by William Lee, Maverick1000 Member #100
Ulusaba: Nighttime game drive (Safari)
We approached the infamous “Five Lions” of Ulusaba after nightfall. It was dark and we needed the aid of a spotlight from the Ranger to see. The Five Lions appeared, walking down the road toward our Land Rovers. As they approached, we were all mesmerized by the sheer awesomeness of such amazing mammals.
Craig Handley, Maverick1000 Member #69, sat quietly (for real) next to me on the second to last bench of the open-top, no-doors, fully exposed Land Rover. He pulled out his point-and-shoot Canon and began to record the lions as they crept past us in parallel, just 8 – 10 feet away, angling closer and closer—and closer, to as much as five feet from our rear bumper.
Craig’s camera was in my way, so when the opportune time came for me to snap some shots from my SLR camera, I slid my butt forward and…”may have” left my seat, rising about three inches upward, despite direct orders from our Ranger not to leave our seats. As I made that seat “twitch,” one of the lions looked at Craig and me—dead straight in the eyes.
That moment would forever be burned into my mind as my life flashed before my eyes and time slowed to a standstill.
Craig’s heart and mine skipped a beat. Never had I seen him so silent…until the lion broke contact and continued on his way. Immediately afterward, Craig turned to me and said, “William, do not do that again. I didn’t know what would be scarier….having the lion jump up and eat me alive, OR having the lion’s balls in my face as it jumped to get YOU!”
I apologized profusely, but couldn’t stop laughing from what had just happened. I then earned some sarcastic “Sit down, William!” banter from the group on various periods of the trip.
Good times. And there were many of these.
Oh yeah…and this just reminded me of another story from South Africa, which apparently gave me major Maverick street cred. Craig poked fun of me during a business meeting at Ulusaba Lodge—in the middle of my “Hook me up Yaebo” business session, when I asked a question for the group to assist me with.
It went something like this:
Craig: “Will—I think your fly is open.”
Me: [looking down] “Oh, nah…these pants are designed to give extra room in the crotch area when a little expansion is needed.” [My pants really have that design built-in. Pretty cool actually, but it leaves the zipper teeth showing at times when I “expand.” He he.]
Craig: “You don’t need that—you’re Asian.”
Me: [looking around the room] “Craig must be an expert. Apparently, he’s spent quite a lot of time with “little” Asians…so he knows.”
Everyone: (Huge laughter.)
Craig was speechless. We continued on the trip and bonded—as friends—on that note. After I got back, a few Mavericks caught whiff of what had happened and were apparently stoked to find out I made Craig speechless. They said it had NEVER been done before. I had no idea. 🙂
Good times. Mavericks: Super awesome.
—Will Lee, M1000 Member #100 (aka: Mr. Expando)