An attempt to become a soccer super-star a few years ago saw me meeting and subsequently befriending (please don’t ask why) the most emotionally challenged clique I’d known since my years at St Joseph’s Girls High. These “so-called” women had university degrees, were artistically talented and quite witty, so it took a while for me to see what was obvious to everybody else. Well truthfully, I wasn’t exactly the Dalai Lama of emotional security myself, hence I endured their company for much longer than was conducive to anybody’s good.

It was obvious from the start that my middle eastern appearance and manner presented some sort of challenge to them and unbeknowns to me at the time, they kept secret from me or well out of my reach the men they were seeing or interested in. This of course couldn’t last forever, and by some fateful meddling, I was eventually introduced to the infamous “shag list”. Now the shag list was not a list of how many people these women had shagged. It was a list of people (well men) who they wanted to shag. It went a bit like this:

“I want to sleep with that guy” – on the list;

“I may want to sleep with that guy” – on the list;

“I have wanted to sleep with that guy” – on the list;

“I don’t want to sleep with that guy, but given the right amount of alcohol” – on the list;

“I don’t want to sleep with that guy, but I don’t want any of my friends to” – ON THE LIST!

And on and on and on it went. And then of course, there was the long list and the short list, but please, let’s not even go there.

Needless to say, a lot of unnecessary enquiry and confrontation ensued. “B, I told you I wasn’t sure whether or not to put Adam on my list and you flirted with him all night?” “No I didn’t, I don’t even like him.” “You did and you do like him.” “Did I and do I? Maybe I do, I didn’t think I did… hang on a minute, I don’t like Adam and what kind of a conversation is this anyway?” Well unfortunately or not, this wasn’t the last of these dialogues and two years later, I left the clique much to the delight of all involved, especially me.

Looking back now, I guess I could have done something better with my time, but it was worth it for the hours of humour it provided me and other friends. And I have to say, throughout the whole ordeal, I remained listless!

Incidentally, we lost every game of soccer we ever played!