It was a dark and stormy night as I drove down gloomy meandering roads where the only truly visible sign is the one with the word ‘Potholes’ clearly inscribed on it. I was on my way to Champagne Valley in The Drakensburg for a solitary weekend of pure paradise.
The idea of paradise in the middle a magnificent storm would normally fill me with delicious lasciviousness and have me grasping at ‘dat man o’ mine’. I usually find storms very seductive. But, this was far from sexy. This was perilous.
Here is a road on which, one’s young catholic self’s belief that, if you are a naughty little somebody then God will, with great force and great purpose, strike you down, is vindicated. If you feel you have lost or misplaced it; here, on such a night as this, you can rediscover the art of virulent prayer. This is what I imagined as a child in church when they talked about ‘the valley of the shadow of death’!
I felt quite indignant, actually. Why are there potholes ahead? I mean people have to drive on these roads in the middle of magnificent storms at night and while you are grappling with the torrential rain, the thunder, the lightening, the tortuous road, the complete absence of street lights and the idiot who won’t turn off his brighter than bright headlights when he sees you coming because he’s sure that someone is going down tonight and he’s sure it’s not going to be him. While you are wondering what the hell you would do if you bumped into something or missed a turn and you are praying like you have never prayed before and making all kinds of promises to God if he will just get you safely to your destination. While you are under all this unbelievable and unprecedented stress the last thing you need to see, and I do mean the very last thing is a sign that tells you that there are f@*”#ng potholes ahead. It really is too bloody much!
Logic would suggest that if they have time to plan to come to this long meandering road in a valley in the midst of The Drakensburg to dig new holes, stick poles in them and then cement the poles firmly into the ground. Then they have the time to fill the existing potholes. Clearly the fact that they are putting signs everywhere in the first place is an indication that they are very well aware that there are potholes, and that the aforementioned potholes need filling, in fact, are willing, waiting and wanting to be filled. So, why the f#*@k don’t they fill them?
That night I suffered a bout of EDE. What is EDE, you may well ask. It’s a newly discovered mental condition. I, in fact discovered it myself that very night. I’m considering writing a paper on the condition. Perhaps I will be published along side Sigmund Freud and Dr Phil. I was in the throws of it when I finally arrived safely at my destination and almost went into a hysterical meltdown because I couldn’t find my room. EDE, by the way, stands for Extreme Dishevelled Equilibrium. It is a short lived but quite severe mental aberration brought on by the ordeal that I describe above.
The EDE was compounded by the discovery that there was no mini bar in my room. I needed Whisky. So, I tidied myself up. I left my room. I made my way to the bar; and there, with deranged pontifical authority, I commanded the barman to “give me the bottle”.
The drive home, however, was lovely.