The running shoe rubbish bin incident

Coming down to Cape Town for a conference, sometimes I’m blessed with a day-before flight. This is a welcome change from the usual, which is a 4am wake-up followed by a groggy scramble to make it onto a 6am flight to the meeting.
So this time I get to fly down the day before. Ideal for an executive of my advancing years. Drop out of the clouds just after lunch, and Cape Town’s your oyster for the afternoon.
I’m planning a pleasant bit of gym, followed by dinner at one of the city’s finest restaurants. Urgent gym, though. I’m getting back into it I’ve been three days in a row and I don’t want to slack off.
Luckily I’ve brought my gym gear. Lekker sta-dry exercise vest, the old running shorts and, er, bollocks! Forgot my running shoes.
But I’m so in the zone for this gym session. It’s 3pm, just before the arvie rush, I’m gonna go to my old gym at the Point, and they’ve always got the kiefest modern machines.
No, I’m not missing out on this. I’monna buy myself some gym shoes at the Waterfront!
I park, then charge in there barefoot, in shorts and a T-shirt. Focused.
Ah, here it is. The Athlete’s Foot. Perfect.
“I’m looking for some gym shoes that are cheap and effective,” I tell the shop assistant. What about these.”
“Those are ladies shoes. Come have a look at these…”
Pretty soon I’m sorted with a pair of Nike Airmax. Black, like I’m a singer in a hardcore band or something.
All good. And perfect timing to beat the rush still. I hurry back down to the parking garage only to find that I’ve… Have I? Aargh! I have. I’ve lost my parking ticket.
Jeez, I’m having a mare. The pay-machine tells me you pay R60 for lost cards. No ways I’m paying that. I must’ve left it in the Athlete’s Foot!
Back there!
“Did you okes not find a parking ticket here where I was?”
“Ja, there was one. I just threw it in the bin.”
Next thing we’re in the bin. Well, the two shop guys are in there. Going through it like CSI.
I tell you what, the okes eat a lot of take-aways at Athlete’s Foot.
“It’s pay-day,” the oke tunes me.
No parking tickets, though.
“You sure you didn’t chuck it in the one in the back office?”
This one’s got more of a pie vibe. King Pie, with chips and sauce, and a lot of Cokes. Okes go for the Coke Zero here. Health conscious guys.
Still no parking ticket. I’ve gotta call mercy:
“Okay guys! Please. You’ve done enough. Please stop digging in the bin.”
I can’t bring myself to actually help dig. I kinda watch over their shoulders. There’s a Nando’s with extra sauce wrapper in there. By contrast, KFC do a pretty neat line in litter.
It’s almost four. On my way back to the parking garage, I meet a guy in a branded top. We negotiate a discount. Thirty bucks for the lost ticket.
By the time I get into the Point, my gym session has cost me eight hundred and eighty rand.
They better have bladdy kief machines is all I can say.

Writer for television, print and digital, corporate and editorial. Editor and writer of books. Musical performance, spoken word as Inspector Ras. Guitar/vocals for The Near Misses, (Worst Band In JoburgTM). The last whitey at umsebenzi. Latest book 415 Action-Packed Neighbourhood Marketing Tips with Basil O'Hagan, out now. @hagenengler

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