This way please. Mind the razor wire.
Maybe you've heard that organizationally, things here are a little bit loosey-goosey.
For instance, on our way into the opener in Soccer City, security staff were passing everyone through a metal detector, but pushing our bags across a plain table sitting alongside, unchecked. Reassuring.
I'm not trying to pick on anyone - and I've gotten enough email over the years to understand that no one wants to hear a guy with an all-expenses paid pass to the greatest thing going moan about his lot in life - but let me offer this up as a (hopefully) amusing anecdote.
Last night, we had a plan to get out of Rustenberg. It's a small town, and getting in and out was a mess. The Globe's Stephen Brunt took five hours to get in. Later, La Presse's Jean-Francois Begin took five hours to get out. We - myself, Morris Dalla Costa of the Sun papers and George Johnson of the Canwest chain - were hoping to avoid that nonsense.
Our amazing hosts here, Gareth and Megan, arranged for a driver. Our guy - a remarkable gentleman named Fana - picked us up in Jo'burg and got us in on the backroads, skipping all the traffic.
Our post-game plan was to flee immediately at the final whistle and write in the car. But the media exit was blocked by a surly little guy (the first surly anything I've met here) so we were forced to go out with the well-lubricated herd.
After being denied entry to where we were allowed to go, we were permitted to waltz into the FIFA dignitary zone, where we were most certainly not allowed to go. It was unlit, and we promptly got lost in a maze of temporary tenting and fencing.
We emerged into a parking lot, where a dancing young woman ran up to us wearing a steward's outfit.
"Do you want the road or the path?" she asked.
"Then you have to take the path."
Okay, where's the path?
"There," she pointed, to what looked in the murky distance like a driveway. By this point, a British journo had joined us. He started rushing up the driveway.
"No, no, no," she called out. "The path."
We realized she was pointing to a small crack between a brick wall and an imposing looking fence. The space was about three-feet wide and overgrown with weeds. The fence was interlaced from top-to-bottom with razor wire. It was black as pitch in there.
"Oh, love, you have got to be f------ kidding me!" the British guy groaned.
The tunnel - because that's what it was - snaked around for a while. Bounded by the wall and the razor wire, it looked like something off the set of Schindler's List.
Finally, as we edged with our backs against the wall, we spotted the proverbial light. I began to jog toward it.
And then a cry from behind - "We've got a problem here," the British guy yelled out.
Turns out that poor Morris has gotten a stray piece of razor wire - because why would you pick up after yourself? - looped around his leg. He said at first, in the dark, he thought he'd snagged himself on a burr. When he reached down - tentatively, thank God - he realized his mistake.
Morris being the manliest member of the Canadian press corps, he simply took hold of the lethal stuff, unwound it and limped forward.
"My God, are you okay?" I said, horrified. "Are you cut?"
"No problem," Morris said. "I'll check it later."
He did. He also chewed up a steel girder and spit out bullets.
So now Morris is limping, but he's still got George and I moving at a brisk trot. An uncomfortable moment however you frame it, but a funny story since no one was really hurt.
A couple of minutes later, I caught sight of a guy in a full, period George Washington costume swaying at the roadside, relieving himself into the bushes while hundreds strolled by him. I interrupted his not-quite private moment to take a pic with my phone (see above) The wig was an especially nice touch. Gotta love this thing.