Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Bad Ass Party


It was the age of clubbing and house parties somewhere between 1993 - 1995. Neighborhoods competing on having the best house parties. Somehow I think it was Garlendale against Fairways with us kicking ass along with the party houses of the Ordensons and cousins Terrence and Grant.

My brother and I had to throw down a big one for the ages. It was so important we must of rescheduled the date twice. It had to be perfect. You only 15 & 16 once right and you have to have your priorities straight. Working in the family liquer store was just perfect timing I could get anything I wanted and on credit. So what was the strategy? Well the only way to get coloureds to a party is tell them there is free food and drinks so thats the mission. Mom taught me all that was needed in hospitality so I learnt from the best and we went along making this EPIC.

I really dont know where to start so just gonna subtitle & wing it.

Party Animals:
I went to 3 schools in the area and made lots of connections. All three schools were invited and the word spread. No damn Twitter or Facebook bullshit this was actually people speaking to each other!! We were hanging with the Poison crew at this time which is another blog altogether. Just imagine that crazy crew at school that was so wild people were afraid to invite them to their parties. That was us! Untamed group of alcoholics driving around in a red 3L Ford van with POISON written on the front. Just a few guys and girls that did not find any religion.

There was no way to spend money on the good stuff. So I bought 12 bottles of brandy costing $1.30 each. It tasted like pure jet fuel which was just perfect. I think maybe four 5L boxes of wine for the masses that tasted like cold piss. I bought some cases of 750ml beers but don't ask me how much. Excuse my memory its just full of slush.....The garage was our bar and we set up a tag team of barman to handle the drinks. All free of course.

Actual Brandy consumed but 12 of them. Our livers tasted something not meant for human consumption.

Actual 5 liter boxes consumed. Can be used as paint remover as well.

As always mom made sure she made a huge pot of curry with rice to feed the hungry. She called all the girls into the kitchen and explained serving procedures and how to heat up everything and what goes with what.
Because that's what you need when you filled to your throat with alcohol.

Adult Supervision:
Mom also made sure that she went out for the entire evening with all her friends to give us our space and freedom. She was a loving mom and very trusting. This was vital for the shit that was going to go down and we did not need her nagging when the police came.

Dont be ignorant here. Just do what you have to do right. The Poison boys stood at the front door regulating the crowd. Only thing is they let every Dick Tom & Abdultjie into the joint. That was our attempt at theft prevention. Only the lord knows if they were any use and I am sure the scared off a few decent folks.

So we moved all the furniture and pool table from lounge and dining room into the rest of the house. We opened the double doors leading from there into the courtyard. We rigged the lounge, dining room and courtyard with various strobe lights all the way through to the back garden. So we had about 30 meters of dance floor into the yard lit up like a Xmas tree. The courtyard had rooms on the right and an open garage on the left which was the bar. Garden in the back was cleaned and a sexy hammock was hang for the lovers between the trees under the stars. We even place lights on the  concrete arch which led the garden.

Barry was the DJ but I am sure he did not truly understand what was gonna happen  but he was brave and talented and just our guy. As long as he brought his gorgeous sister with him. Anyway we turned my bedroom into the DJ box as it the windows opened onto the courtyard dance floor. It was perfect he saw everyone and he had his private place where no one could get to him. Years later he became a top DJ in the city playing drastic funky sets in the clubs downtown. I like to think he made a good start at our party.

This was an issue. We had the cars parked down our entire street and the flashing lights gave away the party house. Not sure how many times the police came. Will have to ask my bro on that one.

This is where everything goes South. The planning and execution was perfect the drama that followed was the type of shit you could never make up. Yes a movie is to follow I am just talking to Steve O to play me.

There were some fine women around that night and they decide to entertain us by climbing on the roof of the garage and dance looking down on the party. The boys loved the sight and it just showed that alcohol is fearless. Until the roof started to look like it was about to cave in with them falling onto the barmen. I had to get some guys up there to take them down as the booze could not be stopped........Maybe if you took off something we would of kept you up there.

The party is pumping the house is full and things are heating up. So many people and moving around was impossible. Never had so many strangers in our house before. Jerram and I running around keeping the animals in check and control the vibe when these two guys I dont know grab me and ask me to keep their bags safe. Ya cool I take them to a bedroom where the Poison crew is chilling and throw the bag in the cupboard assuring no one will mess with it because we bad ass. At the end of the night these okes come looking for the bag and we cant find it. They start going crazy shouting something about he is the son of the most feared gang leader in the city and his gun was in the bag. He is threatening to call his crew for me unless I find the bag. I see the Poison crew is not in the room and know they went outside. I ran out with these guys and down the street where in the darkness I see a mob of guys wasted out of their tree, trying to walk back from whatever they were doing in the park. We find the gangsters bag on one of the Poison crew. It was one of the youngsters. We grabbed it to find the gun missing. He is so drunk he cant talk and no one knows where it is. Everyone pulls the 5th. This dude is going mental threatening to have us all killed by his father Jackie Lonte who is the leader of the Americans gang. Everyone in the city knows him and how ruthless he is........... well guess my days are numbered. No one came for us that night and weeks later was still watching my back.......   

Then there was a call to arms. A buddy from my other school put the moves on a Poison's girlfriend. All I heard was shouting for the Poison crew to meet in the street. I quickly found out who it was and told him I cant stop these guys and he better make a run for it. Messing with girls can be a dangerous business........ Thank God he listened and flew out of there like a bat out of hell. Because the 20 odd Poison crew was so wasted they didn't know the guy was gone so he got a few minutes head start. The crew ran wildly down the road looking for him all foaming at the mouths. It was a sight to behold this mob running into darkness looking for a good looking smooth talker with long hair. I look at this and could only pray his feet was as good as his pick up lines or he was dead........and back to the party chaos I go. For you info he made it out untouched and ran home non stop.

So the dude that stole famous gun bag made his way into my room which was the DJ box. While passing out on my bed the fokker starts throwing up and sleeps in his own puke. DJ starts bitching he cant work like this and tells me his not paid yet. Ha funny because........... I had no money left and forgot about him. Ok......heres the plan. Make DJ happy or party is dead.......leave puke boy on my mattress and just pull the mattress with this idiot on it all the way out of the house onto the pavement. Grab a hat and make rounds on the dance floor collecting money to pay DJ. I really cant remember from there....... I think he got paid and played to the end.........crisis averted.They DJ rocked it even under to the most trying circumstances.

The universe was clever not to bless my generation with cell phones and cameras the sight would just of been too much to handle.

Heard some screaming in the yard and found 6 people trying to climb on the fancy hammock I set up and all fall on their asses and breaking the damn thing. As they all wasted no one could get up from the lawn so I just left them there. These no gooders did not deserve a hand up.

So mom comes home early hours of the morning and she was well proud of her boys. Pulling up theres a couple kids passed out on the front lawn with puke nearby except for one kid sleeping in style on his own mattress on the pavement. The damn nerve of him. I know!! She found a kid passed out in the bathtub he looked like he was still in primary school though. The kitchen was a disaster with apparently pots, pans and cutlery missing from the kitchen. Furniture was moved all around the house and she could hardly make it to her bedroom. She took one look at my brother Jerram and I and just shook her head. Words were useless and not necessary. We pulled of the greatest party ever and she was proud.

Please forgive the lack of accuracy because I am the last person who remembers anything that went on that night. Maybe Jerram would know but I am not sure he was normal either. You know the party was a huge success when years later people would approach me in the clubs as one of the brothers that threw that party. Tradition needs to be passed on and my kid will have the most digusting party Canada has ever seen by a 15 year old! Yes I said it!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Illegal Aliens

We crept up to the border not knowing how this was going down. It was dark, very dark. The dark you find in the desert is unlike any other as miles around you see no lights only vast expanse of sand swirling the dunes. Up ahead was the most fearsome army on the continent. Renowned for their brutality, torture and nuclear weapons they were indeed an imposing force. Our strategy should be perfect because if caught here in the middle of the desert we would disappear and no one would hear the screams.

I remember being camouflaged in the darkness and had a soldier stand a foot away from me. I could hear and sense his foot next to my head then my heart stopped as he cocked his gun. Where did it all go wrong? I will attempt to explain.

We were on a family adventure for a year in a foreign country. Yep, packed our bags and moved to Namibia. Formerly the South West Africa it was the year of their independence. There were United Nations troops and vehicles all over the country to ensure the transition was smooth. White Range Rovers with the words UNTAG stenciled no the sides were everywhere. It stood for United Nations Transition Assistance Group. Not sure what they did but you had a sense of calm and security. Hardly and normal feeling in Africa.

Actual border crossing.
After a year of living in the Capital, Windhoek and travelling all over the country on holiday it was time to return home to SA. That day mom took us to the police station to have a copy of her passport certified. We then went to board the bus for the 20 hour drive south. At boarding we were stopped by the stewardess saying our mom had to go with us and that her passport copy was not good enough. We were being met by family on Cape Town on arrival while mom finalized all the details before joining us. They warned us the border security might not let us through but apparently "we" were willing to take that chance.

So my brother and I jump on the bus against protest from the staff because we were just as desperate to get home to our family and friends. It was going to be a long drive so we got comfy and had the company of some beautiful stewardesses. Dont know what was wrong with me but they were so attractive I could not concentrate on anything else. What would happen if I grazed their bum with my hand? Damn these teenage hormones is gonna have me arrested on day. Control yourself!!

So Iam sitting next to Mr Friendly who gave me a long story of how I look like his son and he will look after me. All we have to do is follow him when we get off the bus. Okay douche I watch TV 24/7 I know how this ends. Its with my foot up your ass. You could of came with more game but it was like an amateur waving candy to some kids on the corner. I told the man it is okay because my brother and I need no help and we know where we going. Plus I saw you on Police File once.

Before the border we ordered food on board to eat at a restaurant along the way. We got off to eat and waited big time for the food. They said it was coming just now but they lied. Once moving again we could not prepare ourselves for what happened. They gave instruction that everyone is to disembark and present themselves to border control at both borders. Immigration forms were given out and completed. We stopped at the first border which was Namibian and as everyone disembarked the sexy stewardess pulled us aside and said to follow her. (Hhhmm I thought)She then told us they will smuggle us across both borders because they afraid we will be left there. So right at the back of the bus she got us to squeeze under the seats on both sides and threw blankets over us. As the army inspects the bus we need to be concealed. Ya I cant make this shit up.

I could hear the soldiers onboard and was ready to piss my pants but then again I was from Athlone and would of fought my way out. Wrapped under a blanket my breathe was heating up the space I was in. My breathing seemed thunderous as I unsuccessfully tried to slow it like James Bond does. After what seemed an eternity they finally walked off the bus. We heard the passengers board again and we came up for air. As soon as they saw us they all started screaming and telling us to run off the bus to declare ourselves. It was tough getting them to calm down as we had no time for explanations. Eventually we moved 20 meters to the South African border. Once again everyone got off and we hid like poverty stricken refugees under blankets. One border was tough enough but now we were adding to our criminal record which would be a mile long by the end of this night.

This time the soldiers cocked their guns before stomping around onboard. How happy this racist army would be to find two coloured boys trying to smuggle back into this white country. Iam sure we would make the news. "Confused boys smuggling the wrong way" These two boys are the only ones in history actually trying to get into this country while everyone else is running away.

With his steps being more pronounced I slowed my breathing but I could hear my heart pounding so loud - like an abusive husband trying to beat up his wife in the bathroom. I started sweating and worrying. It was even worst because I could not see my brother. We been through all types of ridiculous situations but now it felt he was miles away on the other side of the isle. I would do anything to protect my brother so bring it on.

And in a flash it was over. The bus was making its way to sunny Cape Town and our adventure had come to an end. It was time to wait until Good Hope FM came on the radio to know that you are close to Cape Town. With the mountain in view we got off the bus and kissed the ground with tears in our eyes. It was the most beautiful moment in our lives.

Coming to think of it this is a brilliant story and something I am really proud of. It had everything .....guns, army, border posts, sexy ladies, smuggling and infamy. Now go carry on with your boring lives while I finishing this piece.

Monday, 2 September 2013

You either a Man or a Mouse!

You either a Man or a Mouse! Those powerful words that has corrupted mans sense of pride and boosted our overused ego. There is no grey area, no substitute for bravery, no second chances. Your infinite being all comes down to two words. Man or Mouse. And no you can't be both or can you? What you are about to witness here is nothing less than a lion disguised as a mouse explaining himself and convincing you that the story you are about to hear is justified and reasonable.

I guess its in the Nineties and our twentys are roaring along on a wild liquer infused binge. We woke up in clubs on an almost day basis and the flavour of the month was Club Lenin. In the heart of Athlone I thought it had the best high tech lighting Ive seen. The sound system was spot on and the design was just right. It had all the qualities of a great night club except for a small issue. It was right in the middle of mad Athlone. Although it was opposite a police station it surrounded by many areas controlled by hundreds of different gangs and they all believed Athlone belonged to them. Why would such slicks cats as ourselves consider this club I dont know. I guess we were just greedy for anything exciting and edgy.

So the four of us are partying like the world is ending after the set. We were young stupid and had lots of money so why not. Okay so scene is set and here is what happened. Club is done and time to go home which was only a 30 minute walk away. So its pitch dark walking through the CBD which is completely dead. All businesses closed up and deserted. We decide not to walk through the subway as its a perfect ambush opportunity. Thug life in Athlone was rife and still is. So we go the long way around and over the bridge onto the safe side. We all about safety so watching the shadows and over our shoulders for any movement or threat.

Walking in the middle of the road we reach the beginning of the bridge with the bank on our right and bridge to the left. Its dead quiet and suddenly a chill runs up my spine. Something said turn around. What I saw turned my balls into raisins. I could make out a gang coming toward us. This group of dark figures spread out and covered the entire road, not what you want in the middle of the night in a deserted business district where your screams will not be heard. I thought to myself stay cool and calm and keep walking. This failed when I heard them shout "Daars hulle naaiers!!!" (There are the fuckers) You could see of few of them had bottles in the hands and while they started running toward us they were breaking the bottles on the road spraying glass all over and pointing jaggared edges our way. I didnt even need to think about it. My legs took off like a jet pack burning tar as I flew up the bridge. My boy David was right behind me and we were making distance. Its our life we running for damn dont let me die like this. They would probably catch us but our survival instincts gave us a shot at life. I could feel they were almost in striking distance thinking Ill be stabbed any minute.

In my attempt to escape I realized we were only two running. I turned around and saw my brother and cousin standing still facing these guys. "What the fuck?" I am half way up the bridge and these two hero's are gonna get killed. There was no way I would make it to them before the gang but it was my bro down there. My heart sunk as the attacking group swallowed them as they clashed. It was dark and I couldnt make out the details. I could hear something like screaming. I tried to concentrate but thinking the fight was 20 to 4 with odds on us being dead.

Actual Bridge, Klipfontein Road, Athlone

Through all the screaming down there I heard laughing.  They were laughing at me and David standing on top of the bridge. Turns out we used to party with this group. They took the piss and decided to scare us with a violent onslaught of screaming and smashing bottles. I guess it worked just slightly. Of course I did the right thing and I gave those other two shit for not running. Listen......if you have a fighting chance then take it. Otherwise you cant be messing around in Athlone after dark completed out numbered. It just doesn't make sense.

I might be a mighty mouse but Iam a living one!!!!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Outsider in Gatesville

Most people believe and say they are culturally diverse blending into foreign lands and cultures without being afraid or critical. But then again we have so many liars out there. Being culturally diverse only sounds good because you remember you signed the ethics course at work. Sure you work with a smarty box of cultures but immersing yourself on the grass root level is another story. Embracing the uncomfortable social trends and traditions is only part of it. Being objective and holding your tongue from criticism is far more challenging. Others know when you are faking - you don't ask the right questions or allow for proper responses because your impatience and indifference is the white elephant in the room.

This is true for my previous youthful self when I caught myself mentioning how many black and white friends I had, I knew I was a poser. I am now a glutten to learn as much as I can about those around me. And yes, eat any weird shit they put in front of me too.

Golden Dish, Gatesville, Cape Town
I go back to my wife's first trip to SA. I kinda gave her heads up about what Cape Town is about and how to survive the vacation without running to the Canadian Consulate for protection and helicopter emergency extraction.

My wife is extremely smart and well travelled so I did not have to give her the third degree about home. She knows we don't play with lions and some of us don't live in huts. Like I explained to many others, 90% of South Africans have not seen any wild life as most cannot afford to. There is no watering hole near our house which we can just mozy on down to for a quick sight seeing. You wanna see animals then take out that American Express and lets go. Let me tell you folks, we as Africans cant be ignorant to the fact that many first worlders believe that Africans live in the bush, its the most dangerous place on earth and you will die if you drink the water. When you live on the other side of the world knowing anything about Africa is no where near a priority. Often you see Ads on TV collecting money for starving African kids who are living in filth. Because they are played so often people get desensitized to it and this is what they know of Africa. So the ignorance is understood.

She was in deed well prepared. She had a GPS locator, pepper spray, police and CAA contact numbers and knew which side of Table Mountain the house was on. More importantly she knew we drove on the "wrong" side of the road. While she was professionally debriefed about the worldly surroundings there was nothing to prepare her for my FAMILY. There are some explanations too Taboo to attempt so I decided to throw her in the deep end and experience it first hand. Trust me the story that follows is worth a Trevor Noah skit but that story's for another time.

Golden Dish, Gatesville, Cape Town
The Top Ten must see in Cape Town is easy but generic. I have a different Top Ten which smothers and shocks your body with cultural efficiency. This is number one in the experience. On the far side of Athlone lays a buzzing hub of activity called Gatesville. Smack in the middle is Golden Dish. A Take Aways I called home for the last 30 odd years. Open almost 24 hours they serve fast food to the masses. Walking up to the shop I find my wife's grip nearly cutting of my circulation but I quickly realized why. Hawkers shouting at passerby's, people running over the road frantically no respect for cars, police vans racing with sirens blaring,  taxis hooting for no reason, garbage all over the place, criminal looking freaks that just escaped from prison, beggars following you for money, it was a madness spilled onto the street but just another day in the neighbourhood for us locals. What is more clearer than anything is that she's the only white person for miles around. I guess the shouting and raucous noise from hundreds of coloureds are a defense mechanism to keep all others at bay. I am sure this would be intimidating for many.

Then something happened that reinforced my pride about my people and instantly made me burst out in laughter with tears and all. If this happened in any other situation there would be blood and tears but this was just the equilibrium that was needed. Walking hand in hand we passed one of the hawkers selling his fruit on the pavement. It wasn't a second that we passed him that he said (In Afrikaans) just loud enough for us to hear: "Daar loop OJ" (Translated: There walks OJ). I didn't know if my wife would think of the comment but the brazen lack of filter and ignorance was heart warming to me. I was home.

Oh.... my people know when to turn on the magic just in time..........