I think I know where half of a certain local population group hang out at weekends...

My car's silencer has been slowly disintegrating so I popped in to the mall branch of one of those fix-tyres/shocks/exhausts places to see if they could help. And found myself in a bit of a queue. Seems around payday is the time to "pimp your ride", and I was surrounded by vehicles that had definitely been pimped!

First off, you could feel these guys coming. Their soundsystems are such that by the time you actually see them, your windows are rattling from the mega-bass. I have no idea what songs were playing - I couldn't hear a tune.

Secondly, nearly every car had "wings" - on the back, on the roof, wherever spoilers could be attached.

Then there were the paint jobs. Another Ford Sierra was parked in front of me - so kitted out with blue and white trim that you had to look twice to see the Seirra under it all! Next to me was a metallic orange Toyota Tazz, a colour that has to have been custom-mixed, cos no dealer in their right mind would paint a showroom car in that particular shade and expect to sell it. Even the Jetta was pimped, but not too obviously - it was just getting gold rims to match the paint everywhere else. Another bloke was blackening his tyres with a paintbrush around shiny silver rims in the middle of the waiting area.

Then there were the girls. A gansta's gotta have girls, right? A bunch of nubile chicks hanging around waiting, chatting on their cellphones and checking out who sports the most bling (and bling there was indeed, with a matching half-hitch swagger that might have said "polio shots not taken as kid" if it wasn't so obviously intentional and widespread). The language being thrown around was hilarious - your typical Cape expressions of our mellow-brown race, Afrikaans the way I could never imitate it.

I watched a couple of the guys come and go, their exhaust systems sounding not much better than when they arrived - I guess that was the whole intention. You gotta hear them coming, and not just the "doef-doef".

But after about an hour of being amused, I realized I wasn't going to get my own ride pimped anytime soon. Seems the parking lot was the queue - one would drive off the hydralic lift, and another would be right there waiting. I took full advantage of a broken silencer to squeal out of there with a roar that would put most of them to shame. Pimped my ride may not be, but it's fast, and I can spin rubber with the best! :-)

So I drove to Strand, to my normal exhaust fitter (I guess I'm a regular after 3 trips there), where there was no pimping, and no queue. Just good, solid service, with a front-teeth-missing smile.