Was badly in need of a new pair of tekkies. The old ones, although heavenly on the feet, off the feet they were redolent with the aroma of rotting carcasses.
On a walkabout in a Karoo dorp I came across a shoe shop called simply Shoe Shop.
The owner/salesperson, who introduced himself as Giepie, guffawed at my request for a size 12.
“Haven’t had a request for that since a rugby team from the old Transvaal toured this region.”
“Must’ve sold plenty size 12s?”
“No, didn’t stock them. But they walked away with plenty of shoe boxes.”
Was he trying to confuse me, or was he an escapee from groendakkies? It didn’t end there.
“Want to see what I have in the back?”
“No, Wild Dog.”
“All the same size.”
I’d had enough and said goodbye.
In the barber shop around the corner, I mentioned Giepie’s name. The comb froze in mid-air.
“Giepie from the Shoe Shop?”
“Tried to buy a pair of size 12 tekkies.”
The comb came down, whacking me on the left ear.
“Tekkies? From Giepie?”
I was fed up with the Giepie saga, but thought it prudent to pursue the subject. What, I asked, was so funny or strange trying to purchase a size 12 from a shoe shop.
“No, no! It’s got nothing to do with tekkies or size. Didn’t he ask you to go to the back of the shop?”
This caught my attention.
“As a matter of fact, he did, and said something about Wild Dog.”
“Now you know.”
“Wild Dog comes in only one size. Fits in your back pocket.”
I visualised a pair of shoes folding into a neat little bundle.
“Cool. Must get back there and buy a couple of pairs.”
“Pairs? No need, it comes in single bottles.”
“It’s mampoer. Giepie has a still at the back. The shoes are just a front.”
So the old Transvaal rugby players made off with shoe boxes filled with Wild Dog. No wonder they scored tries – and won a few games in those days.