Happiness is just around the corner



FOR years, young people have asked me: what makes a happy couple?

Being a man of the people, yours truly has always enjoyed drinking in various settings to find out the answer to this question.

Which brings us to a story Bacchus remembers from his days in Johannesburg.

In the centre of that city, close to Park Station, was a beer spot which he used to frequent a lot.

One afternoon, yours truly was sitting outside the beer garden when he noticed a couple getting cosy close by.

Both man and woman were clearly in their fifties, but beer has a way of making even the elderly feel young again.

He was wearing a cement-stained pair of overalls and his calloused hands led me to believe he was the construction-industry type.

She had on a floral dress which reminded one of the 1960s.

On her feet were a bright-red pair of shoes.

The two lovebirds were sipping the wise waters and, in no time, were very comfortable with each other.

The man whispered something into the woman’s ear, probably to the effect that perhaps they could get to know each other better if only they were somewhere more private.

They bought two more beers, stood up and walked down the street, then turned a corner.

Yours truly thought that was the last he would see them, at least for that day.

Imagine Bacchus’ surprise when, 30 minutes later, he saw the same pair walking back up the street.

Only this time, they were in the company of a police officer.

In his hands the man was clutching his pair of trousers and two beers, while his two spindly legs marched in boxer shorts.

The cop had been decent enough to let him wear his shoes.

The woman was holding on to something that was clearly made of silky material.

Bacchus dares not speculate what it may have been.

Behind them, a crowd had formed and laughter and cheers of bravo followed the amorous pair.

A waiter who knew the cop asked him what the matter was. With a disturbed look, the policeman replied that the two had decided to turn an alley just around the corner into their private hotel room.

He had caught them in a very compromising position and ordered them to wear only the barest minimum before taking them to the police station.

About an hour later, the two returned to the same beer spot, without the slightest trace of guilt on their faces and resumed drinking together.

Were they happy? Maybe, maybe not.



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