Permission to skive

THE headline on this post was written by a student. So was most of this post (which is published here with his permission).

My side of the story goes like this: After seven swims in the sea, I was ready to prepare for the week. So, late on Sunday, I ventured into my office and found this email (with that subject line) from third year student Lebsie:

Aloha, Gill.

Would it be okay if I didn’t come to tomorrow’s prac? I really do have a valid reason – not valid enough for an LOA, but valid still.

I had a rather wayward weekend. Grab something to nibble on while I tell you the story of my not so awesomish weekend.


This was to be my first super mellow Friday evening in over a month. I had just been paid from my epic job as a dog walker, bought cigarettes enough to keep my date and I merry throughout whatever lame movie we decided on and I was in high spirits – until she stood me up. So I was gearing up for bed when I received a phone call from a distressing mate.

20:30 pm

My friend Sipho and I rushed over to the digs where my mates Mzi and Wesley were. Wesley had gone there earlier to fetch Mzi- who has literally been unhinged by overexposure to Rhodes University. Jason’s mission was simple: fetch Mzi and bring him home. What I hadn’t accounted for was Jason’s weakness for free alcohol. So Sipho and I arrived at digs to find an irate Mzi – spewing venom all over the place – and a drunken Jason, falling all over the place. I sat to assess the situation – which was a huge error on my part.

23:30 pm

Something set Mzi off, and he ran off into the night barefoot, leaving his phone and wallet at the digs. We set off after him and I underestimated just how drunk my best friend Jason really was. I left him a flight of stairs above me. I was nearly at the bottom when something told me to go back and help him down, and so I turned and made my way back up. Seconds after my decision to go back up, I heard glass shattering and him cussing vehemently, and so started running up and found him with a rather sever gash on his neck. The poor pillock stumbled and fell head-first through a window.


The party decided to separate. Two of us went to Settlers with Jason, everyone else split up to look for Mzi. The journey to settlers was a bit of a fiasco. Our friend Qama had patched up Jason’s blood leakage with toilet paper and scarfs, and he now sat in the middle of the backseat between myself and Qama, slurring drunkenly. The neighbour was a nurse and her husband was now driving us to hospital. We arrived there where we were met by Jason and my hallmaster, Prof Helluva Goodguy, and were there until half past one in the morning.


I spent the entirety of yesterday brooding in my room. There’s something disconcerting about having to deal with folders of my own drama while nursing trauma incurred from having a psychotic mate on one side of the scale facing the drunken tool on the other side. I thought I’d be better today, but I’m not. I’m extremely tired and flitting in and out of sleep. Journalism’s my only lecture tomorrow, and I really wanted to take another day off to lick my wounds. I never really got around to dealing with being stood up by the woman I really like. I was too preoccupied with tending to the other two, whom I’ve decided to stay clear off for a minute . . . best mates or the not, I can’t take care of two grown-ass men where I’m barely coping with myself by meself . . . I just need a spare day off to detox my nerves, if I may?

This has been a rather long email. Shall this suffice as an adequate substitution for not having a blogpost this week? My head’s a mess and posting this on my blog would go against what my blog’s really all about . . . which is peace to the world and merrymaking all around.

I’m Lebsie le Awesomish and you have just been treated to a glimpse into my very bizarre life . . . Happy Sunday, Gill . . .

I closed the email, feeling less than awesome but grateful that I also felt less than bizarre. I sought other work until all opportunities for diversion had been exhausted. Then I replied:

Hi Lebsie

Thank you for your long email. I’m so sorry about being stood up, that’s horrid. But you know that’s about her and not about you, right?

Yes, I think you should take Monday quietly. Consider making contact with a counsellor, they can be very helpful in helping us sort our shit as manifested in relationships of all sorts.

If you’re not intending to publish your email on your blog, would you let me publish it on my blog? I would change names to protect identities. Please think seriously about saying yes.

And please locate your marbles soon and return to us safely (and quite a bit wiser).

To which Mr Manoeuvre responded:

By all means do publish it . . . Condition: I get co-authorship . . . 🙂

Thanks for understanding . . . I’ll be back on form soon…


So here you have it. Er…what, exactly? I have no idea but names have been changed to protect any pillocks. The rest of us are co-authors (thanks Lebsie aka Lebogang Tlou and, yes, this can count as a blog post).


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