Inspired by a few thousand people

This is the story of a place and time that may never ever be repeated. You need your goggles, your boots and the brightest, stickiest glitter you can get your grubby hands on to enjoy it. Let me tell you where it takes place, just to orientate the beans upstairs.

This site is far from reason, light switch or tar. In fact, you have to pack your own titties, loo paper and H2O, if you want to go. Just maybe, if you close your eyes and take them along a caterpillar road that eats tyres for breakfast, lunch and, perhaps, a midnight snack, you might come close. There are purple mountains along the way if you travel when the sun is sitting back with a G&T, and a sign that says “Don’t start the party yet” will guide your way. You’ll know you’ve arrived when the virginal chime, dangling from its teepee, sings your welcome. There’ll be desert and dust and bum-hiding bush all around you too.

Here is where you want to be to escape the grind and the grit, the bills and the Pterodactyls of adult life and its responsibilities. In fact, there’s a door where you leave the nasties behind. Beyond it there’s no such thing as judgement or drudgery. Just wonder and pleasure and play.

So this is where our curtain draws. The players, I can only attempt to explain. There was a silver, spotted snow leopard (a rare breed indeed), a desert-bathing beaut (who, by night, revealed herself to be a light-bearing queen, ready to perch in the dark at any given time), a fair mermaid maiden, a gaggle of large ladies, a rogue child-wielding jellyfish, a disco-ready bunny and her orca-riding rabbit, a photo shoot-ready male model with a fishy bicycle between his legs, a shark-mangled mad man, a couple of thousand strange lovelies* and a few innocent bystanders. For all purposes story-related we’ll call our central partakers The Jolly Mischiefs (only part of the greater society better known as The Life Tankuatic).

On a day and time only be-known to them, at the aforementioned locale, the Jolly Mischiefs set out from their church-bench-lined refugee camp to see what they could find. Their mission was clear. It was planned and mapped, defined and decided on: nowhere, somewhere, everywhere we shall aim towards. Or at least until further notice is not given.

The Jolly Mischiefs ambled this way and that. They jumped in front a giant R100 note, but it just stared at them blankly. They came across a cubicle and left the landscape behind, only to find another one lurking inside. Their travels took them past two weaving sheep from New Zealand who were cool and calm, baring their chests to the rays and pedestrians. There was a temple and a Buddha to which the snow leopard bowed and saved its graces. A hand, the hand of God some would say, pointed in the only direction their dirty feet couldn’t take them. It pointed in very much the same way a pineapple would not.

An oasis called “We Like it Here” summoned our pilgrims and they liked it too. Precious fluids were replenished, popcorn was reinstated and even Jesus made an appearance (for a limited time only). He brought his bride named Indigo and they dished out comfy couches, shade and friendly chatter to the wandering chiefs. So great was their generosity that they baptised the fair mermaid with a new name. “We shall call you Ariel”, the great one said. But this did not sit well with the half-fish, flailing on the ground in fits of laughter. “I might be a cartoon,” she proclaimed, “but I am not for kids.” The wise nodded wisely and agreed. “Then you shall be Jonathan.” And with the sticking of a tag, it was done. And it was good. The Jolly Mischiefs thanked them for their kindness and set off to nowhere once again.

But far they didn’t need to go before they entered a realm where lost minds where insured if you could bring said mind along (or at least remember where you left it). The brokers were bright, their minds clearly in bloom. They were professionals, you see. They had forms to fill out, mind-testing tubing and headgear and things. Bobbing daisies, lumo stars and Taro cards. Cool sprits of mint and big, furry afros. The Jolly Mischiefs were engaged. It was hard for them to leave. But leave they did, leaving their minds happily behind.

The dusty pink and soft hues fell from the sky and all the land’s creatures came out from their crevices. They came dancing in their finest attire, to a flame-spitting vuvu-mobile, complete with one snazzy, plush lounge. The interpretive, post-modern struggling marshmallow pillow people also emerged. The wolves and the sheep and the bees and the watermelons did too. They gathered round a burning heart, humming, and a feathered silhouette watched over them, swinging blissfully on her high neon throne. They gathered round two lovers, dancing, raging, consumed by the fire of their love. The Jollies and the lovelies and all those who weren’t sure, swarmed to three rings in flame and they laughed and cried and were silenced by the beauty before their eyes. It was so much and so little at the same time.

And as the school of lantern-lights drifted off in the pool of night, the queen-desert-bather turned to her troop and asked: “Are we ever returning to this time, in this place?” The Jolly Mischiefs didn’t know. Maybe never, they thought. Maybe some mischievous day.

The End.

*In no specific order, these included a white-winged angel who enveloped you in her reach, a trio of blood-sucking alien-lizards, flight attendants from Xana Du Du Du, electro-magical warriors and smiley faces, a naked-dancing black beauty, a camera-yielding devil-trike rider and royalty disguised as mere mortals.