Boys night and the tale of the would be psycho killer


Yes, you read it right—and I swear it’s the truth. I’m telling you guys, WE NEARLY DIED!

Occasionally some of the boys and I had a ritual known as ‘boys night’, where the goal was to spend the entire night out on the road with a full tank of petrol, no plan and the willingness to do any and all kinds of stupid stuff—the kind you’re imagining; yup, that stuff. This typically happened after youth on a Friday night.

Of course, as a youth leader, my job was to shepherd the young boys of boys night into godly men who would live lives of character and integrity. You know, the kind of men who would make their mothers proud and be shining beacons of excellence and impeccable behaviour…blah, blah, blah—you know the story. Our fun nights out were mostly harmless and playful. We would do things like pretend to be ninjas in shopping malls or dress up strangely in public places (in a giant teddy bear costume), just to freak people out. We would slide down hills in cardboard boxes, have a couple rounds of trolley jousting, ride skateboards down the kids’ slides at McDonald’s etcetera; nothing precluding the ‘godliness’ of which I speak.

The night in question started out like any other. After youth the crew all piled into my old Opel Kadett. On this particular night we had a couple of guys with us: Julio (another youth leader who always crashed at my house on weekends), Duncan, Crunchie, Eric, Andrew and Christopher. (Yup that’s five guys on the back seat).

By the time the shenanigans of our tale began to spiral, the night was in fact still young. It was about 1a.m. and after a few other stops we ended up at Eastgate shopping mall. The boys had just finished a couple of trolley races and now a few of us were just sitting on the roof parking lot, shooting the breeze while listening to some of our favourite tunes (probably Linkin Park).

Eric (who had slipped away from the group with Andrew and Christopher) calls me on my cellphone, saying, “Get the car running, we’ve gotta go now!”

Within a minute I saw the boys running towards the car being chased by a guy in a double cab bakkie. Jumping in with the rubber burning they all shouted “drive, drive, drive!”

I sped away from the dude in the double cab, whizzing around the spiral exit from the upstairs parking lot as quickly as I could possibly go. (Luckily, my car was pretty quick). We sped onto the freeway to make our getaway.

“You’ve gotta go to the hospital”, Eric yelled.

“What?” I replied.

I was totally confused.

As we hurtled away, Eric caught me up on the last 20 (or so) minutes since their awkward disappearance.

It turns out that at every one of the stops we had made that night, this group of boys had been stealing any and every road sign that they could get their hands on. Eric explained that the huge tog-bag that they had been carrying around, was in fact full of signs. There was at least one stop sign, another street sign and a couple of other signs of varying description. The bag was now in the boot of my car.

The last one however, came at a price, because the boys were caught in the act. Yup, Mr Double Cab himself—a weirdo, neck-bearded freak who was dressed in a black uniform and looked something like a mall security guard.

The boys explained that to try and get themselves out of the situation Eric faked a phone call from his sister to say that she was in labour and that he had to get to the hospital immediately. Hence, Mr Double Cab was now following us as we sped off towards the hospital.

The hope was that if we pulled into a hospital parking lot that the guy would decide to leave us alone. So I raced along the R21 towards the airport taking the exit onto the N1 concrete freeway towards Linksfield. To try and get the guy off my tail I faked a lane change to the right just before the Linksfield offramp, only to swing a quick left around the exit loop at about 140km/pH while the guy sped past us on the freeway.

A collective phew resonated in the Kadette as we drove off in the direction opposite to that of the hospital, thinking that we had lost him.

Within about 30 seconds, there he was on our tail again.

But How?

Now what were we going to do? The hospital was in the other direction; he must surely know that Eric gave him a bull story?

Someone suggested Edenvale Medicross doctors’ rooms, which would, in fact, never admit a woman in labour…but it was our only hope.

We pulled into the Medicross parking lot with Mr Double Cab parking next to us. Eric ran in to check if his fake-sister was okay. The guy got out of his car and followed Eric to the door and then eerily turned towards us with a death stare while putting his hand on a gun that he had on a holster on his belt.

“Oh crap!”, we all thought; the dude was packing!

Eric ran back out of the Medicross entrance and was stopped by the guy, who proceeded to have a conversation with him; not taking his hand off of his weapon the entire time.

Eric ran back to the car on got in as we started to drive away.

“What happened?” we all asked.

Eric told the guy that his sister had been moved to another hospital and that he now had to go home because everything was okay and the baby was born. Mr Double Cab had said that he just wanted to make sure that he got to his sister safe. He led Eric to believe that he would now leave us alone.

We drove off once again, hoping that the tale was over.

Lo and behold, the dude continued to follow us.

Now we were all freaking out. We had seen the dude’s weapon. Clearly he was not a security guard or any kind of law enforcement and wanted us to know that he was packing. What business did this guy actually have following a bunch of kids around at 2 a.m.?

We thought eish how do we lose the guy? If the dude was a psycho, maybe we should just drive to the police station? But we had a ton of stolen street signs in the car; we would get put in the holding cell with him and then he would have his way with us! No thanks.

Seriously, we were freaking out!

Crunchie was screaming, “We’re gonna die, We’re gonna die!” I didn’t know what to do. We just kept driving and driving. We turned the lights off, ducked down dark alleys. Tried to pull many fast ones on the guy but still, he was always there. We dodged, ducked and dived for three hours.

Eventually, at around 4 a.m., my fuel light started flashing. Now we were really screwed.

I pulled into the nearest petrol station. By now we had circled through many parts of Johannesburg trying to ditch the guy and were now somewhere close to Bapsfontein. Sanding sentry like guardian angels from heaven above, as we asked the petrol attendant for 100 bucks’ LPR, were two security guards who were also packing.

Mr Double Cab pulled up next to us and some of the boys were literally crying in the back seat of my car. We started a conversation, window to window, without ever leaving the vehicle. By this point Christopher had had enough; he started spinning stories that probably got the guy’s head all foggy, while also admitting that there were stolen items in the boot of the car. His exact words were, “Listen I’m sure you also stole a couple of street signs when you were a kid too?”

“What do you mean stolen street signs?”

“Yes they’re in the boot of the car”, Chris replied.

Seriously Chris? This is your plan?

From there the story spiralled and spiralled until eventually the guy just drove away. He wasn’t going to do anything to us with the security guards watching. He didn’t want to get popped, too.

We just waited in the car for another 20 minutes under the protection of the BP Service Station security angels. Eventually we plucked up the courage and drove home slowly while no one said a word.

We’ll never know what the guy’s true intention was and I’m glad we never found out.

We arrived back at my house just before 6 a.m.; the sun was rising and my mom made us the most killer bacon and egg breakfast that we had ever eaten.

Oops, did I say killer


Author: Peter Fox

Editor: Andrea Zanin

Peter Fox is married to the amazingly beautiful Lindsay and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with his wife and daughters, Paige and Tayla. He misses all of his expat friends.

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash


    1. Fun to reminisce, it was a crazy night . I mentioned the story to my mom the other day and she almost died on the spot!

      I also never mentioned that even we got home Egg showed me about 20 signs that she hid in my mom’s front yard behind a Bush, he been collecting for months . Not sure if u were involved in establishing that collection.

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