Monday, October 14, 2002

The Adventure Zone, Norwood

Monday, October 14, 2002

Service: * * * *
Food: * * * *1/2
Ambience: *
Babe Count: * *1/2

I don't know why I haven't mentioned this place before. It's where the backgammon club meets every Monday night, mostly because it's owned by Cliff, an authentic good oke, and a serious backgammon player. He could play me blindfolded and still unerringly rip my lungs out.

I apologise for the warfare that seems to be entering my speech lately. It's just that I saw something this morning that I don't really relish having seen. Yup... a program coming to SABC3 soon.

Hans is cutting promos for something called FIGHT CLUB INTERNATIONAL. It's authentic cage fighting, and we'll be screening it 10:30pm on Friday nights for a while. And it's deeply disturbing on many fronts.

Firstly, these guys realllllly hurt each other. Badly. They're trained fighters, some of them killers. Here's how it seems to work. Two guys get in the cage with a referee. Two rules: no eye gouging, no mouth hooking (in other words, you're not allowed to try to puncture the other dude's cheeks with your hands). Everything else goes. The fight ends in one of three ways: either you give up, the ref stops the fight, or you go out for the count.

Secondly, this stuff normalises vicious fighting. I'm sure that there'll be kids watching this program for tips. And they'll take them to the playgrounds. And because it's "as seen on television", it has a kinda legitimacy to it.

Thirdly, as repelled by it as I am, it appeals to a primitive killer instinct I know I have. My dad taught me how to look after myself as a kid, and I specialised in beating up bullies in primary school. Which was thrilling. But I don't really want to be like my dad, and watching stuff like this puts me there. And I don't like the fact that I saw this dude having his face pounded to mince until the ref stopped the fight. And watched the slow-motion replay. And asked Hans to rewind it so I could be sure of what I was seeing. I don't like the idea that when my busy period eases off, I'll probably surreptitiously borrow the tape and watch it quietly in my viewing room at work. In surround sound.

But back to backgammon and The Adventure Zone.

I'll say this.

Wendy... you're a superb player. (She's just beaten me 7--0. Which is even better than Tuesday night's drubbing. She took me out 7--1 at her place. And then broke my kneecaps at Scrabble. And we didn't even get to kiss properly.)

And Cliff. Anything I've said about other establishments having the best chicken salad in the world is gross exaggeration. This is it... The Adventure Zone -- a kiddies concept-playground on top of the Norwood Hyper, a place parents can bring their kids while they shop -- prepares the ultimate chicken salad. It rates as the best I've had. And I've had it several times now. 10 out of 10 to Vincent, the chef, and Andrew, the waiter/kitchen assistant. You guys rock!

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