My Procrastination Declaration

I take my procrastinating very seriously. If you’re waiting for the day where I get some studying done before alphabetising the content, colour coordinating my book shelf, cleaning my room (just kidding, I’d study before doing that), baking an array of utterly disgusting treats (the oven is the portal to hell) or working out a variation of marks I hypothetically need to get in order to obtain different averages, then you’re going to be waiting for a very long time. I’d recommend waiting for Godot, rather. It’s a safer bet.

People who aren’t procrastinators at heart will never truly understand the curse with which people like myself are plagued. It’s really not as simple as just sitting down and working, take my word for it. And, if you don’t want to take my word for it, I’d be happy to fight with you about it. So, if one more person tells me to “just pay attention”, or to “just turn off my phone”, I’m going to take their un-doodled-on study-notes, spend a whole day doing an online Origami course, and make those perfect sources of knowledge into a swan. And then I’ll cry because I still don’t understand the use of metaphor in Kincaid’s “Lucy”, but I know how to make a fucking paper swan.

In what is possibly the most desperate means of avoiding work that I’ve sunk to yet, I’ve categorised a couple of different types of procrastinators, for they’re a breed both diverse but typical in nature.

1. The social media whore

Now, I’d just be lying if I claimed that I haven’t already sold my soul to the Internet. I am it and it is me. There is no selfie that goes unSnapchatted, no amusing moment that goes unstatused, no “OMG THE MOUNTAIN” scene that goes unInstagrammed and no mundane daily activity that goes unhashtagged.

But there are others who either deny this pre-existing obsession, or allow it to lay dormant in the time prior to exams. These people are the lurkers, usually, who know everything that’s happening in people’s lives – because everyone stalks but only the brave admit it – but never make any physical show of it. During exams, however, the lurkers come out to play and hand out likes and wallposts like those people who hand out promotion fliers at traffic lights, similarly in the attitude of “I don’t care if you actually read it, just take it”. Everyone’s profile picture gets a like. A Snapchat of your desk with your carefully positioned stationary is mandatory. A proceeding Snapchat of your bored face which, ironically, is supposed to show people how much you’ve been studying. It’s all a part of the SM-whore’s daily exam routine.

2. The gym bunny

In what I can only assume, from observation, is a desperate attempt to convince themselves that they have got their shit together, there are people who suddenly do all the things they haven’t been doing all semester, and give them unproportional weight on their priorities list. Like laundry. And finally sorting out your stolen driver’s licence at home affairs. And trying out that quaint Italian bistro on Long Street that you read about. And emailing your extended relatives who you haven’t spoken to in ages. And exercising.

The Virgin Active in Claremont significantly lacks oxygen at this time of year from the number of overweight, unfit, tequila-soaked students using up all the clean air whilst trying to incline walk for more than 10 minutes. I suppose the realisation of “well, my brain isn’t going to make me money” is largely prevalent in terms of motivation for this. But, mainly, I suspect the thought process is more: I need to avoid studying, but it needs to seem valid. I KNOW. MY HEALTH. Yes. My health. People always harp on about how important that is. It’s that thing I’ve been poisoning with alcohol with a higher alcohol percentage than my DP mark, right? That thing I’ve been spiting with chicken nuggets all semester? Yes. It is important. I must health until I’m healthed enough to work. Healthy. Yes. Healthy is important.

3. Netflix and chill

While there may be people who you assume are hard-working students diligently rotting behind their bedroom desk, they’re most probably just hibernating in bed watching series by themselves. This category often merges with the social media whore, who is usually an expert in multitasking after years of pretending to be talking to someone when they’re actually scrolling through a social media site. However, it can be separated into its own category. This is primarily because these people have their parents on Facebook who pop them a message which reads, “Grey’s Anatomy, eh? That doesn’t sound like Economics to me!” if they’re caught fraternising on the many, many outlets of joy and distraction. Worse yet is when other people’s moms tell on you. “Danny’s mom said that you all went to Camps Bay the other day? Mm. Hard student life, eh?” (My mom doesn’t ever say the word “eh”. I don’t know why I keep doing it). Ah, boy, that mom-network is a thrillingly powerful, but terrifyingly viral organisation which I hope, one day, to be the leader of.

You know you’re at least one of them, to some degree. Whether you reward your hour of studying with a 7 hour series-break, or decide today is the day you internalise your inner Nigela Lawson, or take to a new crafts hobby, or just find yourself watching videos of cats flushing the toilet by themselves, you’re definitely not studying as much as you should be, let alone how much your mom thinks you are. Just know one thing: no matter how bad it gets, take a deep breath and think to yourself “at least I didn’t just spend two hours writing a blog about it”.

Our messed up childhood

You know what’s really fun? Taking childhood films and pointing out how bizarrely inaccurate or nonsensical they are. For instance, letting Goldilocks off scott-free? Yeah, sure, that’s seems like a cool moral of the story: “Breaking and entering (and then literally breaking everything by sitting on tiny bear-furnature with your fat ass) has no repercussions if you get away before you’re eaten by the house owners (who might not be so hungry if you hadn’t eaten all their breakfast).” With specific regard to two films that I’ve watched roughly 100 times each, there’s a lot of really shit advice and bad decisions.

Home Alone

There are so many problems with this film. When I think seriously about some of the events that take place in this (admittedly quite delightful) 90’s classic, I want to smack my chubby cheeks with the same animated enthusiasm as our dear friend Macaulay Culkin and shout “WUDT??”

Though it’s hard, let’s not question the guy in charge of naming the baddies “Harry” and “Marv”. Then, let’s take a step back from the fact that someone who we can assume is a reasonably rational adult made a film which allows children to believe that the best way to deal with violent intruders, at the tender age of 8, when you’ve been carelessly forgotten at home for the holidays, is to cause them grievous bodily harm.

Let’s also try and ignore what kind of questionable parenting led Kevin to make such creative booby traps, like melting the skin off their hands, or smacking them in the head with a boiling hot iron, or impaling their feet with nails (spoiler alert). Don’t even get me started on why he had access to multiple full buckets of paint to throw at them, or why the McCallisters are in possession of such a humongous blow torch. Unless Mrs McCallister makes a mean Crème Brule for everyone in Winnetka every so often, it’s a pretty strange thing to have lying around the house.

Like. This is unreasonably large.
Like. This is unreasonably large.

Instead, let’s focus on WHAT KIND OF A PARENT FORGETS THEIR 8-YEAR-OLD AT HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Probably the same kind that allow their kids to have a Tarantula as a pet, I guess, and own a disproportionate blow torch.

I mean, I get it. There were lots of them to look after. They were stressed. They had a lot on their minds. Travelling is super hard. Especially at Christmas-time. Their alarms got reset and they were in a rush. Blah blah excuse for bad parenting blah. But I’m sorry: no parent would get on an aeroplane without checking everyone was there, no matter how stressed. When my brother was little, he was a runner. And a fast one. So we kept him on a legitimate leash at the airport (don’t worry, it was elasticated so that he had room to move. But it would snap back if he tried to make a break for it. We had a happy childhood, I swear). As much as I still love watching Kevin be home alone, I just don’t think it’s a situation in which any child would ever find themselves.


Matilda Wormwood was easily my biggest childhood role model. Partly because of her snazzy hair accessories. Partly because she knew how to make herself pancakes. Somewhat because she had telekinetic powers. But mainly because she somehow managed to become a sassy child-prodigy bookworm despite some seriously illegal and disturbing behaviour from the authority figures in her life.


What is it with childhood films and the endorsement of extreme, sadistic booby trapping as a way of dealing with problems? That girl being mean to you, Sweety? You just go right ahead and superglue a hat to her head. That bully got you down, Angel? Never fear – you can always sneak a newt into their water glass.

The most upsetting part of the film for me, every time, was not when the school headmistress, Miss Trunchbull – a symbol of leadership and guidance and all that hoo ha – locked disobedient children in a cage of nails (like wtf?!?) and swung them across the playground with her freakish upper body strength by their pigtails. Rather, it was when this same headmistress FORCE-FED Bruce Bogtrotter. I can still hear them chanting “Bruce! Bruce! Bruce!” as that poor boy was made to finish a cake which I imagine could only be matched in size by Mrs McCallister’s Crème Brule. Worse yet, he had to do it whilst the whole school watched like some weird public execution. In what world would this be OK? I get that Matilda can’t exactly tell on to mommy and daddy (because they’re mean, psychopathic, illegal car dealers and all), but surely someone at the school with a nice family could get that shit under control? Surely all that’s needed to get some media action is to get an aggrieved mother involved? Aggrieved mothers fix everything.

For now, I’m finished picking apart inaccuracies and questioning what exactly we’re supposed to be learning from princesses who wait to be saved, and little girls who can’t tell the difference between an old lady and a WOLF WEARING A DRESS. I suppose there are a few things I’ll give to these stories: they teach children to stand up for themselves, even if it involves a hustle with some burglars; to reject cruelty; to challenge and question authority, even if they risk being force-fed as punishment; to read, even if your parents try force you to watch TV; to strive for fairness, even if it is tilted slightly too far on the side of “revenge”; and to reject abuse, because, as Dr Seuss will tell you: a person’s a person, no matter how small.

Not Black and White

After deciding I was going to write something about what has recently gone down (sorry, that was an insensitive choice of words) at Hilton College, I did what any self-respecting journalist would. I typed into Google: “Hilton College in news”. Only, I didn’t actually type that, because as I was about to add the “in news” part, I was given a list of suggestions as to what I might want to search. “Hilton College” was followed by three suggestions: “scandal”, “Instagram” and “fees”. Firstly, “Scandal, Instagram and fees” sounds like an award-winning soap opera. Shot-gun. Secondly, I haven’t the foggiest idea how Google chooses to make suggestions, but I’m pretty sure there’s a cookie involved and then it Facebook-stalks me and picks what is common in my browser history. So, it’s not too important that that’s what popped up but it’s fitting and something I thought I’d share anyway.

For anyone who doesn’t have wifi under the rock which they inhabit, this is what has been happening: Five matric pupils from Hilton College took a picture. Four of them are wearing shorts dangerously close to making them infertile and one of them is wearing a St Anne’s uniform. Three of the boys are, for lack of better words, taking “her” from behind while the fourth holds her head to his crotch.


To ensure I get my comments on the incident across as clearly as possible, I’m going to take the same approach as my maths teacher told me to approach circle geometry – break it into sections so it’s not too overwhelming. I’m hoping this goes better than circle geometry did. It’s safe to say, though, that this issue is definitely not black and white (which is funny because those are the Hilton colours haha get it).

Taking the photo

I’ve found bizarre fascination picturing the conversation and/or thought process that happened before the photo was taken. Like… How did they orchestrate it? Who suggested it? Did they say “okay, you three: man the rear”? Or did they just know, when they saw that little blue dress, what was expected of them?

Presumably, it wasn’t premeditated when they got dressed that morning. I don’t think one of the boys said: “Aweh, buggers, let’s dress one of us up as a girl and take a photo, then put it on Instagram to make sure we deeply offend as many people as possible as well as rattle the cage of an issue which currently plagues our nation”. Or at least, I hope nobody said that. Besides, if they did, it’s pretty unlikely that they would’ve used the word “plagued”.

I’m not even picturing: “You know what would be really funny… (insert really unfunny act)”, or a “I bet we’d get so many likes if we… (insert action that gets so many shares even Queen Elizabeth spat out a piece of her crumpet). Rather, I expect zero thoughts whatsoever to have crossed their minds. They acted to the monotonous clang of the monkey in their head’s symbol. This total lack of filtering, however, is one of the most troublesome parts for me. Which is really saying something, because most of the time, the only filters that I use are on Instagram.

I’ve been told that there was a personal joke behind it. Ah, a good old PJ. Do you know what my favourite thing to do with my personal jokes is? Keep them personal. Anyway, apparently – disclaimer: this is hearsay and probably something the boys’ lawyers have strictly instructed them to deny – the five boys had all kissed the same girl, and so, supposedly, this was a re-enactment of that (and, again: a joke).

Putting it on Instagram

FOR FUCK’S SAKE. If you’re going to let your deeply rooted misogyny and overindulgence in adult movies govern your photo-taking poses, then at least have the common sense to keep it in your “boytjies banter” group on Whatsapp and not somewhere where, I dunno, someone could find it and share it and brand you as sexist and have you suspended/expelled for it. I’m just saying. Also, who took the photo? And why isn’t he in trouble too? He clearly also thought it was a good idea? He’s just lucky there wasn’t any space left.

From here, someone screenshat (I’m trying to make this word happen. Patent pending) the post and it went viral. Their caption was: “Apparently we are ‘fuckbois’, yet they love us anyway.” A quick definition for any readers who don’t know what a fuckboi is (note to self: write blog explaining that sort of terminology…): it’s basically a player. Though it’s a little more complex, I think.

The Shit Show

I have a request for all those who either know the boys so are defending their actions, or just think we should be chuckling and saying “Boys will be boys” and feeding the ever-ravenous Beast of the Patriarchy. It is: Stop telling me to “Imagine it was my friend”. No. Enough. Imagine the girl who they’re talking about was your friend. I understand that there are many sides to a story, that these boys have been scapegoated and that the issues run much deeper than an Instagram post. But don’t try brush it off by asking people to imagine their friends were being punished right before finals. It’d be like telling someone to imagine Oscar was their son, as if imagining that Reeva was their daughter wasn’t more important.

The Shit Show that ensued after the post was one that I definitely could’ve predicted had one of them asked my opinion. Because clearly, a second opinion would have realigned their thinking if their claims that they didn’t realise it would be anything but a joke are to be accepted. Sigh, if more people asked my opinion, this world would be a fabulous place, with a lot more chicken nuggets in it. This is how the conversation would’ve gone:

“Hey Meg. Should we put this photo on Instagram?”

“How ’bout no.”

“But why? It’s such banter?”

“Because it’s depicting and perpetuating rape culture. Which is bad”

“Oh shit. Didn’t realise that. Good job I asked you”

The thing is, I do believe that these boys had no intention of causing harm, and I’m sure they have some level of respect for women. But how long are we going to allow people not meaning to hurt someone justify hurting someone? I’ve spoken about it before and it’s gone on for long enough. Yes, it’s a pity that these boys and their families have been targeted, but it’s the only way the message is going to sink in. This kind of stuff is not OK. Joking that a test “raped you” isn’t OK. Forcing yourself on someone isn’t OK. Slut-Shaming isn’t OK. And the more we let young people think that joking about any of it is OK, the more it’s going to happen.

Maybe they’re just young boys who made a bad judgement call, maybe it’s a product of the world they’ve been brought up in, maybe it’s a product of all-boys boarding school, maybe spending the majority of your year in the Midlands is a recipe for disaster, and maybe their biggest crime was their stupidity (which they actually admitted to be the case in their apology letter). But when their parents are paying the highest fees in the country for their education – a practice commonly associated with not-being-stupid – then stupidity isn’t a feasible excuse. The lesson should’ve been taught before the incident, but it wasn’t. Which is why it needs to be taught now.

I’m still not backing them (again, awkward choice of words), but I’ll admit that they are taking the brunt of numerous societal issues. I suspect their main source of sympathy is from their extended group of friends, who’ve all realised how easily this could’ve been them. The media are always very quick to focus their interest on the elites of society – possibly because people like hearing when rich people mess up, or even just because they should know better. Probably both. And, frankly speaking, if people showed this much interest and outrage in the actual rape instances in the country, we’d be making a lot more progress. Still, we can’t let this diminish their actions, because it’s this culture of desensitisation of serious issues that led to the photo being taken and uploaded in the first place.

On the road again…

I’m not very good at travelling long distances. Partly, it’s because I get motion sickness. This often leads to the whole trip being delayed so that I can change my clothes and/or do a spot of cleaning. It’s also partly because I can’t sit still for very long… which my Ritalin doctor said isn’t my fault. We might even say it’s because I have the bladder of a pregnant mongoose (I have no idea whether mongooses (… mongeese?) have particularly abnormal bladders but the comparison felt right so I went for it). Heck, you could probably also blame the fact that my body takes it upon itself to omit enough heat that I could easily be used as a form of alternate energy (take that, solar panels). But those who know me best will know that the primary reason I don’t take well to long distance travelling is because I can’t shut up for longer than 23 seconds (±).

The combination of all these problems are really inconvenient in small spaces, especially the latter. You would think some relief would be found in watching movies on my laptop, reading books or something of the sort, but regretfully: the motion sickness kind of shoots that horse in the face. It would only work if I put a blanket over my head and I obviously can’t put a blanket over my head or else I get too hot. Duh. Pay attention. So the only thing I can actually do is listen to music. Yet, even still, there comes a point in every young girl’s iPod-listening life where the batteries die and the only thing left to do is be the entertainment (charging it in the fiery-circle-thingie is a ridiculous suggestion. Stop being impractical).

Now, I don’t mean to brag so I’ll ensure that I say this as modestly as possible.

The games I play in the car are the funnest games in all of the land.

This is because they always involve singing. Here are some things you can expect if you choose to get into a car with me:


This game is one of my favourites. The reason for this is because most people refuse to play with me, and this game can be played on your own (*bravely pretends that this wasn’t one of the saddest things I’ve ever typed*). It’s simple – you go through the alphabet on a certain theme, whether it’s musicals, bands, song names etc. For instance, A = Aladdin, B = Billy Elliot, C = Chicago, D = Dirty Dancing, E = Evita etc (gosh, just typing that was a whirlwind of joy and emotion). I’m stumped on X if anyone has any suggestions.


I’ve taught my siblings different harmonized parts of a variety of songs and I force them to perform them for ages (well, until they get rowdy after realizing I always get the solos). These songs include: Tears in Heaven, Hallelujah, Downton (they are particularly resentful of this one because their only lines are the parts that go “Downtown”). Sometimes, my parents join in if they’re in a good mood (thus it’s important to play this game early on if I want them to play). Once, I had everyone doing a rendition of Potter Pals, which, in a parallel universe where I had an iPhone and not a Nokia at the time, would be the reason for my YouTube fame.


This is a real cracker. Please note that we used to play this long before they played a version of it in “Pitch Perfect”. Do not challenge me on this – it will get ugly real fast. Almost as fast as when people try cheat in 30 Seconds, but not quite. Also, please try to contain your excitement for long enough that you are able to finish the article before you rush off to play it. For this game, you need to sing a song and stop on a random word. Then, the next person has to sing a different song that has that word in it. For instance, I would sing: “I can’t feel my face when I’m with you. But I love it. Oh. I can’t feel…” and you would respond with “… Caaaaaaan you feeeeeeel, the loooooove toniiiiiight”. Eventually though, despite the fact that I could play for hours, everyone gets grumpy and requests that we play the “Silent Game”.

The Silent Game

For some mysterious reason, everyone always wants to play this game with me – it must be because playing car games with me is so fun. I guess it’s relatively enjoyable, but it gets a bit dreary. I really don’t get why everyone likes it so much. While the appeal will remain as illusive to me as why people would choose BBQ dipping sauce over Sweet ‘n Sour for their chicken nuggets, finding people to play games with whilst driving is very difficult and beggars can’t be choosers. All participants chant: “Silence in the courtyard, silence in the street. The world’s biggest idiot’s about to speak!” (I know, so sassy). Naturally, I always stay the quietest for the longest because the only thing I like more than talking is winning (excluding sports). Another phenomenon is that the people I beat don’t get that sad that they’re the world’s biggest idiot? Well, the joke is on them I guess.

I’m probably going to have a flock of messages requesting my attendance on road trips hereafter, so I’m going to ask that you please send your requests via email so that I’m able to keep my social and business lives separated. I appreciate your understanding on the matter.

No Go’s

Sometimes, what-not-to-do’s are best learnt through experience. Other times, there’s little point in experiencing something that you know is going to end in an awkward situation. Luckily for you, I attract awkward situations like people’s new bikini bods attract people to Instagram. So, I’ll share with you some serious no-go’s in the hope that it saves you in the future.

Continue reading No Go’s

Dates or mates?

There are many stages involved when moving from the world of singledom into a relationship and a lot of terms that you need to know if you’re going to understand this conversion. It would seem that it’s not quite as simple if you’re not a part of the world in which the concepts are used. So, to help out generally uninformed young people as well as highly confused parents, I’ve tried to simplify some of the most important terms.

Continue reading Dates or mates?

Life Hacks

I have read many “how to” articles in my time. Unfortunately, most blogs and websites insist on giving terrible advice that simply rewords the problem. For instance, “don’t hit the ball into the bushes” in a “how to play golf” tutorial is all well and good in theory. But, for goodness sake, who would ever try to hit the ball into the bushes? This advice is entirely redundant and could be likened to saying “don’t do things that distract you” in a “how not to procrastinate” tutorial.

Continue reading Life Hacks

Meg Thomas' Blog


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 65 other followers