Sunday, May 25, 2003

JB Rivers, Hyde Park

Sunday, May 25, 2003

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

I've just dropped Darryl off at her parents. They're all going through to visit a cousin of hers who lost a husband to kidney failure last week out of the blue. I've been at her place most of the evening after she and I decided to go to an art exhibition. "Wait," says her mom. "Come in. Have you eaten? Would you like some chicken? An apple?"

"Uh... just an apple, thanks," I say.

"What happened to your hair, Darryl? Have you been driving in an open convertible?" Her mom's pretty observant. I like driving my MX5 in winter with the top down and the heater on full blast. It's very romantic.

There's a wedding photo on the wall. "Who's this babe?" I say, knowing that it's Darryl's mom in her heyday.

"Trevor! Come here! Come listen to what this young man has to say!"

Darryl's dad emerges from a room. Handshakes, greetings, introductions.

"Tell him!" she says. Darryl's standing there shaking her head gently.

"I said," I tell her dad, " 'Who's this babe?' "

"I had good taste," he says.

So now I'm in Hyde Park. Still sex-starved, cos as romantic as my car is with the top down and the heater snarling its dragon breath all across my and Darryl's bodies, somehow sex just didn't raise its lovely head today. Sigh.

But heck. Hyde Park is an antidote to that. It's sex city tonight. Babes extraordinaire all over. Two in particular. So I whip out the sketchbook and surreptitiously start a slow drawing. I normally crank them out really quickly, but I'm working on technique at the moment, so I'm using very controlled strokes. This means that I'm observing much more intently than usual.

I've just finished eating my usual JB Rivers feast... their Cajun Chicken Salad. Lots of decaff cappuccinos. Excellent. A new waiter though. Keeps mishearing me. But no harm done. He'll still get my customary 20% tip. I believe that waiters deserve to be treated as humans. I get very pissed off with people who bark orders at them and then don't tip.

So now I'm really observing this girl's breasts as I massage the paper with my ink-soaked pen.This sketch took about ten minutes. They normally take about thirty seconds. Note the flowers in the foreground. I drew those as an attempted decoy. I thought she wouldn't notice that I was observing her. Fat chance with my waiter standing behind me pointing. Sheesh. Please note that she's really utterly gorgeous in the flesh. My caricature in this case is pretty darn cruel. Not intentionally. I just can't resist emphasising peoples' features.

Which means that any second now I'm going to be bust. Cos the waiter is standing behind me peering all around the restaurant to see who my model is. "Who are you painting?" he says. I cock my head in the general direction of the blonde babe with the sumptuous breasts and the rather prominent nose. He points right at her. "That one?" he says. Everyone at her table looks up. They look at me.

I want to throttle this waiter. Or jab my trusty Maped Ruling Pen in his crotch, like I did to Janine's Matthew in Kaapschehoop. "Yeah, her," I say.

An envoy from her table comes up to me. There are three boys, three girls. All three girls are just totally luscious. The three boys are biceptuals... they spend a lot of time in gym getting slinky so girls like these will go for them. Clearly a very good strategy. Which is why I've been going to gym quite a lot recently.

"Hi," says Greg. "Do you mind if I see your drawing?"

I show him. "Is that Linda???" He laughs. Beckons.

Linda gets up. Comes over.

"Oh my god!" she shrieks. "I look like a witch!!! Oh no! Is my nose THAT bad?"

"Please don't beat me up!" I say.

A lightning-quick impression of Linda. This one captures a bit more of her beauty. But of course, it doesn't look anything like her. This one took about ten seconds to fling onto the page.A bit of small talk. They look through my sketchbook. Smiles all round. They head back for their table. I sneak a super-quick sketch of her. And she catches me again. Immediately back to my table.

"Who's this?" she says.

"Uh," I say, "it's your friend." She buys the story.

"Oh, good. Thank god. Ilana," she calls, "he's drawn you too!" A pause as she flicks through the book again. "You've got a thing for hooked noses, hey?" Back to the table.

I hear one of the guys say, "Hahahaha! Ask him where her broom is!"

Then I turn my attention to Ilana. If this is possible, she's even more desirable than Linda. And I've been studying her panties peeking out from above her jeans. A dark, rich brown. Velvet. Love. Lust. Renewal. Ilana. Definite dream material. I'd LOVE to get her to model naked for me. Serene face. Very interesting bones. A fifteen second sketch.But trying to steal these drawings unobserved is impossible right now. Six waiters are standing behind me watching. And the babe-table is completely aware.

Another super-quick sketch.

Ilana comes up to my table. Yeowch. She's breathtaking. She looks at my drawing of her.

"Can't you draw women so they look MORE beautiful than in real life?" she says.

I have to improvise here. So I say, "You're both WAY too beautiful to capture in an artwork."

Greg says, "Is THAT how you get away with it? You use that line?"

"Yeah," I say, "but I normally get beaten up by boyfriends who can't stand to see their girlfriends humiliated. Did I get away with it this time?"

Both Ilana and Linda say emphatically, in unison, "Yes, you get away with it this time."

Erich Viedge's Home, Greenside

Sunday, May 25, 2003

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

Erich has invited 40 of his closest friends to breakfast at his place. Most of us arrive around 35 minutes later than the stipulated 9:30am.

Now one of the things about Erich is that he knows some seriously attractive women. And luckily, he's about to get married, so it's okay to flirt with as many of them as I want to.

By 'okay', I mean, okay by me. In other words, I'm not treading on his turf. Except when I flirt with Janet, his fiancée. But I do that in front of him, and he knows my errant ways. And he knows I'd never try and shag her. Cos I'm not into relationship-busting.

But when I say 'okay', I have no idea whether or not I'm coming across to the hordes of babes as some kind of sex-starved drooler. Hmmm. Actually, I've thought about this statement for about a quarter of a second, and I withdraw it. I have a pretty good idea that I do INDEED come across as a sex-starved drooler. Which is pretty darn accurate now that Heidi in Somerset West is off the scene. Praise be to Jah.

So anyway. Jacqui is emminently flirtable-with. So's Darryl (as in Darryl Hannah). So's Claire. And countless of the others, whose names I don't recall, and who are married or attached anyway.

I spend my morning walking from cluster to cluster with Roger von Oech's CREATIVE WHACK PACK in my hand, offering people the opportunity to pick a card to solve a problem they're facing.

"Oooh, no," says one of the delectables, clutching her chocolate croissant as if it were garlic warding off a vampire. "I don't really like tarot cards." She pronounces it as 'tah-rot'. I correct her...

"That's 'tah-row'," I say, "but these aren't them. These are just idea jolters. Try one. They're not evil."

So she draws a card. It's number 45... DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH IDEAS. It advises her to "let go of a previously cherished idea. Be free to look for new ones. What part of the idea are you in love with? Kiss it goodbye!"

"Oh!" she says. "This is so cool! Can I try another one?"

Crystal walks down the driveway. Her shoulders are all hunched, and she's pretty dazed. "What's wrong?" says Erich. He's wearing some kind of North- or West-African sarong. When he springs up, his tackle shows briefly, and he rearranges it quickly.

"They've stolen both of my back wheels!" says Crystal.

Her car is parked just behind mine in the street outside. Unbelievable. Broad daylight. Back half of the car on bricks. These dudes are experts. Sheesh.

Always one for a pun at someone else's expense, I can't help myself. "Hey Crystal," I say, "you a wheeler dealer?"

Jacqui groans, and covers her head with both hands. Four of us are sitting on a blanket out in the winter sun in Erich's garden. She's lying just out of reach. Not that I'd try and reach her, you understand. Cos that would blow any chance I might be under the illusion I have with her. But I think the pun blows things worse than any invasion of body space might.

And then I clinch it.

"So, Crystal," I say, plowing in where angels fear to tremble, "are you feeling... TIRED?"

Jacqui sighs extravagantly and starts talking to Darryl. And I start having fantasies of them being lesbian lovers on my futon. And I sigh extravagantly.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Stones, Cresta

Friday, May 23, 2003

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

Aryan Kaganof, Dick Tuinder, and I, are here to play some pool. It's Friday night, and kiddies' curfew hasn't yet kicked in. So Stones is filled with an abundance of cross-cultural under-age babeflesh. Most of which seems to be attached to gorilla boys, most of whom are going to strike it a hell of a lot luckier than I will tonight.

Tables are all booked. But there's one that's being dominated by two succulent honeys. The one, the dark one with the sun tattoo between her shoulder blades, the one with delicious, broadish hips and a tiny waist, is dream material for me.

I kinda wish she were older, cos then I'd consider working my way round to proposing marriage.

Instead of marriage, I propose that Dick and I challenge them for the table. The blonde one points at the pile of coins on the edge of the table. "Everyone wants to challenge us," she says, a smug smile on her face.

"Beauty will do that," I say. It just slips out. I had no control over the statement, and I expected retribution and further smirking from them.

Instead, a pause. "Okay," says the blonde one. "You're on. We'll call you just now." A shared look between the two of them.

I dunno. I certainly TRY to be a charmer. And I often succeed. But I really don't understand how it works. Surely a statement like, "Beauty will do that," MUST be regarded as Hick-honcho dorkiness incarnate? Surely?? I mean, heck, it's not as if these two honeys have run short in the looks department. They must have creepoids pawing them constantly. So surely originality has to enter the equation. I dunno.

In the interim, Kaganof has engaged the attention of a tall strawberry blonde in a pencil skirt. She's trying to get him to dance. But he doesn't do that sort of thing. So she eyes me from the dance floor, and beckons me to join. This is a babe I spotted as I came in, and she and I had done a bit of eye-contact swapping.

I join her. "I didn't catch your name," she shouts into my ear.

"Roy," I shout back. "You?"


Her name is Catherine. "Cat for short," she says. I make a clawing cat motion with my hands, hissing as I do. "No!" she says, and throws back her head and laughs. "More like a kitten!" And she purrs, and tucks her hands up under her chin as if she's sleeping. I think this might be love. She's got that perfect cello shaped body. Curvy all the way. And such a pretty face.

We chat a bit off the dance floor. She's about to study graphic design at Damelin, so she can join an ad agency. "But that's not my dream," she says. I spur her to reveal more. "I want to be a pilot." That's so cool. A friend of mine is a pilot. Leigh. Has his own microlight plane. He's pretty impressive. "But right now I'm just a receptionist." And she shrugs, and her face looks all defeated. And all I wanna do is take her home and give her a big boost of self-esteem.

I show her my sketchbook, and she sits looking at it, enjoyment all over her. It's so gratifying having one's art appreciated. Thanks, Cat.

Her friend has been hovering around, looking all svelte and breasty. Her name's Cindy, and she wears a hat, despite the Stones 'No Headgear' policy. "I was in a car accident," she explains, and pulls the hat off very quickly. Her face took a bit of glass. Now she wears the hat to hide what she thinks is her hideousness from the world.

"Do you really think you're hideous?" I say. "Cos you're serious babe material."

"Well," she says, "before the prang I was seriously pursuing the supermodel route." And sure, this chick is model material. Blonde hair. Incredible tits. (I know they're incredible, cos they're pretty much in plain view.) Very slim.

Aryan kicks in at this point. "My camera is in for a service right now, but gimme your number and I'll call you in three weeks, and I'll make you a video portfolio."

Aryan happens to be one of Europe's most prominent filmmakers. He's the first filmmaker to have made a feature film using digital video. It's called WASTED, a drug movie that made it huge in Holland and the rest of the world. About twelve South Africans have seen it.

"But," says Aryan, "I have some conditions. I film you without makeup, with your scars in plain view. I want to show you, on video, how beautiful you are." She flaps her hands. "Wait," he says, "sure, we can do a version with all your makeup and stuff. But a no-makeup version too. Okay?"

She writes her numbers in his artist's notebook. And he'll call her in exactly three weeks.

Cat's finished looking at my book. "I'm also an artist," she says. "I do oil paintings."

Dick says, "Hey! You should carry them around with you, like we do." He mimes putting huge framed paintings under his arm. "That way you can attract the attention of nice boys."

"Let's go," Aryan says to Dick and me. We're off to play pool in Fourways, near Tovey's. The babes I tried to get a game from earlier have some younger and better suitors, ones with better lines. And Cindy and Cat are ready to go home, not party some more. Sigh. These young people are just not made the way they used to be.

But I've got to try this line on Cat, cos between Cat and Cindy, I would LOVE to make love with Cat. She's just totally sumptuous. Not that Cindy isn't. It's just that Cindy is way too thin for me. Forty-nine kilograms! And she thinks she's overweight! Tells me her ideal weight is forty-three! Jesus. I can bench press two of her.

So I say to Cat, winking extravagantly, as if I were being ironic, and demonstrating said irony, "Hey Cat, since we're both artists, how about you coming round to my place and modeling for me? And if you like, you don't even have to take your clothes off at first."

"At first?" she says, and she's smiling. And oh god, I wish pickup lines worked. Cos she's kinda almost vaguely contemplating the idea of modeling for me with her clothes on.

But it's okay. The line hasn't worked. And I know that lines don't work. So it's time to go shoot some pool somewhere. But just in case, I hand Cat and Cindy my 'Coffee-Shop Schmuck' business card, and get more laughs. Cat comes up close to me, and purrs in my ear, "How do you pronounce this? Is it 'Sh-muck'? That's so funny!!!" Please phone me, I think, as I'm walking to my car. Prove me wrong.

Times Square Cafe, Yeoville

Friday, May 23, 2003

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

I'm in one of my old haunts from back in the old days. The glory days. The days of being an earnest poet who was gonna change the world. Times Square Cafe in Yeoville. Back in those days I used to write a lot of performance poetry here.

Tonight, I'm watching South Africa's most famous unknown filmmaker -- Aryan Kaganof -- playing speed chess against a local maestro. His ass is getting whipped, even though he's a viciously hot player away from the pressure of the clock.

Eric Miyeni is the reason we're here. I bumped into him earlier in Melville, at Spiro's, where he was playing chess against someone. I sat down to play him.

"Hey," he says to me, in that performance poet, radio talkshow-host, agitator voice, the sneering one, "what colour you wanna play?"

"Jesus, Eric, does EVERYTHING have to be about race?" I say.

He has the grace to laugh. We've known each other since before he got famous. We shared poetry microphones years ago in the Black Sun in Yeoville. We even shared positions in an ad agency a while back, both working as copywriters. He became the creative director there, and I quit advertising for film.

I end up playing black, him white, and we start our mighty race war. I hold out for twenty minutes, by which time Aryan Kaganof and his Dutch filmmaker/artist/maverick buddy, Dick Tuinder are looking over my shoulder clucking at my crap moves.

"Check mate," says Eric. I shake his hand. "Play again," he says.

Aryan introduces me to Dick while we're setting up the board. "The reason you guys need to meet is cos I think you're very similar." Dick also shaves his head. He's also a multi-faceted artist, working in all sorts of media. Also carries a sketchbook with him wherever he goes. Also tries to shag anything that moves. Also makes movies.

Eric and I finish setting up the board. Then, THWACK. He goddamn mates me in four moves.

"Kaganof," he says, "come to Yeoville and play some speed chess."

So we do. We go in Aryan's car, cos I don't want to risk having mine hijacked out from under me.

Yeoville is humming. It's bloody awesome. A real buzz of enjoyment in Times Square Cafe. Exclusively black faces. And no women. Not one. Not even a waitress. Sheesh. This is wrong, man.

Kaganof sits down to play speed chess. He's wearing an old army jacket with someone's name tag still sewn over the pocket. The previous wearer's name was LOVE. Yup. The irony has escaped noone.

Speed chess. Pretty much the same rules as normal chess, except that you don't say "Check" when you threaten your opponent's king. It's his job to notice that sorta thing. If he moves another piece instead of moving out of check, it's game over. He loses. And it's frenetic. Hands whir as they move pieces and slap the clock. Each is allocated five minutes. If your flag falls before your opponent's, it's game over.

Kaganof is impressive. But the jovial dude in the winner's chair is even more so, and he wins Aryan's massive stake of two rand. And we've watched him beat everyone so far. This guy's loaded, man. He must have won at least thirty rand tonight!

Eventually a woman arrives. Greets Eric Miyeni as if she knows him. But basically everyone knows him. He hugs her as if he knows her. She smiles. Spreads perfume around the joint, and all the guys look at her. Ample hips. Serious afritude. But this joint's not cooking for her. So she leaves. Eric shrugs.

I order a half portion of the lamb shwarma. I'm nervous. No. Not nervous. Petrified. You know... Yeoville isn't all that far from Hillbrow. And who KNOWS what kind of hygienic standards this establishment holds itself to.

The food comes. Attractively presented. A huge portion. Elsewhere, this would have been regarded as the full portion. I make sure, "Hola bra," I say, using my ingratiating whitey persona, the one that greets black people in township lingo so they'll know I'm a brudda, and not some Apartheid-supporting whitey. "You sure this is the half portion?" And I make that 'Hola sevens!' sign, where each hand looks like a pointing gun, with a twist of the wrists so that the fingers end up pointing at the floor.

"Yebo, gazlam," he says, and laughs.

I feel good. I'm a diplomat for whiteys all over South Africa.

I eat the food. As good as anything I've had anywhere. And no signs of food poisoning. Excellent.

Dick Tuinder gets his turn at the speed chess. Gets whipped.

I don't even bother to put my two bucks down. If Eric Miyeni could slaughter me in four in Melville, I think the humiliation here in Yeoville would just not cut it for me.

"Hey," says Aryan, "let's go to Stones and shoot some pool."

"Stones in Cresta," I say. "Cos then if I manage to hook up with a babe, it's a very short trip back to my place."

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Carluccio's Ristorante, Village Walk, Sandton

Saturday, May 03, 2003

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

I've just watched MOONLIGHT MILE starring Susan Sarandon and Dustin Hoffman. And the dude, I think, from DONNY DARKO. It's an exquisite, offbeat movie. And it's only showing at Village Walk Nu Metro. I give it a solid 8 out of 10 on the Roy-o-Meter.

And I'm so inspired that I'm sitting at Carluccio's, surrounded by Sandton money-babes, the type who only date guys in BMW 330i and up cars, the type who look at me and think, "Mr Price T-shirt", and I've got my palmtop open on the table with a pot of tea and a terrifyingly hideous smear of Cherry Cheescake which tastes like shaving foam, and I'm working on HOME, my feature screenplay. (This is not the same one I'm co-writing with Damon. That's a horror. This one's quirky and weird and dark and personal. In other words, mine's unsaleable.)

It's going really well. By the end of the evening, I'll send this SMS to my three movie-writing buddies, the ones who are going to make it with me to driving stretch limousines in Benoni, namely, Janet van Eeden-Harrison, Damon Berry, Eran Tahor: "I've just written the final scene of HOME!!! Of course, I've skipped a few other scenes in my rush to get here, so I've still got another twenty pages to write. But I'm essentially finished with my first draft! Yay!!!!"

You'll notice that it's a damn long SMS. That's cos I've got a Nokia 6310i, which laces up to three SMSs together to form one long one. Aside from that, the damn thing's useless. It does NOT communicate with my Psion 5MX palmtop very well at all. I'm most unchuffed with it. But it's okay. Cos I immediately get congratulations messages streaming in from my three buddies. And it's just before midnight. And the babes aren't going home. Not with me, anyway.

Espresso, Parktown North

Saturday, May 03, 2003

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

Damon and I are meeting for our regular Saturday lunchtime movie meeting. He and I are co-writing a wonderful B-Movie Horror flick I'm not at liberty to discuss. We're also in discussions with SABC3 to produce a tv commercial that I wrote. I'll be producing, he'll be directing.

It's our way of breaking into the commercial side of filmmaking. See, it's all wonderful and great making short movies and contributing to audio-visual art in this country. But in five years, both Damon and I want to be household names to cinema-going audiences all round the world. And that involves making movies for money. And the best movies to make for money are commercials.

Commercials are excellent things, cos they require fanatical attention to detail, comparatively high budgets, and world-class crews. They're miniature movies that take almost MORE care and attention than full length features.

I've pitched the idea to our marketing whizz. And she's given it an enthusiastic yes. The spot I've written and storyboarded fits in with the new brand image campaign that Hunt Lascaris has created (award winning stuff, in my opinion), and it's really quite funny. She has in turn pitched it to our General Manager, and he's asked me to pitch it to him. Which I did yesterday. And he said a cautious yes. It's cautious cos the SABC is slashing budgets in a bid to become commercially realistic, and there is consequently very little money for things like ad hoc television commercials costing huge amounts of money.

But they're going to find money from various budgets, and we'll see what happens. I'm very happy to be a contractor there, cos that gives me the freedom to do this sort of thing. Thanks SABC3. You're giving me lots and lots of presents.

"Ouch!!!" says Damon.

I follow his eyeline. There is a girl dressed in tight, tight, tight black jeans leaning over the table next to me. And the light is shining through the gap in her crotch. And the cloth is a perfectly sculpted replica of something I'd like to reach out and touch.