that someone might have laid some coyote traps in the yard we often walk in the dark.

Not an akita.

Anyways, the beast shut up around 6:45, which was precisely 10 minutes before the alarm on Mravic’s rented cell phone started going off every five minutes. By then it was time to wake up, and we spent the day driving, freezing, going deaf, breaking 200-Rand notes and cursing at the apparently vertiginous woman who lives inside and voices the GPS. More on that later. Got some sleep to catch up on.

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