As the work rush kicks into high gear, so does our craziness quotient and it’s time to practise some serious stress management. Over the months, my frustration and paranoia have swelled to the size of the Burundian national debt. I was feeling so claustrophobic that the walls of my faux Tuscan style terrazzo luxury loft apartment (bachelor flat) with distressed stucco wall effects (rising damp) were starting to close in.
But going out in November brings its own unique torture; every good spot seems to be hosting an office party with associated emotional trauma and career suicide. The thumbscrews of the Inquisition never spilled as much truth as a couple of Long Island Iced Teas in the sun amongst people who don’t really like one another, but have been forced to work in close proximity for a whole year. Telling your financial director his kids are ugly may be a tragic lapse of judgement or a pretty creative way of handing in your resignation. In any case, the social circuit was not helping me cope.
Since self-medication is dangerous, immoral, illegal and expensive, I decided that eating healthily would be a better way of dealing with stress, but it’s not easy. Whereas booze and drugs are available in easily identifiable food groups, (malt, barley, hops, grapes, hemp, etc.), everything in the fresh produce section just lies around looking all raw and mysterious. I have no idea how to cook this bewildering variety of veggies, but hovering nearby is a salesman who wants to sell me a ten grand microwave oven that‘ll do it all automatically. It’s the opposite of the old “Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for life” proverb. These days the saying goes, “Make a man dependent on nuked broccoli one day and you can sell him expensive accessories for life.”
Apparently it’s good to “detox”, so I go to a proper health food shop for vitamins. I’m met by an assistant who is one step away from shedding that toxic condition called life. The only stage remaining between him and nirvana is cadaver. Somewhere during his monologue about how milk is cruel to cows, I develop a craving for fatty red meat, even if only to induce a massive heart attack so I don’t have to listen anymore. Likewise, my search for health has left me craving for a smoke.
Smoking causes cancer. That’s why there are warnings on the pack to scare you into quitting. But being scared is a form of stress. Stress causes cancer. Smokers say a puff helps them handle stress. So, smoking helps prevent cancer too? By now I’m so confused, I almost try gym. Almost. I’m sure it’s a very nice place. It’s just that if I wanted to sweat and groan doing a pointless, painful, repetitive exercise, I’d simply apply for a new ID from Home Affairs.
There seems to be only one way to feel better. I’m going to “vasbyt” till I can drag my exhausted butt on holiday to visit our coastal cousins. And stress them out. Roll on vacation!
Al Prodgers is a professional stand-up comedian and MC for hire.
Al’s DVD is available and can be ordered from his website.
He is a member of the Proudly South African campaign.
To read more of his comedic musings or hire him for your next event follow the links alongside.