‘The sprinklers went off.’
The dark stain on the carpet widened as the water drained off him. When he moved there were squelching sounds he was soaked.
For a while nobody said anything. This scene playing out before them didn’t fit in with reality as they understood it.
The wet man now standing in the hotel room at the Cabanas in front of family and friends had, just a few hours earlier, told everyone that he was going to take a walk to the Entertainment Centre to try his hand at the slot machines.
It was a bright, sunny day, and everyone knew that none of the slot machines at Sun City were underwater, so why he was so wet was a mystery.
This young man – let’s call him Fred – then started telling the story of how he had spent some time in the casino far too much time in fact, and found himself out of pocket as a result. He decided to take a walk to clear his mind and hopefully lift his spirits.
A dejected Fred walked around looking at the buildings and the bright lights, but felt he needed to get away from all the bustle. Soon he found his way to the golf course behind one of the hotels.
It was peaceful – just what he needed. Though he was aware of the fact that he was in the Magaliesberg and that there were probably some dangerous snakes around Fred reasoned that if he stayed in the middle of the fairways he’d be OK.
Deep in his thoughts of how best to beat the one-arm bandits next time Fred was enjoying the solitude as he wandered along until he heard the hissing sound. It started off quietly at first, it seemed to be some distance away, but the hissing quickly started coming closer.
Snake! He thought, as his head snapped around and his eyes darted everywhere.
His heart pounded and the adrenalin started coursing through his veins.
Judging by the sound coming his way Fred realised that this was probably a huge snake travelling in his direction very quickly and if the hissing was anything to go by this snake was in an extremely bad mood.
His mind scanned through his snake database rinkhals, king cobra, black mamba none of these prospects seemed appealing.
But now, here Fred was, safely back at the hotel, and everyone wanted to know what happened.
“I was on the golf course and I heard a hissing sound,” Fred said.
“Was it a snake,” asked his sister-in-law. “Did you have to jump in the lake to get away from a snake? What kind of snake was it?”
“Did you run away from the snake? Are you sweating like that,” asked her husband.
“No, the sprinklers went off,” Fred answered
He never got to finish his story. Everyone was laughing too hard.
“Can you imagine him trying to run in every direction at once because the water was coming from everywhere,” asked one person.
“I’ll bet he would have been drier if he had just jumped into the lake,” said another. “You should have worn your Speedo to the casino,” chipped in someone else.
“Next time you go on a golf course remember to wear your water wings,” came some more advice.
The jokes were incessant.
To this day nobody actually knows for sure how far Fred ran and how many fairways he covered before he decided that he was too wet and running wouldn’t make any difference anyway.
Not many gave him, who knew all the facts, a chance to tell what actually happened.
It’s amazing that even back then, before our attention spans started being obliterated by social media and fake news, people had already started making up their minds before they’d heard all the facts.
These days, people seem to enjoy an entertaining lie more than the seemingly dull truth, and those who present the facts are often seen as, yes, you’ve guessed it, wet blankets.