Nipple. It was a nipple. The girl next to me saw it and almost shouted. “She just flashed her boob at him!” And I missed it. I missed it because I was trying to watch Banyana on the small screen at the Prince of Wales pub just off Kensington High Street.
Olympic tit. Love it.
So, there was a lesser-spotted tit loose in Kensington, except that it has not been lesser spotted. It had been seen by most, anyone with a ready and steady set of eyes and a quick set of eyes about them. I’m not so quick and missed it. The girl sitting to my right, who shall remain anonymous, did not.
“She just pulled her boob out and showed it to him. And he grabbed it.” As you would.
Boobs presented and offered must be grabbed, preferably without the schoolboy fumble that I apparently use as a method of seduction. Grab. Stroke. Twist. And … “Any chance of a …”
That, to quote Larry Lombaard, the legend of South African journalism, is not so tit. Lasher Lombaard covered several Olympics and two Paralympics. He was, and is, my mate, and he would have loved London.
Lasher’s journalism career came to an end when he was viciously assaulted and left to die at the side of the road. The details and reasons for the assault are confusing, to say the least, but Lasher was on the verge of death after his assailants had apparently driven over him and tried to kill him.
Lasher, a Boksburg boy, is made of sterner stuff and held on. Larry should have died on that afternoon he was attacked. He was targeted and we still do not know why, but we do know that he lived because he was the fittest of us all.
Lash rode and ran and swam. He was a whippet of a man, with the body fat of a chicken breast and the toughness of a steak so well done the fillet would make the Sahara look like a sea.
Lasher would laugh himself into a fit if he had seen what we had seen on Wednesday night, but unlike the rest of us, he would have walked up to them, patted the receiver of the tit on the shoulder said: “Jissus, boet. You should get a room.”
I heard the Lash call my name a few weeks ago. It was in the East Rand Mall, close to where Lash is forced to live with his parents. We hugged. We laughed. I cried. He didn’t notice, thank goodness. We talked of our common passion, the Paralympics.
I will be covering my fourth Paralympics in a month’s time, the most by any South African journalist. If Lash had not been so cruelly smashed, we would be together, possibly sharing a room as we did in Athens.
The weirdness about covering the Olympics is that you look to the past as much as you do to the future. I wonder about what was and what could be. I type this missive while sitting on the floor of a room beside the Thames, plugged in to a socket behind as faux British telephone box because my laptop died and lost my column on deadline. I’m at an Oakley function, held here so the brand police cannot get their knickers in a twist.
I feel incredibly guilty about breaking the rules while sitting here. Lasher would have commanded them to sort themselves out and then taken over. So, when I saw Lash, as he called my name, I turned and leapt with joy. His sight has returned. His memory is back. He is fat, with a small boep. He has learnt to read and write again, a massive accomplishment.
But he is not here, not beside me, not as my friend and my colleague. I miss him dreadfully.