Saturday, November 27, 2004

De Sade Party, Club Nile, Northcliff

Saturday, November 27, 2004

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

I'm finally wearing my skirt out. It's one I bought at Truworth's a lifetime or two ago with Jacqui. Had to dye it black, cos it was kinda beige, and was a bit see-through. Being black is kinda convenient now, cos it fits with the fetish theme of the party I'm at tonight.

I'm leaning forward at the moment, hands far apart, grasping a chair. My chin is up, and my head is back. My eyes are closed.

Pern is dangling the ends of her handmade leather flogger over my back, tickling my spine. Without warning, THWACK!, she brings the whip down on my back. Then gets into a slow rhythm of flogging me gently.

It stings a bit. Not really sore. It's more the mystery of it that's appealing.

This is my first proper play party. Never been to anything like this. And later tonight there's going to be a major demonstration of advanced BDSM play. Kinda hardcore stuff.

Right now, bent over this chair like this, I'm submitting to being flogged because I'm keen to know what a sub feels. How do they get subspace out of this? I'm also doing it cos I want to learn how to flog people. When Pern strokes my neck and my cheeks and my lips with the whip, it feels damn scary. And I can only imagine that if she were seriously lashing me, I would really be trembling in serious fear.

But this is my first ever flogging, so she's taking it very easy. And I'm thrilled to be receiving a lashing from a babe as nice as her. Pity she's not available as a playmate! She is actually a submissive who is in a relationship with a Dom. As far as I understand it, she only gets to be played on by him. Sigh.

Now it's Karen's turn. I take the lash, and start giving her some gentle swipes. She's instantly in subspace the moment the first stroke lands.

But there's a reason for that. She's been close to subspace since she came to my place to get dressed for the party. See, I've trussed her up in a Japanese bondage knot called a karada. It's basically a full-torso harness, a bit like a corset, kinda like a fishnet around the entire body. It's tight, and it looks spectacular. She's wearing a skirt and top over it, but nothing else.

For me, knotsmanship is really good fun, and a huge turnon. I was a Boy Scout for three months when I was a kid, and knotting is what I really enjoyed. Still remember everything I learned there. So when I saw a karada in a picture on the web, I just HAD to replicate it.

I thought it would take about an hour to tie it, and I wasn't certain how much rope I'd need. So I bought a few ten metre drops of pure cotton sash cord. Really neat stuff.

Turns out that trussing her only took a few minutes. And was a real turn on for both of us. So we got a little waylaid, and I had to untie her so we could both shower again before the party, and then retie her. Yummy.

The door opens to the demonstration area. All of the perverts file in, along with a few of the Goths, and one drunk oke who looks like he's definitely not at the right party.

"Hey!" shouts the drunk oke. "You gunna have sex or something here? Fuckin hurry up then!"

Nobody shuts him up, and nobody chucks him out. Strike one against the management of this club.

The music is hyper creepy. It's that vicious, bass-voiced numb stuff, the kinda stuff that makes your hair turn in at the roots. And the lights go dimmer. And suddenly three big guys pounce on this skinny, runty guy with a blonde quiff, and they force him to the ground. They drag him kicking and flailing to the table in the middle of the floor, and they strap him down, belly up.

At the same time, the most intensely beautiful pony girl, wearing a full head harness, gets led to a weird bondage platform near the wall. A very large guy wearing seriously ironic bondage gear arrives with a muthafucka of a bullwhip, and lashes her to the apparatus.

He sets a candle up between her legs, and sets himself the silly task of extinguishing the flame by cracking the bullwhip just inches above her leather-clad pussy. Each crack of the whip terrifies the girl, and she shudders grotesquely. But she keeps her feet together, and the candle stays where it was set. That's cos her feet are completely immobile, and she wouldn't be able to move them even if that whip cracked in her crack.

While the leatherman with the shoulder spikes is getting more and more frustrated at not hitting the candle, the dude tied to the table is still writhing. Until a dominatrix appears carrying candles, accompanied by her two acolytes. One is a beefy guy, naked except for a tiny pair of shorts and a pair of 8-inch stiletto shoes. The other is a petite girl with a slight paunch, and a weird flesh coloured stick-on bra and black panties.

The dominatrix mounts the table, and spends a minute or two watching the man squirm beneath her. He looks like Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. She looks like something out of a sex shop catalogue for bondage babes. She leans forward, and with great ceremony and ritual, nails him with a humungous backhand across the side of the head. He instantly falls silent, and she reverses the swing, and nails him on the other side of the face.

By this time, the big guy with the bullwhip is realllllly sweating. And the candle is still alight. He eventually darts up to it, blows it out, laughs, and bows to the audience. He has an assistant, and she looks like she bought her gear at a magician's conference. She could be a Kempton Park version of Siegfried and Roy. Redhead. Huge breasts. Flames painted onto her red boots.

Now that the candle's out, the leatherman and the big redhead untie the pony girl, shift her into a new position, and retie her. He then starts working on her with a smaller whip.

On the table, the dominatrix has just pulled on a latex glove. The guy beneath her is trembling. She gestures for the bloke in the highheels to step forward, and she ties a ball gag into his mouth. She whispers in his ear, and he kneels on the cold, hard floor, hands behind his back. Oh man. That's gotta hurt.

She gestures the girl closer, kisses her firmly, open mouthed, whispers in her ear. The girl steps back, then forward again, this time leaning over the blonde male submissive. She kisses him long, hard, grindingly, and he arches his back to kiss her as passionately.

The dominatrix makes a gesture, and the girl steps back. A razor blade appears. And then the carnage starts. She slowly runs the blade over the man's chest, drawing a gash following the shape of his collar bone. Then the other side. Then she gestures, and the girl brings up a goblet filled with red wine. Which she smears into the wounds, rubbing them so that the blood smears all over his chest.

The drunk straight guy who should have been chucked out starts shouting, "When are you gunna fuck?? Come on! Fuck already!"

And eventually someone asks him to leave, which he does, piloted as he is by an enormous fat guy with ginger hair. The drunk is shouting at the top of his voice all the way, "You're all fucking pussies, man! Boring! When are you gunna fuck!!!???"

But he's got a point. This IS boring. Esoteric and hardcore as it is, essentially, BDSM is NOT a public thing. It's a headspace thing happening in the minds of the participants. Sure, there's a grim fascination in seeing a dude having his chest carved up. But would I wanna do that? Nah. Would anyone wanna watch it? I dunno. As for the whipping folks with the pony girl, she's clearly too petrified to actually have any hardcore flogging going on.

Show's over. We mill out of the room. Someone tells me that the pony girl is actually a professional model, and that she has never had a BDSM encounter in her life before this. Turns out she was supposed to be totally mummified in rope, but that she was freaking out so badly that all they did was light stroking with the whip.

Karen and I decide to leave. But not before I show off my karada. A couple of my new BDSM buddies are here, as well as a dude known to readers of this site as MMM. We go into the performance room, and I tell Karen to take her clothes off. "No," she whispers. I fix my dom stare on her, and she immediately takes off her top. Then her skirt. Totally naked now apart from ten metres of rope webbing, in front of about nine strangers and anyone who cares to enter the room.

MMM looks at the knotting. "Mind if I touch?" he asks. I nod. He starts figuring out the knots. "Wow, man. Awesome," he says.

"I've got another rope here," I say. "I'll show you how to do it."

His girlfriend takes off her clothes, leaving her bra and panties on. And I start the knot, explaining each step, while MMM makes mental notes.

Karen's still standing there, in her karada. When I'm finished with MMM's girlfriend, I ask Karen if she'd like to be untied. "Yes please," she says.

So I unlace her, while everyone watches.

She puts her clothes back on, and we leave.

"Hey!" says a young Gothic chick at the door. "Where'd you get the skirt???"

It's a cargo skirt, with about six pockets dotted all over, ideal for a dude who carries gadgets around with him.

"Truworth's," I say, "about two seasons ago."

"Cool!" she says. "I also do all my shopping at Truworth's. But Truworth's Man." She gets up, and she's wearing a pair of gents trousers. And she's got four little bars threaded through her skin, just above her breasts.

"Jesus!" I say. "Doesn't that hurt?"

"It did," she says. "But it's fine now."

"Can I touch them?" I ask.

She lifts her breasts a little, and I touch the bars, feeling the ridge of skin above the submerged part. Very eerie. "Cool," I say, not entirely knowing whether or not I mean it.

"Your skirt rocks, dude," she says, and I get a minor boner as Karen and I walk to my car.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Cool Runnings, Melville

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

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

A table on the stage, filled with glinting stainless steel implements and latex gloves and disposable hypodermic syringe boxes. It's the last meeting of the BDSM group this year, and the topic is medical fetish.

There's a particularly normal looking dude on the stage telling us all about how to conduct a successful medical play scene. (If you're new to the world of D/s or S&M or BDSM as its variously known, a "play scene" is what you do when you're engaging in BDSM sex. Although, that's not entirely right, cos it doesn't necessarily involve sex.)

He's showing us a catheter. "I have to say this," he says, "before any of you rush out and buy a catheter. You HAVE to be trained to do this properly! Don't do it if you're not trained!!! Okay?" He goes on to explain how the catheter has a little balloon in the tip. "See you stick this down the urethra, into the bladder. Then you inflate the balloon like this." He pumps a little rubber bulb, and the balloon becomes visible. "And now, the catheter can't come out, and your partner has ABSOLUTELY no bladder control. Now if you just clamp it with forceps like this, and put a little padlock over the clamp, you're the one who decides when your partner goes to the toilet."

Sheesh. That would just piss me off.

Then he talks about enemas, and shows us a more menacing apparatus. Also with a balloon on the end. "You can easily fill someone's colon with about two litres of water. For beginners, that's a safe limit. More, and your sub is getting VERY uncomfortable. But if you're experienced in this, you can get up to about four litres. Use cool water if you want your sub to have severe cramps."

"Question," I say. I'm on the side of the room, away from the smokers. My shaven head is glinting in the light of the bare bulb just behind me.

He nods at me, squinting into the stagelight trained on him. All eyes are on me.

"Okay, so you've got four litres of water in your sub's colon, and it's being held in by that little balloon on the end, yeah? What happens to all that water when you want to take the enema OUT?"

There's a moment of silence in the room as people contemplate the question. And then a few people start pissing themselves laughing. And the dude on the stage seems to assume that my particular kink has to do with taking showers in anal matter. He gives me a weak smile, as if to say, hey, whatever turns you on, pal, and says, "The fluid comes OUT with the enema. And if you're in the way, it's coming out all over you."

The laughter spreads to the whole room, and the dude has to raise a speculum to get silence back. And then he shows us how to use a speculum. And there's a type of speculum for the anus as well. Which he opens up menacingly. And then he jabs a needle through a woman's arm, and then another needle, and another. And the informative part of the moot is over.

Now it's schmoozetime.

There is serious babeage in the room. She's got bright red dyed hair. She's Russian. And she's quite possibly the most erotic object I've ever had the pleasure of gagging.

And the reason I have the pleasure of doing that is that Pern, the lady who sells fetish gear, has brought a whole lot of rope for me to make Turks Head ball gags out of, for her to sell. (Buy her high-quality, handmade fetish gear at Yummy. Amazing stuff.)

I've just finished making a ball gag, and I want to know from a sub how big it should be, and whether or not the texture is acceptable. Karen cannot have a cloth or rope gag in her mouth. It just freaks out her nervous system. She needs rubber. But both Pern and the Russian are hot for this.

The Russian babe is wearing a restraint harness made by Pern. It's leather. It holds her arms behind her back in a most uncomfortable and compromising position. And it makes her helpless.

"Is it all right with your Dom for me to put this gag in your mouth?" I say to her.

"Please wait till I'm out of the harness," she says.

"Would you like me to help remove the harness?"

"Yes please."

It's an unbelievable piece of gear. Smooth as anything. Buckles in the right places. Adaptable. This is the type of thing that makes me glad I've learned about the side of me that loves bondage. And it's just a treat looking at her pert breasts and tiny waist. I ask Pern how much it costs. "R800," she says.

I hold the gag up, and move it in front of her mouth. "It's against the rules," she says, and takes it from me. She pops it in her mouth.

"Shall I hold it for you?" I say.

She nods. And I tighten the ropes behind her head. And she flinches and closes her eyes, and goes deep into subspace. I hold her like that for a few seconds.

"Ready for me to let go?" I ask.

She nods.

"Wow!" she says, when I release the gag. It's full of spit, and she's panting. "Wow!"

"Why is it against the rules?" I ask.

"Well, it's my rules," she says, her accent thick. "I'm actually terrified of being gagged. Terrified." And she fixes me with a heart-melting, boner-reinforcing coquettish smile.

The Muti Gallery, Milpark

Thursday, November 18, 2004

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

I love having famous friends. Aryan Kaganof is one of them. Guto Bussab is another. And they're both together in one room, tonight, with at least thirty seriously delectable babes. I'd say at least three-quarters of the babes present tonight are prime babeage. And the rest are a very good seven out of ten.

"Jeannette!" I say. Another famous person. She's famous as an expressive dancer. She's wearing a sort of mesh-netting blouse, with a skimpy bra.

"Oooooo!" I say. "Nice breasts!" And I proceed to weigh one in my hand.

"This one's bigger than that one," she says, and cups my hand around her right breast.

"Hmm," I say. "They both feel good to me." I take my hands off her, and adjust my hat. I'm wearing an extremely big floppy-brimmed cloth hat. It's bright red. Made of synthetic material.

Guto is famous cos he's the director and co-producer of a world famous short film. It's called ARIA. I wrote it. And co-produced it. And I'm sure people are going to be asking to see it soon. Seriously soon.

Another thing Guto is famous for is his brand new art gallery. It's called The Muti Gallery, and it's at 44 Stanley Rd, the same address as The Colour Bar. And it's got some unbelievable art up.

And the artist whose work adorns the walls is Aryan Kaganof. Now he's South Africa's least well-known world-famous dude. He made the world's first digital movie, which was an international hit. And he's made about seven feature films, and many documentaries, and he's an award winning filmmaker, and published novelist and poet, and serious maverick. This dude is even more serious about his maverickness than I am about mine.

And his art completely cooks. This oke's hot.

But who cares about art when Jeannette's breasts are in your hand?

"I can do the Argentinian tango," I say, "but badly. I learned a long time ago. And my newly ex-girlfriend Karen is a tango queen, so I learned again, a bit."

"Let's tango," she says.

I bend the brim of the red hat out of my line of sight, slip my glass of Fanta into my cargo pants pocket, and we assume the position. And then we surge through the room, bashing people out of the way as we dance, knocking the fuckers over like dwarfs at a dwarf tossing contest.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Theatre on the Square, Sandton

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

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

It's the launch of the television series I'm directing. Go_Open, on SABC2 every Saturday from 5:30pm. It's only a half hour, and it'll open your eyes and soul to the open source movement.

Ok. So maybe I'm overselling it a bit. But I'm in a hype frame of mind. Cos this is a baby of mine, and it's being revealed to journalists and geeks for the first time.

A waiter bearing a tray of delectables comes round. I take one. "Are there things with chocolate?" I ask.

"They'll be coming later, after the show," he says. I'll have to be patient.

Mark Shuttleworth's hairstyle isn't in the immediate vicinity. Where the heck is he? Ah... must be on a space station somewhere. (He ought to be making an appearance, seeing as he's one of the major sponsors of the show, and he's the most vocal proponent of open source in South Africa.)

The foyer is crowded with people. Only half of them are geeks. The rest are press people. They're probably here because they think they're gonna get a piece of Mr Shuttleworth. He's like Nelson Mandela... everyone wants to touch his hand.

The public address system asks us to take our seats. We've hired the Theatre on the Square cos it's a lovely venue for doing a screening.

All of the beautiful people sidle in. I sit next to Elaine. She's doing research for us, but that's not what she's famous for. She's THE Elaine from the legendary restaurant, "Risky Business" in Melville (long departed, I'm afraid). Rumour has it that she MAY be CONSIDERING opening another restaurant at some point soon. But that's just hearsay. And you heard it first on Coffee-Shop Schmuck, okay?

Next to Elaine is a friend of hers. A delectable 24-year old innocent called Silke. Hmmmmm. I wonder how corruptible she is???

Now that Karen and I are only seeing each other on a contingency basis, I'm back on the dating scene. So my eyes are spread wide at all of the extremely talented looking women in the room.

But all that stops when John Vlismas, South Africa's funniest man, trots onto the stage. He's our anchor-person on the show, and he's into open source, and he's intent on making this audience hip to the fact that open source is the business. "Take me to your server!" he says. Then, "Wan, lan, thank you ma'am!" (Okay... so to find it funny, you've actually gotta BE here.)

He gets us rolling around on the floor for a while, and then the lights dim, and Shuttleworth makes his appearance. We've recorded him, cos he can't actually be here, what with his various commitments to being in space craft here and outta this world. So he wishes us all a good journey. Then our virgin show unfolds on the screen. I'm entranced. It's captivating. Amazing television. This is the best tv I've ever seen. Well... the bits I directed, I mean.

And then it's over, and we're all out in the foyer, schmoozing.

"Excuse me," I say to the waiter. "Uhm... can we have those chocolate things now?"

"Uh, after the savouries," he says, and whips the tray away from my ungrateful fingers.

Several tries later, the room is starting to enter. "Please," I say, "I'm begging you!"

The open source movement is about sharing information. It's about freedom. It's about getting ideas out into the world without killing intellectual property.

He looks around. "Okay," he says, and disappears, only to reappear seconds later with a tray filled with chocolate coated nuts. "Handmade," he says.

Suddenly a whole bunch of people wearing suits come down the stairs carrying computers. They stick out like thumbs that have been slammed repeatedly under a laptop lid. One of those old laptops. With the heavy plastic. Serious damage. They start setting things up. And they're wearing name tags.

"George," I say to one of them, the one with the double-breasted pinstripe, the one whose swagger suggests seniority.

He looks up at me, startled. "George," I say, "wouldn't you guys like to have some sweets?"

He breaks eye contact immediately. We're from the open source movement. He's probably been given instructions by his superiors. "Uh, no, no thanks. Thanks very much, no," he says.

I call the waiter. "Please offer these new people some sweets," I say.

The sweets are all refused. I can see the cogs whirring in their heads. They're looking at the sweets saying, "These CAN'T be free! There's gotta be a catch! We probably get the first one free, and then we've gotta pay a licence fee every year for upgrades and support!"

The guys and girls in the suits are here for a function straight after ours. They are the guys from the main opponent the open source movement has. They are employed by Microsoft.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Mugg & Bean, Cresta

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

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

I don't know what Ané looks like, and she hasn't given me her cellphone number. So I decide the best strategy is to enter the Mugg & Bean at exactly the time we agreed on.

I walk in, looking as artistic as possible, and a tall, pretty woman stands up, smiling hugely.

"Roy!?" she half asks. She's seen my photo, so she has a rough idea of what I look like.

"Ané!" I say, and we shake hands.

Ané shrieks when she sees this pic. "I look ten years older!" But then she also definitely wants a copy. Which she can have, seeing as I'm distributing all my work under a Creative Commons licence.She flips open a little notebook. "You don't mind if I write as we speak?"

I say, "Go for it."

She's a journalist on the Northcliff & Melville Times, and she's interviewing me about my placing as a finalist in the Digirati competition.

I haul out my palmtop computer.

"What are you doing??" she asks, squirming under the focused intensity of my gaze.

"I'm practicing what I preach," I say, drawing her as she interviews me.

When I'm finished, she looks at the piece, and says, "But I look ten years older!"

"Most people say that," I say. I really must try and make people look younger. But it's difficult. Line work almost forces the issue. But hey. I'm not really going only for likeness. I'm hoping that my pics capture other qualities too.

When the interview is over, I ask her where she studied.

She says, "I did my journalism degree at RAU."

"Oh," I say, "did Antoinette lecture you?"

"Antoinette!" she says. "Yes! She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen!"

"She's an ex-girlfriend of mine."

"Wow!" she says.


Do watch SABC2 this Saturday 20 Nov from 5:30pm to 6pm for the first episode of GO_OPEN, the show I'm co-directing. It's about the Open Source movement, and it's really funky. A magazine show. 13 episodes. -- Blue skies, love, Roy

Monday, November 15, 2004

Pizza Pronto, Sandton

Monday, November 15, 2004

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

Damn!!! I can't play Alistair tonight. He's not able to make it, due to having burned his arm with hot glue somehow. He's supposed to be my opponent at the backgammon club's regular Monday night match.

The reason I'm disappointed is that Alistair is the guy who got me into backgammon, and I'm saving my board for him. I've decided that I want him to do the honours of playing my first match on this board.

Instead, I fall into a chouette game. Chouette is an amazing thing. A whole bunch of players all compete against each other in a very complicated way. It's always for money, and it's very nerve-wracking. I've only played chouette twice, and that was harrowing.

Tonight it's also harrowing, but I know that I played really well yesterday, even though I got beaten. I found out that Leon Markowitz is Cape Town's number two club player. So I'm very chuffed with myself for going the distance with him.

And because I'm in such a good space, I smack the chouette mob for a winning of R220. And I sell my old board to Majid for R200. So I walk away happy.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

La Toscana, Montecasino, Fourways

Sunday, November 14, 2004

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

I've just unzipped at the urinal just outside the venue where we'll be playing backgammon in a few minutes. It's 10 in the morning, and fifty of South Africa's hottest backgammon maniacs have each shelled out fifteen hundred bucks to be here. Except me, of course. I won my way into this tournament. And I've told all my friends. Heather is one of them. And she may be coming to watch me play.

There's a closed toilet door, and one of the players has evidently just launched a submarine or something, judging by the size of the sigh he emits.

I'm finishing peeing when the sigh sounds again, not accompanied by a splash. I flush my urinal, and I'm about to walk out when the sigh comes again. And again. And the rhythm is a little too close for this guy to be pressing out coils.

I listen carefully. Yup. Sure enough, there's some dude behind that closed door with a spit-slicked palm, having a pre-match wank. Jeeez.

I leave the loo, and hang around in the foyer outside for a while, hoping to catch a glimpse of the wanker. Should I play him, it would give me a psychological edge over him. I could slip in a sly reference to his onanism at a crucial point in the match. I could say something like, "So... do you come here often?"

Hmmm. Yummy babe. Long black hair tied up in a tight pony tail. Intense eyes. But with a cough. Spells trouble.As it happens, I forget all about the pig tickler, because a babe has just entered the room. I smile at her. She smiles at me. Grrrrrrrowwwwllll. Is she a player? Is she a moll? I'll have to be patient.

Heather phones. She can't make it. "But good luck!" she says.

Peter's here. Sophia's here. Majid is back from Iran. Virgilio is here. Matt's here. We're in an unholy conglomerate, a cartel. We've decided that this is how we'll operate. Whoever wins any cash takes 75% of the prize, and puts the remainder in a kitty to be shared by all of the players. There are several prizes we can earn, and our backgammon club is definitely in the top third in the country in terms of skill. So we should easily get into the money rounds. Being in a cartel just means we're all really motivated to win, and to support each other in our various matches.

Gerald, a rather loud insurance broker, is the organiser. He has no need for a microphone. "Ladies and gentlemen," he bellows, and the silence falls immediately. "We are about to do the draw." And he starts pulling names from a hat, and matching people with their first opponents. I get a name I've never heard before. I look at my fellow cartel members, and they shrug. They haven't heard of this guy either.

"Two matches to thirteen points each," yells Gerald.

And we're off to meet our opponents. Leon Markowitz turns out to be an elderly chap with a teddy-bear beard and a somewhat gloomy countenance. We shake hands and start playing. And I'm playing like a winner. I could easily walk out with my share of the R60 000 first prize, judging by the way I'm playing.

I've sensed from the way Leon's playing that he's highly experienced, and probably better than me. And I can see how rattled he's getting when I just keep beating him. My strategy is to turn the cube JUST before the right time. I want him to take the cube at awkward points, and I want that to undermine his sense of the game. And it's working. I'm 12--3 ahead to 13 points. It's just a matter of me winning this last game.

And I'm really doing just that. I've got three of his men back, two on the bar. This should be a cinch.

The babe I saw earlier walks up to our table. Looks at the score. "You're not allowed to beat Leon," she says, and she hits me with a dazzling pout. "He's my honorary husband," she says. Which is unlikely. She's around 30, and he's around 75. She goes back to her match. Seriously delicious butt. Nice walk.

"We're in the same club in Cape Town," Leon tells me.

He half-heartedly shakes his dice. Throws. Double five! The only perfecto throw! The only one! He's off the bar, and out, hitting me. I throw, and I can't come on. He throws ANOTHER double!!! I throw, and again, I can't enter. Blammo, he throws yet another double, and, what was a dead-cert for me turns into a defeat. He romps home to win a point.

I correctly drop two cubes in a row, and it's 12--6. Then I accept a cube, and he beats me. Now we're on 12--8. And suddenly, in no time at all, from way behind, Leon beats me 13--12.

I'm already out of the main tournament in my first game. Which is all right, I suppose, cos it means I get to play in the plate tournament. There, the first prize is only R12 000, but it's better than nothing.

I wander over to the babe. Amanda. She's playing pretty well. But she also loses to a miraculous set of dice from her opponent. "Well, at least you and I'll get to play in the plate," I say. She smiles.

Lunch is called, and we head for the buffet. It's all included in the entry, along with unlimited free tea and coffee. I buy Amanda a fruit juice. Which is anything but free. It's R15! Jeeeeeez!!! What a ripoff. But I flinch inwardly. Wouldn't wanna ruin my spadework by complaining about the price now, would I?

Not that I'm actually interested in shagging her, though. For one, she's a smoker. For another, she's got a nasty cough. "That's a nasty cough," I say.

"I just can't shake it," she says. "Flu. Been sick for three weeks."

Okay. Well. Thanks for that, Amanda. I'll take it as a sign from the universe that I should just go home on my own later.

A guy comes around selling raffle tickets for a handstitched leather board. It's worth R3800. There are only 25 tickets being sold, and I buy two, for a hundred bucks each. Maybe I'll win SOMEthing today?

The day progresses, and I play my first match for the plate. It's to seven points, and I get comprehensively spanked by some old Greek guy. He does root canal work on me by smashing out my molars 7--0. Yeeks. So I'm out of the money. Turns out, ALL six of the sinister cabal members have been eliminated. We are NOT in the money. Not any of us. The Cape Town dudes are applying our heads to their armpits and using us as deodorant sticks.

The raffle gets drawn. Who wins? Me! So I'm up on the platform accepting my new board. This is a dream! I can't believe it! What an awesome board!

I stick around to watch Amanda get to the final of the plate. She's playing for a first prize of R12000, and a second prize of R5500.

Her opponent is one of the hottest players in the country. And she refuses a settlement. He gets viciously angry with her, and spends the rest of the match swearing at her under his breath with every throw of the dice. Now if you know backgammon, you know that this behaviour is simply not on. He's way outta line. He throws his dice, and says, "I can't fuckin' believe this bitch. I OFFERED her a settlement. There's NO way she'll beat me. FUCK!" And he moves his pieces.

He ends up beating her 13--2. Only at the end does he smile at her and congratulate her. But it's fleeting. He immediately stands up and says, in a sotto voce mutter, "I had to sit through all this shit to win. Why didn't she just take the settlement?" And he stalks off to collect his winnings.

"Well," says Amanda, her ferocious eyelashes clashing against each other, "I was here to play backgammon, not to accept settlements."

"Well played," I say, and I shake her hand.

I take one last look around the room trying to spot the wanker. But they're all wankers, if you ask me.

I go home. Alone. But with my brand new, handstitched, 21 inch leather board.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Piatto, Cresta

Friday, November 12, 2004

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

Riaan is a hot hot hot editor. Unbelievably hard worker, but also a serously intelligent cutter. I love working with editors like him. My ideal is to co-create stuff with artistically enable collaborators. And he's that. I've worked with editors in the past who are just technicians who push the buttons the way you tell them to. Most frustrating. Thank goodness for Riaan.Finished work at seven tonight. It's been my editing week, and we're a week away from launching the show. Go_Open is alive and kicking, and the effort is definitely paying off! Riaan is my editor, and he's pulling unbelievable hours. He gets to work at 7 every morning, and leaves around midnight.

Brad, our senior researcher, is with me. He's keen on a heart-to-heart chat about babeage. See, he's got a bit of an issue that's cropped up. He's studying computer geekistry at Rhodes University, and he's an uber geek deluxe. Highest order. But he's met this babe in Joburg, and she's just as much of an uber geek as he is. She speaks Linux. She programs. They understand each other.

And they... uh... uhm... well, let's just say they have compatible motherboards.

Well, we chat, and I impart my infinite wisdom to him. My take on the matter is that he doesn't have to marry her quite yet, and he's still got a while to go on the project, so he'll be in Joburg for quite a while, and he should learn as much as he can about life and the universe, and then make decisions later.

But the reality is that Brad actually doesn't really need my advice. The dude's an advanced soul, and he knows where he's headed in life. So we cut the "older wise dude giving advice to young puppy" routine, and just enjoy supper. Which is passable.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Pizza Pronto, Sandton

Monday, November 08, 2004

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

It's a special backgammon tournament tonight. We've got 14 people each paying a hundred bucks to slaughter each other in order to win entry into a major tournament this Sunday at Montecasino. It costs R1500 to enter the big one, and many of us wouldn't have been entering cos the price is too steep. This way, whoever wins has only laid out a hundred bucks, and stands a chance of picking up the first prize of R65 000.

Peter calls for attention. "We need a neutral party to do the draw," he says.

A delectable blonde, a backgammon groupie I've never seen before, attached to a new player I've never seen before, assumes the position. In the first round, I'm playing against Tony Lelliot, and Matt Ryder. I don't fancy my chances against Matt, and Tony beat me last time I played him. But hey.

I'm in a highly concentrated mood. I've had five hours of sleep the night before. And I'm keen to get as far as I can. I WANT to play at Montecasino.

First up is me against Tony. Flick flack flug. I destroy him, 7 points to 2. He goes to the toilet. Matt sits down. Vavavooooooom. I kill him, 7 points to 2.

So now I have to wait for the others to catch up so I can find out who I'm playing in the semi finals. Eventually, after having long chats with Matt about literature and the craft of being a writer, Clifford Camberg emerges as my opponent. I narrowly lost to him a few months ago, and because of that, he made it into the A-division, and I stayed in the B-division. So I have an axe to grind.

I offer Clifford an early cube from a marginal position. It's a bit of a cocky play, and I'm really just pissing out my territory, making him wonder what my game plan is. He spots an opportunity a few rolls later, and turns the cube to four, and offers it to me. I ponder, and take. A minute or so later, I see an obvious drop, and I decide to cash, by offering him the cube on eight. If he drops, I win four points in a seven point match, taking me to 4--0.

We've got some assembled spectators, and they're collectively not breathing. It's extremely bad form for a spectator to even hint at what players should do next. So everyone's practicing poker faces so that Clifford won't know what they think he should do.

I can't believe the dude! He takes the cube!

He's in a clear losing position, and now, we're both playing for match. Whoever wins, takes eight points and goes to the finals.

Badabing babash.

I beat Clifford 7--0.

Now it's a matter of me waiting for Sophia and Renee to finish their match. It started off quite easy for Sophia, when she leapt ahead to 5--1. But then Renee gritted her teeth, and soon, it was 6--6. In the final game, Sophia, in a clear winning position, lost to a few bad throws of her own, and a few extremely good throws from Renee.

So I'm playing Renee, and I'm quite happy about that. She's easier for me to beat than Sophia. And anyway, I'm working with Sophia right now. She's my producer in this tv gig I'm directing. So it would be bad form to beat her, wouldn't it?

So Renee and I start.

"Are you still trying to set your cousin up with a boyfriend?" I ask.

For the final, we're playing to eleven points. I lose the first game, cos she offers me the cube and I drop.

"She's still single," says Renee. "But Roy, I don't know if you're her type. Her last boyfriend was an investment banker."

"That's okay," I say. "I've got a current account."

I win the second. Lose the third. I'm 1--2 down. Then I win a few in a row, and suddenly I'm 8--2 up.

"But you're not allowed to beat me," she says. "If you want her number, you know what to do."

We're in what turns out to be the last game. She gives the cube to me for some obscure reason. So I'm sitting with the cube on 2. If I win a normal game, it puts me at 10--2, which is a Crawford game. This means that noone's allowed to turn the cube in the next game. If I win a gammon, that's a double game, and I take the match, 11--2. If I lose, it puts me at either 8--2 or 8--4, depending on whether I lose a normal or double game. But I'm not losing. I'm winning.

So, crazily, I make a series of blunders. It's almost 12:30, post midnight, and those five hours of sleep I got last night have faded to nothing. I'm tired. And I've got a hard day of editing tomorrow. Which is the only way I can explain the blunders.

But it's okay. I kinda recover from the blunders, and I'm still ahead in the race by about two throws of the dice. So I'm okay. If I just keep my cool, and don't do anything stupid, I'll win my two points, and will have only one game left to win, to get entry into the Montecasino money game.

Instead, I lose my cool, and in a moment of aggressive hard-on cock-rock backgammon, I do the insane thing of turning the cube to four, and offering it to Renee.

Now this has serious implications. If she does the correct thing, and immediately turns the cube back to eight, suddenly, I'm fighting for my life. If I accept the cube on eight, and she wins, it goes to 10--8 in her favour. Suddenly she'd be ahead of me! And I'd be fighting to catch up.

But luckily, it's 12:30 post midnight, and she's just as tired as I am. So she forgets to return the cube!!! An unbelievable error! Even worse than my own error!!!

So we play on. And we're in a tight race. And I blunder taking off with a double-three throw, which puts me marginally behind in the race. But still, somehow, I survive.

I win the game, and win the match.

So, on Sunday, I'm playing at Montecasino, looking to beat 60 other people to sixty-five grand!

Renee says, "Now I don't know if I can give you my cousin's phone number."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

NEWSFLASH -- "Search Terms" page added

One of the free web stats tracking houses I use offers me the option of seeing how people found their way to my pages. It shows me the URLs of the referring page.

These are often search engines, and the URLs contain the actual search strings used to find the particular page. I basically trawl those strings out and pop them into the search terms page I've just created. I'll be updating it periodically.

All of these terms somehow led to my site. ALL of them. And boy, are there some esoteric search strings in this bunch.

It's entertaining to me. I hope you get a few laughs out of it.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Europa, Rosebank Mall

Friday, November 05, 2004

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

It's eleven o'clock at night. I've just finished work. And I'm starved. Sleep-starved and food-starved. Sleep I'll have to get after my Tra Venezia, a tuna mayo tramezzini.

Man. Do I neeeeed to eat?

Work's been really rewarding. My crew and I have been doing really creative stuff to show how the Open Source Movement makes a difference in peoples' lives. I'm digging it. But heck, the hours are hardcore.

My food arrives, and I scoff it down. Yummy yummy in my tummy.

I ponder on an achievement for the week. Last night I wasn't able to be at the awards ceremony of a digital art competition I entered. Turns out I didn't win it. But I was one of the eighteen finalists. Yay!!!!! Fame at last! You can see a pared-down online version of the winners and finalists at

I'm too tired to leave my seat, so I whip out my palmtop and start playing with a piece of doodle-animation software called Flip-It. It allows me to draw a frame-by-frame animation. Crude, but fun.

The sequence I'm creating starts with a green pepper sitting in the middle of a desolate landscape. As I move around the pepper, it slowly grows a lump at the top, which opens up to be an eye. The eye winks, and then the pepper returns to its own form.

And I've made a breakthrough -- I'm now able to drink coffee without sugar, which will be good news to Alistair, a coffee-aficionado friend of mine. And this decaff cappuccino is particularly enjoyable.

I'm just putting the finishing touches on my animation sequence when Jarred pops into view. He's Jacqui's best friend, and we used to watch DVDs at his place every Sunday night when we were together. Sigh. Makes me miss Jacqui.

"What are you up to?" he asks. He's with a serious babe friend whose name I miss.

I show them my animation, and they both marvel at it.

"How's work treating you guys?" I ask.

He and Jacqui are both partners in the same IT company. "We're very very busy," he says. "Poor Jacqui. Every time we get a new project, she gets busier."

So it's late late late at night, and I'm tired. And I'm missing Jacqui. And I'm missing Karen. And I missed seeing my digital art placing as a finalist last night. And I think I'd better go home and sleep. Cos I'm working on Sunday too.