Chapter 1

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

Small bells start to ring in my ears. I remember him talking about how he could finance an engagement ring to make things official. I mean, one of those little elastics that the kids use to make bracelets with, do not, in my opinion, make an engagement. The damn thing disintegrated almost a week ago. You get my reason not to take his offer of marriage serious, right?

Snatches of the discussion come through to my morning-after mind. Okay, don’t judge me right now, but I think we were on our second bottle of wine when he started this explanation/discussion? I honestly can’t tell you all the details. By the time this happened, I was already doubting his sincerity and most importantly his capability. Never mind that, I still don’t even know if I want to marry him. As a [current] boyfriend he is doing okay. My capacity of imagining him as my fiancé or husband hasn’t thus far made it through in my mind.

Sheesh, what were the details of his plan? I remember the beauty pageant thing. 

I watch as Gerard tries to wrestle the camel back into the garage. Oh My Gosh! I remember the bit about the pageant being for animals! He only mentioned that he had the best scheme in mind to win this animal beauty pageant. By now, the camel has spit on him, trampled his toes and generally wandered every which way except towards the garage. Gerard’s Sunday bests don't look like bests anymore but watching him trying to get the camel in the garage is the highlight of my morning.

There is spit running down the side of his face, his shoes are muddy and despite his sweaty armpits, Gerard seems to have gotten close enough for the camel to chew on at least three portions of his best shirt.

I know. It is completely horrendous to laugh at your [current] boyfriend trying to herd a camel into your garage but I can’t help it! I can’t believe that he thinks this is going to work. If I was one of the judges I’d disqualify the beast from the moment it entered the ring.


Three hours later, we are sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee. One of those staples that is just absolutely necessary for morning-afters. Corey, Beatrice and I almost finish the first pot. Gerard asks for water initially, but after two glasses he joins us in caffeine delight. We refill the percolator and Corey can’t help but reminiscence about our morning. Gerard’s face obviously doesn’t show much pleasure at Corey’s reminders but he holds himself in and doesn’t respond to the taunts. His prized camel is in the garage with an assortment of various eating things that we think it might like. I’m probably going to either have to lie to Mrs Whitman or come out with the truth. Yeah, so lying it will be.

“So, remind me about this pageant deal?” I ask Gerard.


What an absolute hoot. You really have captured the tongue-in-cheek nature of the story and at the same time made it believable! Hilarious! The exchange between Cory and Gerard is well depicted.
This is really funny, Sumanda. Gerard trying to get the camel into the garage? Loved it.
Glad you liked it
Can you imagine doing the same?
I've actually herded an emu back into its grounds (as well as other domesticated animals), but Camel? Noooo! If I believe any of the documentaries regarding animals, I doubt if I would ever be able to manage that :)
I do however have the fortunate situation of being surrounded by people who have wild animals living on their pieces of land. Hence the successful herding of a male emu into his domain when the neighbour's steel gate was stolen.
I also know how to make a cow/bull walk faster... you twist his tail. Immediate results :)