Sunday, April 20, 2003

The Green Venus, Kaapschehoop

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Service: * * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * * * *

Bloody hell. Back when I was twenty-nine or so, I did the Blyde River Canyon hike for the fourth time. Sure, there was a bit of pain and all that, but it wasn't the worst thing I'd ever done in my life. Now that I'm all of thirty-five, I think I have to admit that I'm not a frisky young being anymore.

Which is all my way of excusing the fact that instead of hiking 15.4km today, Damon, Wendy, Troy, Joy, and I took the short cut along the road, and went to fetch Troy's green Landrover Defender (it's got one of those snorkel devices up the side, so you can drive into lakes that are 1.8 metres deep). We then drove that to the last hut, the one in Kaapschehoop. And we decided not to eat camp food. So we're out on the town.

And it's a slightly rundown town tonight. Cos yesterday there was an all night music festival, and everybody is totally hung over. It's so bad that the pool players in The Green Venus are playing with no balls on the tables. The smacks were too loud, so they're miming.

The good news is that Janine Groenewald, the star of Damon's first movie, ENGAGE, has driven from Nelspruit to be with us. And I can reveal here, now, that my gut tells me she and I have some journeying to do. I'm smitten. Not only is she beautiful and gorgeous and vivacious with a sense of humour and intelligence, but she's an actress. So she understands the casting couch. And I'm a producer.

Which reminds me of my favourite movie joke. Stop me if you've heard me tell it before...

A producer and a director are walking along the beach at Cannes during the film festival. The director tugs on the producer's arm and says, "Hey, look at all those naked women on the beach! Let's go down and f*ck them!!!" And the producer, wild eyed and fervent, says, "F*ck them out of what???"

Unfortunately, Janine has brought along her special friend, Matthew. I say unfortunately, when I actually mean, "unfortunately for HIM". Cos soon, the hikers who are still awake at midnight on a Sunday in the middle of nowhere after a hard day's trek to fetch the car, those hikers being me and Damon, are somewhat manic. And I'm being spurred on by testosterone generated by exposure to Janine.

So, one thing leads to another, and Damon and I pretend to be filmmakers, and she pretends to be an actress, and Matthew pretends to be an innocent bystander who's never encountered such lunatics ever, and never will again. And of course, the sex scene starts being enacted. In the restaurant. With me rolling a fake camera. And Damon yelling direction.

And of course, like any self-respecting artist, I've got the tools of my trade with me. I never leave home without a sketchbook, a bottle of ink, and my trusty Maped Ruling Pen. The pen resembles a gynaecological excavation device, with two incredibly sharp, strong, metallic points held together by a little spring steel caliper. With this pen, it's possible to circumcise somebody if you should happen to slip and stab them in the groin.

I'm not pointing any fingers at Damon here. He IS a director, and as such, he must be afforded the ultimate respect. Suffice to say that he's demanding a less-controlled performance from young Matthew. "Loosen up, Matthew!" screams Damon while Janine is mounting Matthew's leg, her skirt falling open for the camera, revealing the most delicious white panties I've ever seen up close and personal in a small, Lowveld town. Matthew's being open-mouth kissed, and he's sitting there unable to find anything to do with his hands. Damon shouts, "CUT!!!"

He leans in towards Matthew. "Listen," he says, earnest, ready to pull director tricks out of his bag, "I need you to really feel the part." He points at Janine's crotch. "That part."

At which point, I get a great idea, no doubt spurred on by the word, "Cut!" so cavalierly used by Damon. I figure I'll help Matthew to loosen up. So I grab my trusty Maped Ruling Pen, the one with the twin points made of spring steel, and I jab the thing right between the poor fellow's legs, piercing his jeans clear through to the chair. I remove my hand, and the pen stays there quivering like Excalibur. "Now he's loose," I say.

Damon snaps his finger under the guy's nose. The bloke has turned extremely white. And he's not breathing. Finally, Matthew says, "Uh... that was a lot closer than you might have thought." And that's the last thing he says all night.

Oh... I have to recommend the pizzas. They're brilliant.

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