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by Sean Houghton in November 2012 - Clark's Lore

I wonder what he’s really like in real life?” is the question asked most often when discussing Clark’s Lore, the monthly column written by Cape Town family man, Maritime Lawyer and whisky connoisseur, Grant Clark.

This month Grant pens his 50th article detailing the hilarious antics and observations of his family and life in general. Comedic essayists are among the most perspicacious writers in the world, as they are only as funny as their insightful observations and the manner in which they present them, being recognised by and mutually meaningful to their readers.

Grant has achieved this so successfully that Clark’s Lore is one of Full Circle’s most eagerly anticipated articles amongst our readers.

So by way of celebrating his 50th column, Full Circle thought they would turn the tables on Grant and speak to ‘TLJ’, the Moose, Mackers and Sizzles to find out who Grant really is.

Full Circle Magazine: First, for the uninitiated, could you explain the names Grant uses for you in his articles and does he really use them at home?

TLJ: “Yes, he does use these names at home. Moose is Lucy (5), and the name came from being called Luce the Moose. Mackers is Jesse (4), because her hair and temperament reminded us of John McEnroe. And Sizzles is Emma, named after a sausage dog in the children’s programme Charlie and Lola. And ‘TLJ’ stands for The Lovely Jacs, which is what Grant calls me.”

FCM: How did you and Grant meet and what was your first impression of him?

TLJ: “We first met when I was 17 in Matric and went on a school camp where Grant, who was 22, was a youth leader and speaker.”

FCM: Grant sometimes mentions your father in his articles. What was your father’s initial reaction to Grant?

TLJ: (laughing) “My father was not at all pleased I had met a guy five years older than me. He read us the riot act!”

FCM: How did Grant propose to you?

TLJ: “We went out for five years before Grant proposed. We were having dinner at a friend’s house and Grant disappeared to help with the food. Next thing he reappeared in an Elvis outfit (he is a huge Elvis fan) with two of his
friends, also dressed up and playing guitars, and sang Can’t Help Falling in Love! It was a huge surprise and of course I said yes.”

Read about Grant’s take on his proposal in the March 2010 issue of Full Circle.

FCM: How did Grant, a Maritime Lawyer, get into comedic writing?

TLJ: “We lived in Japan for two years and Grant used to write emails to family and friends letting them know how we were and what we were doing. Everyone loved the mails and thought they were very funny and his writing grew from there.”

FCM: Okay, the big question. How true-to-life are Grant’s articles?

TLJ: “Everything he writes about is true and accurate. He really calls us those names and all the incidents he writes about really happened. He gives me every article to check and see if what he has written is alright. He is (still) scared of my Father, (laughs) so is especially careful of what he says about my Dad!”

FCM: Does he portray himself accurately?

TLJ: “Yes, he does. Grant is always funny and good humoured. It’s not made up for the articles. He is self-deprecating and would rather poke fun at himself than someone else.”

FCM: What do you and your family think about Grant’s articles in Full Circle?

TLJ: “Our friends tease us and ask us if we know what Grant is writing about us. Lucy’s friends and teachers often refer to them, especially the ones about school and school events!”

FCM: Grant came second on the second season of Survivor: South Africa. Tell us about that?

TLJ: “Grant always wanted to be on Survivor from the time he saw the first American season. He applied for the first South African season but didn’t make it.

When he applied for the second season, our first baby was five months old but he didn’t really think he’d make it so went with the attitude of seeing how far he would get. He was put on the standby list and one day they called him and said he must fly to Johannesburg immediately. I knew how much he wanted to go so was happy to let him go for five weeks.”

FCM: And what were his feelings afterwards and about coming second?

TLJ: “It was amazing for Grant. It was a lifechanging dream come true for him. It was an opportunity for him to test himself on a level he never had before and most people never get to experience.

The separation for us was by far the hardest part but it was good for us in that it enhanced and reinforced our feelings for and commitment to each other.

It also proved to Grant that he was a very capable and strategic thinker and could get on with a diverse group of strangers. He took a lot out of it and has no regrets at all!”

FCM: What is Grant’s best quality?

TLJ: (without hesitation) “Kindness. Grant is the most incredibly kind, warm-hearted and giving man.”

FCM: And what’s his most irritating quality?

TLJ: “He’s very good at irritating people back! He says it’s a skill of his!”

FCM to Lucy: What’s the best thing about Dad?

Lucy: “He’s kind. And he’s funny. Specially at church. He makes all the children laugh when he talks to the big children.”

Grant and Jacquie are leaders in the Children’s Ministry at the Common Ground Church.

FCM to Lucy: What makes Dad so handsome? (Hoping she will pick up on one of Grant’s selfdeprecating

Lucy: “Because he’s so loving!”

FCM to Lucy: What work does Daddy do?

Lucy: “Gets food for us!”

FCM to Lucy: What are the most fun things you do with Dad?

Lucy: “We go to movies. And he showed me how to ride my bike without fairy wheels! And we go surfing!”

Grant’s mother is a champion bodyboarder.

FCM to Grant’s Father-in-law, Adie Horak: What is the best advice you’ve ever given Grant?

Adie: 1. Don’t write about me in your articles.
         2. Don’t ever forget your wife’s birthday.
         3. Stop sleeping with my daughter – I have enough grandchildren!

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