It’s a dangerous game. So many people live by the motto: “If I see it and I like it, I’ll take it”, and we’re not just talking about the small stuff, because this happens even when making decisions on very important things such as picking that one person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. And no, it was no mistake; the special “special” is crossed out because in most cases, the choice is done just by inspection of appearance, so what’s so special about it if you’re hooked solely by the looks?

My teacher always said: ‘Read the signs’. That is very important, but to be honest, you can never tell anything about a person until you get to know them. Some people are centered uniquely upon their looks, without knowing the kind of person that lies behind the looks. In this country, if you’re black and not properly attired, you may as well be a thief. If you’re white and in a suit, no matter how cheap the suit looks: “He’s harmless, look at him!”, they’d say.

So, one day an old man walks into a bar late at night, minutes before the closing hour. He finds the barman looking exhausted and weary, and he can’t wait to knock off. At the bar, there’s a young lady, beautiful, with rather elaborate make up. There are two guys at both far sides of the bar, a black male sits quietly on one end, attired with a white sportie on his head, a blue SuperSport United T-shirt and black Brentwood pants, drinking beer; the epitome of a local gangster. On the other end sits a handsome young white male. Dressed to impress. He wears a dark coloured suit over a shirt with a silk tie, taking occasional sips of his expensive drink.

Looking to make a conversation after a hard day at work, the old man starts talking to this young lady and they hit it off. He asks her about her night and how it’s been so far. He asks her what her intentions for the rest of it are. Her reply? She’s looking to go home with someone tonight. The old man continues and asks: “So what kind of man are you looking for?”

She replies: “He must have appropriate height because I’m really tall, so getting guys taller than me is almost impossible. Dress code: I can’t deal with saggy pants because I grew up in a church environment so I’m all about neat-looking guys, and lastly, the cologne”.

They laugh about it and the old man turns and shows her the black male. “So what do you think about him?” he asks.

The young lady replies confidently: “No! I don’t date gangsters”.

“And him?” he asks, indicating the suited guy.

She replies: “Do you even have to ask? That’s a definite Yes”.

The old man gulps his drink down, pats the young lady on top of her head and says “May you make a wise choice!”

The next morning the young lady wakes up in a hotel room with sounds of battle around her. The police break into the room, followed by emergency personnel. The girl has overdosed and is resting on top of the bed with Cocaine and Ecstasy strewn everywhere, but she’s aware of what’s happening around her, even though the images are blurred. She sees the police invade the room and arrest the suited white male from last night, looking like a junky now. Turns out he was waiting to meet up with a client to make a drug trade, after which he asked the young lady to come back to his hotel room with him, and she did. It ended up turning into a wild night with a drug orgy.

As the emergency personnel attended her, she sees the other guy, the thug-looking guy, now in his work uniform. “Can you breathe?” he asks her. Turns out he’d just had a night out with old friends from the same ‘hood he grew up in. He was not a fancy man; he preferred dressing like his father did when he was the same age. A good family man he turned out to be. Not asking the girl to come with him, he went straight home to his mother and daughter. “I’m here for you” he said affectionately.