Confession: I Did Not Date That Guy I Took A Picture With

I know. You must all be terribly confused right now. I get it. There exists a damn picture, for crying out loud! However, I can assure you that even though I posed for a photograph with that one guy all those years ago, I did not date him. We did not date. Phew. What a relief to get that off my chest. Honestly, if it weren’t for Natalie Portman’s recent bravery in denying that old guy’s dating claims, I might never have found the courage to speak my truth. Thank you, Natalie. I too did not date a guy I took a photo with that one time.

I’m sure I’ll soon be hearing from said guy. I’m fairly certain he’ll say that it was so much more than just a photograph. I guess he’s technically entitled to? If all it took was a picture to convince him that we were actually dating, the guy definitely has an incredible imagination. Either that, or he really needs to lay off the sauce. Because, and I can’t stress this enough, we did not date. He can believe whatever he wants to believe, but using a completely normal photo of us as proof that we dated is, well, more than a little alarming. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a doll with that photograph stuck on its face in his bedroom right now.

It truly baffles me that I even have to come out and make this cringing statement. Should I start adding a “Didn’t Date” disclaimer on every photograph I’ve ever taken with a man? I mean, if dating means going to a concert with a guy, then I’ve dated everyone and my dad. If dating means hanging out and being friendly with a man, I’ve dated my freaking boss.

Which I most definitely have not.

Thank the Lord of Cameras there isn’t a photograph to dispute the fact.



 by Pepper Rouille

North Media

April, 2068


The Two Eights of the Aestival Season has arrived and the North is currently experiencing its annual influx of travellers from the Western colonies.  While many of these travellers have crossed the Atlantic simply to boost their national CIS (Cultural Influence Status), a surprising amount has come for one specific and, quite frankly, peculiar experience: to taste mayonnaise.

A bit of background: In the Year of Our Avo 01💩 (2018), mayonnaise came under fire when it was suggested that the West’s millennial generation (the younger demographic of their time) had gone and kill the creamy condiment.  Not murder, as one might deduce from such a statement, but simply “killed off” within the zeitgeist of their time.  Records show that they were more into Sriracha and Szechuan sauce, preferring a bit of spice as opposed to whatever it was that passed as mayonnaise back then.

But the older generation was having none of it, and deemed anyone who didn’t eat mayonnaise a “bad daughter.”  Soon enough, the First Mad President established an incentive that saw every citizen receive a “good son” badge for enjoying his or her mother’s mayonnaise, which ultimately led to the Great Mayo Riots of the US (former Western colonies).

Mayonnaise was eventually banned altogether following arguments that it wasn’t “even American” to begin with.

Cut to the present, where deprived Western folk bravely take on sky and sea to travel to the North, pile onto hoverbusses, and visit the culinary culture spots where mayonnaise is served.

“I’ve been dreaming of this trip my whole life,” a young female says as she gulps down a spoonful of mayo, trying her best not to gag.  She tells me she goes by an alternative identity (she calls herself SpaceStarHermit) and that she’s documenting her first trip to “Mayo Country.”

“I really want to inspire my clan back home,” she proclaims before going all cross-eyed as she looks into her ever-recording contact lenses and says, “Knowing mayonnaise is knowing freedom.

However, it is true that not everyone shares StarSpaceHermit’s sentiments.  Many Western tourists have voiced their disappointment following a taste of the historical salad cream.

One man was so perplexed by the oral chemistry involved that he immediately washed the mayo down with a soda before yelling, “I’ve been penetrated by the Devil himself!”

An elderly woman, who only came along to appease her rebellious grandchildren, scoffed at one mayo vendor and said, “That is not  how my mother used to make it.”

The numbers are alarming.  Last year’s survey shows that, of the 13,500 tourists who used ‘Member Mayo Tours during their trip, a staggering 78% did not enjoy tasting the eggy emulsion.  And yet, many a Western tourist returns every year to hate the experience all over again.

“I think it reminds us of what we care about,” says one man who is currently on his fifth mayo tour.  “If I don’t have something to dislike, to hate…look, if I just liked everything, then what would I be?  In this life, you’ve got to hate a few things.  Now, I’m not saying I’m a hater, okay?  I just don’t like mayo, it’s weird.  But I’m not a hater.  I eat aioli back home, you know.”

That Time I Travelled With My Pet Giraffe.

Travelling abroad with your pet is like going to the gym: it’s a mission just getting there; you better bring your own towel; and by the end of it you genuinely wonder what made you do it in the first place.  I recently had a severe case of wanderlust, so I decided to visit the Golden State of California for a couple of weeks.  Problem was, I couldn’t leave my pet giraffe Geoffrey behind because, even though most South Africans have zebras for pets, caring for a giraffe is, like, next level shit you guys.

To give you an idea: I spend around 18 times more on kale a month than my stripe-loving friends do.  My hot tub is filled to the brim with diluted milk, and I recently had to fix my straw-covered patio roof because a certain someone got the munchies after chomping down on my neighbour’s marijuana buds.

On top of that, said neighbour had been dropping way too many references to spotted-skinned upholsteries while gingerly stroking her (feral) meerkat.  No, Geoffrey was coming with me.  I wasn’t leaving him behind just so he could end up as someone’s next sleeper couch/giraffe testis potato stew.

Now, you can imagine how difficult it is to travel with a giraffe.  I eventually found an airline willing to put him in the cargo hold, but we had to do a two-day lay over in Dubai so he could stretch his legs and drink a couple gallons of Nestlé water.

And boy, did Geoffrey hate Dubai, especially the constant mob of tourists wanting to take his picture.  Geoffrey’s a real introvert (ISTJ, to be exact) and he hates posing for pictures (even though he’s fond of the occasional photobomb).  It wasn’t just the people though; every time we passed a camel, he started blowing so much snot out of his nose that at some point someone asked me if I wanted an umbrella.

California was way more Geoffrey’s vibe.  Even though he scoffed at the palm trees and almond milk (which gave him hives when he accidentally drank it), he loved the stretched-out beaches and coastal forest foliage.


Sure, we ran into some trouble on a beach or two, what with pets not being allowed (it’s, like, 2018 people get over it), but Geoffrey was a real charmer. Except for that one time he started “necking” a beach patrol officer, which is what giraffes do when they try to assert male dominance.  Kind of like when men wear ties.  Luckily, the patrol officer thought Geoffrey was just being affectionate and ended up buying him a bunch of carrots.  Geoffrey really liked that guy.

And, ladies, let me tell you a lil’ somethin’ somethin’:  a pet giraffe is a surefire dude magnet!  Turns out there exists a certain type of man who secretly fantasizes about having sex while a giraffe stands craned overhead, staring blankly at some naked butts.  One guy said it had something to do with hooves.  Or was it the horns.  Another guy insisted we play Toto’s “Africa” on repeat.  Geoffrey did not like that guy.


One of the biggest problems we encountered while visiting the cities were the dog parks.  Now, I get that there are designated parks for dogs, but it really felt a bit discriminatory.  It’s not like dogs are the only pets in the United States, right?  While the people on the coast absolutely adored Geoffrey, we got foul looks thrown at us whenever we as much as walked past one of these parks.  Seriously, the only dog owners who were nice to us were the ones who liked to smoke it up and hang out with their dog in the park for a while.  Most, however, were more interested in their Starbucks Venti’s than their dog’s need to play a bit before pooping on a dead patch where grass used to grow.  I mean, imagine being a dog in the city.  It’s bad enough.  The Secret Life of Pets is all the proof you need.

Then there was our attempt at some interstate travelling.  As you can see in the pictures, Geoffrey’s still quite young, which means he can easily fit into an airplane cabin. Also, giraffes can sit, you know.

And before you get all sensitive-about-being-insensitive on my ass, I have the proper papers stating that Geoffrey’s my emotional support animal thank you very much.  As a matter of fact, I got Geoffrey after I had a traumatic experience on a local flight back home.  See, no one on board realised that a young crocodile had managed to sneak inside the cabin, and I saw a man lose a toe that day.  There was a lot of blood.  The screams haunt me at night.  That fucking crocodile is my Freddy Kruger, so my psychiatrist suggested I get a pet that would help me relax whenever I felt triggered by anything related, i.e. flying or seeing a Gucci crocodile handbag.

I chose Geoffrey as my emotional support pet because, as much as I love the little bastard, a crocodile would probably go for him instead of me.  Like in nature, you know.

Regardless of my papers, the airline kept telling me that there was no room for Geoffrey inside the cabin, to which I replied that he doesn’t even take up a lot of space!  Like, he’ll literally stand still for a couple of hours as long as you hold a leafy branch over his head.  CrossFit’s more challenging than that!

Alas, it was too much to ask, and no interstate travel was had. Perhaps it all worked out for the best; Geoffrey can’t stand those little Chihuahuas on a plane anyway.

Would I do it all again?  That’s a hard no.  When we got back home, I told Geoffrey that we’re hanging up our travelling hinds, and the poor thing got all depressed.  Been ignoring me for weeks.  Sometimes I catch him staring at the sky, eyes half closed, swaying like a branch in the wind; like he’s back in LA again.

“All the leaves are brown…and the sky is grey…”


Sorry, Geoffrey.  I should never have done this to you.  Maybe I should be your emotional support for a while.

Or just get you a pet rabbit.