In A Long Line Of Cars

I spy with my little eye something beginning with…

How’s that going to work? You’re stuck in traffic all alone, dimwit. You need at least one additional person for a satisfactory game of I-Spy. Preferably someone older than two unless you want another round of I spy with my little eye something beginning with…tree. At least five year olds make it interesting by spying things you can’t actually see.

“…beginning with…C!”

“Cricket bat?”


“Cricket ball?”


“Cricket stadium.”



“No dad! You can’t see chlorine when we’re swimming.”

“Can you give me a clue?”

“It goes up and down in a sandy desert.”

Up and down in a sandy desert what the…

“And it’s got humps.”

“Camel? Seriously?”

“YES! Well done dad. Your turn.”

Five kilometres in seventy-five minutes. Let’s assume I can split my body into two functioning humans. We both set off from work at the same time. Self-one is in a car. For argument’s sake let’s say it’s functional with an emphasis on funk. Oh, a Honda Civic with a slightly dicky second gear you say, fine choice. Self-two is on foot, sporting a worn-in pair of Asics and a serene gaze. Self-one flies out of the gate for a good five-hundred metres or so before joining the mutual crawl-fest along Nelson Mandela Boulevard. Self-two locks into his rhythmic I-can-keep-a-conversation-at-this-speed-all-day-buddy race pace and passes Self-one after a scant two and a half minutes have elapsed. Self-one doesn’t notice as he is too busy focussing on the minibus taxi who has pulled across the intersection to block traffic. He tries not to swear, fails, and then swerves around the offending minibus. For ten glorious metres he is free and soaring before being anchored back to reality by the looming rear-end of a washed-out looking Toyota Tazz.

Here and now, forty minutes tops has ticked over to the hour and a quarter mark as Self-two climbs into the passenger seat. He visited this exact patch of highway fifty minutes ago but figured he’d run a quick five-and-five to the office and back while he waited for his lift to arrive. Self-one rages internally. He is filled with loathing for this free spirit in his slightly muddied green and blue trainers and yet he has been alone long enough to crave human contact in whatever form it is offered.

“Good run?”

Self-one realises his mistake as soon as the words have left his lips but is quick enough to throw up a mental shield as Self-two launches into an excruciatingly detailed overview of his time on the road. Numbers play out in Self-one’s mind five…seventy-five…five…seventy

“Five seven five. Haiku.”

“…my heart was probably fairly constant throughout although I don’t like wearing the monitor strap as it chafes like a bugger. Not as bad as nipple chafe though, that’s the…did you say something?”



“No, haiku. Form of poetry. Specific syllable count of five-seven-five. Bunch of other rules as well but I forget what they are.”

“Oh, those. I make them up all the time when I’m running. Anyway, as I was seeing it’s all about the Vaseline really and…”

Self-one ignores the babble and scans the traffic. Up ahead he spots a minibus taxi piling into a scooter-sized gap in the traffic.

Mzansi fo sho!
Like rampant misogyny
And boerewors rolls

In the right hand lane he spots a lady driving with her knees while whatfacetwittering.

Scouring the wreckage
Someone will locate your thumbs
And stroke them gently

“…probably won’t get a personal best but I’ll be happy with a finish to be honest with you. I’m just not sure what time I should aim for, I mean, all the training has been for a sub-5 but I haven’t really nailed everything I was supposed to and…”

“Fancy a game of I Spy?”


I Spy.”

“Oh. Yeah go on then. Here’s one for you. I spy with my little eye something beginning with…R!





“Random strangers in cars?”


“Can you give me a clue?”

“Well it’s something coming up in the distance. Just over the horizon so to speak.”

Distance…horizon…what the…

“I swear to you if you are asking me to spy Race Day In Less Than Two Weeks or a derivative thereof I will shove those shoes so far up your arse you’ll have a Racetec Timing Chip wedged against your skull.”

“I think I should probably jog it from here. I’m starting to stiffen up a bit and I didn’t really warm down properly. We’re getting close to Hospital Bend now and it should ease up a bit after that. I run this way quite a lot you know, although generally when there’s a bit less traffic. Speaking of traffic, did I tell you about that race when those cyclists almost ran us off the road? Lycra-clad rats the lot of them…”


Header photo: By Ji-Elle – Own work, Public Domain,

6 thoughts on “In A Long Line Of Cars

    • Introspective? Me? I mean…us? No wait…me? There’ll be some proper writing soon Diane, honest, just give me another few decades to get this phase out of my system 🙂


  1. Lycra-clad rats…. (typing through happy tears – lol)… I’m going to yell that out on my next drive-by of those pests on country laneways during non-peak hour travel times – not. Although we do get the annual tourist from snow-land who’s keen to push-bike through the Outback. *cue the eye roll here…

    It’s great self-conversation, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you will have some choice phrases to yell in your many, many hours of gridlock 😉 I have a love/hate relationship with cyclists – my brother in law is an excellent cyclist (father in law also very good for many years) and highly road aware. Sadly there are far too many in and around Cape Town who are not so civil – I enjoy seeing the panicked look in their eyes when I say hello to them when running 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting once again on my ramblings!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s