I hear one of your agents had a run-in with some weird kind of South African Gremlin! Is the whole of South Africa moving to Wimbledon? hehehe....Joe Dante would be proud.
Yeah, he did – well, not a Gremlin, precisely. It's this creepy little thing called a “Tokoloshe”. They usually stick to the Durban area – goodness knows how this one got all the way to London – although, they are related to the water sprite, so I guess oceans shouldn't really be a problem. If you're interested, I've pasted a section from my personal log below, about my first encounter with one of them (entirely off the record, of course).
Oh, by the way: I ran into Jim Cameron the other day, and he said to say “Hi”. Apparently, Sigourney is still trying to convince him to get involved with the next Alien movie, but he says he just can't face a shoot like that again – those things are so difficult to train, and you can still see the scar where that one went for his hand. Little bugger.
Yours, as always,
Durbs, Sarth Efreeka - “Ja, my boet!"
I've just landed at Durban International for the Agency's annual “Hypertension Prevention Convention” – props to whatever genius came up with that name – a week-long conference, purportedly held to focus on ways to prevent field exhaustion, but, in reality, just a damn good excuse to go surfing at Umhlanga Rocks.
I love coming back here. It's almost like going home, but with more crime. The food is great (I went straight to Gloria Jeans at Gateway – why, oh WHY doesn't someone open one up in London?! Starbucks is good, but, really, there's no comparison), I can drive an actual CAR instead of having to use London transport, see movies for about £1.50...and the men are so much more polite than Aussie blokes.....hhmmmmmmssssigghh.....
Anyway, getting back to my main point: this is one of my favourite Agency events of the year.
What an eventful night!
The plan was fairly simple: have a bunny chow for dinner; enjoy a night out at Eighties with some old friends; spend the early morning hours attempting to keep said bunny chow down; sleep until awoken by the arrival of room service with a huge breakfast.
No such luck.
Firstly, our night at Eighties was rudely interrupted by crap music. I won't stand for that, so I ended up leaving early and going back to our hotel. My roomie had obviously had similar misfortunes, because she was already in bed, although she stirred when I cried out in pain as I tried to put on my slippers and found them stuffed with pebbles.
“What the freak?! Is this some kind of joke?”
“No,” she mumbled sleepily, “It's probably just the Tokoloshe. They eat pebbles to make themselves invisible, and I think one followed me home.”
“WHAT?!” I screeched, too stunned to do anything but stand there, gaping at her.
“Don't worry about it – our beds are raised off the floor. The Zulus reckon they can't get to you if your bed's off the floor. Anyway, I can't find the damn thing, so it's probably gone.”
Now, don't get me wrong – I've run into some pretty strange things in my time, but the idea of having one of these creatures in the room with me at night was not comforting. I mean, seriously, who says the damn things can't jump? Or use tiny little ladders? I heard of this one time where a bunch of tourists decided to camp down on the beach. It was so hot, they thought it would be a good idea to leave the tent flap open for air. A Tokoloshe got in and wreaked havoc. Two of the tourists had broken bones where the thing had rammed them with the bony ridge on top of its head, and one poor little girl was left with some severe psychological scarring after waking in the middle of the night to see what appeared to be a large teddy-bear attacking her parents. Our South African branch had an interesting time trying to cover that one up.
Nevertheless, I think all would have been well, except for the fact that when I sleep, my left leg has an unfortunate habit of slinging itself off the side of the bed...
I don't know why it does this. All I know is, since I was a little girl, I have always woken up at about 0400 with one freezing cold tootsie. I never thought I'd wake up to find my toes being gnawed at by a dirty little sprite...a dirty little sprite with teddy-bear ears, a hole in its skull (it is apparently common practice among the Tokoloshe to pierce their skulls with a hot metal rod – this is usually self-inflicted, as a rite of adulthood) and incredibly sharp teeth. What...the hell...
My revenge was swift and heavy-handed – heavy-footed, actually – as I brought my other leg around and kicked it solidly in the head. The disgusting little thing gave an unearthly shriek (which was echoed shortly thereafter by my startled roomie) and raced, rather unsteadily, for the balcony door, which I hastened to open to let my unwelcome guest escape into the night.
Apparently, they're not used to people fighting back.
My roomie informs me that I was lucky – the Tokoloshe usually have much more, um, amorous intentions (*shudder*), and I should be grateful this one only fancied my toes.
I have since washed my feet about ten times, but I still don't feel wholly clean....
P.S.: There's also some really interesting information about the Tokoloshe, including what's claimed to be actual footage of one, at www.tokoloshemyth.com