Monday, February 28, 2005

The Fan, Bryanston

Monday, February 28, 2005

From five stars "Perfect! * * * * *" to one star "Cruddy! *" -- totally subjective coffee-shop and restaurant reviews.

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

Oh, goodie! This week, it's MY turn! Last week, I got drubbed 21--6 by Peter 'The Doc of Dice Death'. Tonight, I'm playing Branko, and he's throwing diabolical dice. It's just not going well for him. And it's really not helping him much that he's accepting EVERY double I offer him. Which means that instead of losing just one point each time, he's losing two, and sometimes four when I gammon him.

But I'm happy. I need a good win. And when I rip his pubic hairs out one by one to gasp him into a 21--6 defeat, my smile is unshakeable. And the minestrone with the large foccacia was tasty and nutritious.

So I'm in rather good spirits about approaching my ex-boss, who's greeted me politely tonight. I sent her an sms earlier in the day suggesting that it would probably be a good idea if we call off our feud and work it out in a meeting.

"Did you get my sms earlier?" I say.

"Yeah," she says, not unpleasantly. "Did you get my lawyer's letter last week?"

I did indeed. And I've been thinking about it. Her lawyer's letter was unpleasant. Much less pleasant than MY lawyer's letter. And what I've been thinking about this particular letter is that the more this stuff carries on, the uglier it's going to get if we don't work it out amicably. I LIKE this woman. She LIKES me. Otherwise we wouldn't be in the same backgammon club. And she wouldn't have hired me.

And you know what? I just don't feel like playing chess with her anymore. I feel like playing backgammon.

"Yeah," I say. "I got your lawyer's letter. And I really think you and I need to talk. It doesn't need to get that ugly."

She's busy this week, and so am I, so I suggest that we meet one evening next week sometime. She says, "That'll be great. We'll speak early next week to arrange it."

Who knows? Maybe we'll head this thing off at the creek.

In the meantime, I start my new gig tomorrow. I'm the producer of a huge project. We'll be making South African tourism DVDs. Yeehaa! Lots of glamorous travel around the country, I suspect! Can't wait. Maybe I'll meet some more lawyers on my journeys?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Cool Runnings, Melville

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

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

Rewind to last week, 7pm. Sitting here at Cool Runnings, waiting to mingle with the perverts. And wondering why they're just not arriving.

Fast forward to tonight. More than thirty perverts all sitting in a semi-circle, clustered around an unlikely couple. A very very very short guy with a British accent, dressed up as a headmaster. A six foot tall woman in eight inch heels, standing facing the wall, her head almost touching the ceiling, her hands held demurely behind her schoolgirl skirt.

The headmaster telling her off for transgressions at school. And telling her to bend over and touch her toes. Flipping her skirt up revealing her g-string, and some very appealing buns. Warming his hand up. And spanking her.

"Are you sorry?"

"Yes," she says, coquettishly.

"I don't think so," he says, regretfully.

Picks up a slipper. Gives her a good ten whacks on each cheek. Shakes his head. Pulls out a wide leather belt. Gives her ten hard smacks with it.

"Go stand in the corner, bad girl," he says.

She faces the wall again. He turns, selects a cane. A thin, short one. Calls her. She bends over again. He flips her skirt back, and her bum beams at us again. He gives her a good ten slices with the cane, swishing it viciously. She flinches.

"How does THAT feel?" he asks.

"I like it," she says. A pause. "Sir," she adds.

"Not good enough. Back to the corner."

She goes. He picks up another cane. This one longer. The thickness of a finger. With a big curly bit on the end, like Little Bo Peep's crook. He summons her, she bends, he flips the skirt.

He says, "I'm giving you 15 of the best. Count them aloud."

Thwack. "One," she says. Thwish. "Two." Thwang. "Three." By fourteen, she's reeling, wobbling forward, her high heels not helping her keep her balance as the endorphins swim through her. "Fifteen," she says, and stays down, waiting for more.

"Corner," he commands, and she goes. He gets his last cane. A fat thing. Long. Hard. Fatter than a wooden spoon. "Bend," he says, and she goes down. "Twenty," he says. "Count them."

And lays into her, carefully. Hurting himself more than he's hurting her, as it turns out.

Because, after a short break, they reverse roles. She becomes his mom. And he's the naughty schoolboy. And she's merciless. And he's loving it. Same smacking order... hand, slipper, belt, small cane, medium cane, heavy cane. But LOTS more strokes for him. After all, he's a naughty boy, isn't he??

This is the corporal punishment role-play moot, where people get to ask questions about how they can make their fantasy scenes better. Aryan Kaganof is with me. He's visiting the moot cos he's made a few short films and documentaries with a BDSM focus. He's offered to do a screening for the moot people, and he's here to meet Burninglash, the maestro who orchestrates these things.

Burninglash steps up and thanks the two cane-mavens. Applause. Then he says, "I've got a special announcement. We've created a website to help build the BDSM community in South Africa. It's called 'Collar Me Dot Co Dot Zed Ay'. And I'd like to urge you to sign in, and become part of it." He goes on to explain how works, and about the various levels. Then he invites questions, which go on for a short while.

After the questions, Aryan says goodnight, having chatted briefly with Burninglash. They'll chat another time.

I'm never really gotten into caning. Probably cos I don't actually HAVE a cane. But Karen's here, and the canes are still on the counter. I ask the short guy if it would be okay to smack Karen with his canes. "Go ahead," he says. "But just make sure you don't let it whip around her leg. That's really not good technique."

Karen bends over, and I do a light swipe, to see if my technique's right. "Perfect," he says. With one hand, I grab Karen by the hair, and pull her into a nice, tight-butt-skin position. She gasps with pleasure.

And I swing lightly, learning how to place the rod. I'm using the thin one. I give her five light blows, and she's wriggling with a mixture of pain and happiness. The sixth one I go a bit harder, and she springs up, and grabs her butt. "Owowowowoow!" she says.

I pull her head down again, and say, "Bend! NOW!" She immediately acquiesces, and I pick up the medium cane. And give her a swift six, swinging quite hard.

The short guy comes and chats to us. He's into corporal punishment, not D/s, which is what Karen and I play with. D/s is "Domination & Submission". Karen likes to submit. I like to dominate. The stuff this dude does is from another paradigm.

"Basically," he says, "I need the role-play in order to accept the beating. I wouldn't be able to just bend over and be caned. There has to be some sort of motivation to it, and the role-play is what puts me into a space to receive or give it."

Karen says, "It's not the pain or the role play that I go for. It's the submission. When Roy was caning me now, it hurt like hell. But what I liked was that he was forcing me to endure it."

Two worlds that don't intersect.

The end of the night, and all the perverts spill out into the real world, wondering where to get good canes. I'll probably just stick to using my bare hand.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Fan, Bryanston

Monday, February 21, 2005

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

Earlier today, Dr Peter sent me an sms instructing me to prepare myself for our backgammon match tonight. I sent him a message back saying, "Hey, Doc... bring adult nappies and industrial quantities of KY Jelly, cos you're gonna need them."

I've just finished my fettuccini bolognaise, and it's tasty, if a little mundane.

Peter has finished his chicken curry, and he reckons it's damn good. He's also finished me off, good and solid. Sadly, he didn't bring the nappies. Or the KY. So I'm limping home tonight after a 21--6 drubbing.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Europa, Rosebank

Thursday, February 17, 2005

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

I've been on hold to Telkom for 11 minutes now. I'm waiting for one of their technicians to help me sort out my wifi connection. Europa in Rosebank is a hotspot, and I thought I'd treat myself to a birthday supper WITH free internet access.

I've also just bought myself a cool book for my birthday. It's called WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK by Donald Maass. I've got the book it's based on, but haven't read it yet. I've been eyeing this one for months. I figure that my credit card is able to support this little indulgence, and I actually want to honour the fact that I've finished a second draft of my novel by treating it to an expert third draft. This book is the real deal. It's about dedicating a languid year to fixing the book. I'm keen.

The decaf cappuccino is delicious. But the phone call isn't. I hang up, and ask the waiter if he knows anything about wifi. He calls Vasco, the owner of the place. "Nuh!" he says. "Telkom has stopped the service. It's finished. Trial period only. Now they want us to pay."

I presented a near-final cut of the video to our clients this afternoon. They liked the work, but there are inevitable changes. Which is cool, cos that's how this strange industry works. We'll be presenting the next semi-final cut to them tomorrow morning.

My Fettucini Avo Rock arrives. It's got fresh rocket, avo, sundried tomatoes, goat's milk cheese, sweet basil, cream and roasted almonds. If the pasta were a little less well-done, this dish would be sensational. It's hugely tasty.

Karen calls.

"Hey, birthday boy," she says, "where are you?"

"Rosebank, Europa," I say. She's my ex-girlfriend, the babe who introduced me to the delights of D/s. Ah. Bondage. Tying her up. Indulging in the odd bit of perversion. Hmmmm. "Where are you?"

"Mugg & Bean, Rosebank," she says. "I'll pop in and say hi."

She's going dancing tonight at the studio upstairs at the Rosebank Mall. Her date hasn't arrived, and there's nothing happening at the venue. So she's on the move.

"Happpy birthday!" she says, and gives me a huge kiss. "Here's something I made for you."

It's a card with a hand-drawn bare butt on the front. Inside, she's written, 'Thought you'd like a piece of ass for your birthday!'

Turns out it's a voucher.

"I owe you a birthday shag," she says.

Hmmmmm. I haven't been getting any for a while. Tempting.

She says, "But not tonight, birthday boy." So Saturday it is. Hehehehehe. Her phone rings. It's her date. She gets up. We hug. Kiss. With tongue. "Seeya Saturday," she says, and breezes off in her mini-cargo skirt.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Cool Runnings, Melville

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

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

I've finished editing for the day. And I've arrived at Cool Runnings with at least an hour to spare before the monthly BDSM moot convenes. This month, they'll be talking about the sadistic art of spanking, something Karen tells me I'm pretty good at. I'm keen to learn more.

I order a Tab with extra lemon, and I go and sit out on the balcony, ready to greet my fellow perverts as they arrive for the moot.

I get lost checking email on my palmtop computer, and a quarter hour has passed. I notice that I'm absent-mindedly tapping the table with the flat of my hand. Getting in some practice.

Finally, my Tab arrives. The waitress doesn't apologise for its lateness.

I answer a call, send an email, and it's 7:30. Odd that no fierce dominants and subservient submissives have arrived by now.

I call MMM. "Hey," I say, adding his real name as a matter of courtesy, "is tonight moot night?"

"Nah. It's next week."

I hang around for another half hour, wondering if the waitress is avoiding me. Maybe she's into BDSM? Maybe she's trying to provoke me into giving her a good spanking?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Wiesenhof, Killarney

Monday, February 14, 2005

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

This is one seriously romantic Valentine's day. I received an sms from a friend to say, "Hey Roy, what you up to tonight?"

I replied, "I'm playing backgammon. What are you up to? Did you wanna get together with me and be romantic?"

"I'm sick in bed," she replied. "I was asking, cos I want to find out how a polyamorist spends Valentine's Day!"

Well, this polyamorist is being a tad reclusive. One of the babes I was seeing is now firmly ensconced in Cape Town. Another of the babes is going to be partnering with me in getting my creativity seminars certified, and we'll be marketing them vigorously this year, and I don't shag people I work with. The third of my babes, Helen, has been out of town for ages, and we're simply not getting round to seeing each other as much as we should!!!

So, what this means, in polyamory terms, is that I'm, well, kinda single. Footloose and fancy free. With a family pack of condoms ready to wear.

Which is why I'm facing Jens over a loaded backgammon board. He's one of the better players in the club, having made it into the A-division last year fairly easily.

Within minutes of starting play, I'm 10--0 down.

"How's fatherhood?" I ask him. He's got a new little baby person.

"Ah, it's really wonderful," he gushes. "I'm going to do it. This is my first time," he says, and he reaches for his wallet. "My first wallet picture," he says, pulling a little laminated photo out of a credit card slot.

"Nice baby!" I say. And it is. Huge blue eyes.

"He's too pretty to be a boy," says Jens.

I throw my dice. And start to pull back into the match. But I'm not pulling hard enough, and he beats me 21--20 in a terrifyingly tight finish.

I go into the smoking section, where Matt is playing against Donka. He's just survived a surprise feisty streak from her. She's not the best player in the club. Still very new to the doubling cube, and still learning through losing quite a lot. So when Matt was 17--10 down to her, everyone was surprised. Cos he's one of the top three or four players in the club. But he's up now, and feeling happier.

My ex-boss is playing her match next to him. I greet her, and she looks up. She greets me back, courteously enough for someone refusing to pay me what she owes me. Seems she's ignoring the lawyer's letter. But the deadline hasn't passed. So we'll see what she decides. It's amazing to me that she's withholding my pay. Cos I have absolutely nothing to lose except for a coupla grand.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

De La Creme, Melville

Saturday, February 12, 2005

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

I have two reasons to be excited right now. The one is that the babe sitting beside me is Jacqui, my gorgeous ex-girlfriend. The second is that she's giving me a birthday present. (My birthday is on the 17th, making me an Aquarian. But it's a little more complex, since there are moons and houses and ascendants and things.)

Of course, there's no hope whatsoever of getting back together with her, but it's still really lovely being with her. She's been running a lot, and she's looking delicious.

Her birthday present to me is something completely unique. She's an advanced astrology student, and she's prepared my birthchart.

"So," I say, "are we compatible?"

She smiles. Shakes her head. It's not that kind of reading.

So my sun sign is Aquarius. And it's conjunct with Mercury. My ascendant is Sagittarius, and my moon is in Libra. My midheaven is Virgo. And Chiron is in Pisces. Mars is also in Pisces. (Or should that be, Pisces is in Mars? The terminology is all quite daunting. But I'm making notes.) Venus is in Capricorn. Neptune is in Scorpio. And my Part of Fortune is in Cancer.

So that's my chart. And I'm NOT going to explain it to you. You'll have to have a consultation with Jacqui if you want clarity on all this.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Mugg & Bean, Killarney

Thursday, February 10, 2005

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

My lawyer has decided to try the blueberry flapjacks with cream. I'm having a roasted chicken sandwich.

Martin used to be a public prosecutor, back in the days when he was doing good for all humankind. One of the straws that broke that particular do-good back was when he had to go up against a dude from some rural community somewhere who was caught by three of his neighbours with his dick actually inside his dog.

"I don't like bestiality," he says to me.

We've been chatting via phone and email since the day my ex-boss decided to shaft me for the balance of my directing fee. He's been giving me advice on what I can and can't say on the site.

He's looking at my employment contract right now. He laughs, his mouth twisting into a piranha-like gape. I think he's caught the scent of blood here.

"Roy, I'm going to draft a contract for you to keep on your computer. Next time an employer hands you a contract, hand it back, and use the one I'm going to do for you. This one is pathetic. Everything in it is vague."

"Yeah," I say. "But doesn't that suit them?"

"Actually, no," he says. He's working for a bunch of mavens who specialise in labour and tax law. "See," he says, "when things are as vague as this, other factors come into play." I'm not going into these, since I'm not tipping my ex-boss into just how I'm going to go about dealing with this. She reads my site.

"But Martin," I say, "what on EARTH is going through this woman's head? What does she think she's going to ACHIEVE by shafting me?"

He shrugs. "I come across this every day, Roy. Chances are, she thinks that if she refuses to pay you, you won't want to waste the time and energy on fighting it, and that you'll just disappear. She gets your work for free, in essence."

'Yeah," I say, "but doesn't she KNOW that there are consequences? This is the tiniest industry on the planet. And it RUNS on freelancers. Doesn't she understand that you can't shaft freelancers, and that we all know each other, and we all have friends who have friends? Man. This just doesn't make sense."

"Maybe she's just taking a chance," he says.

"Unless she GENUINELY believes that I've somehow shafted her?" I say.

"Roy, did you do the work?"

We've been over this at least six times. I've given him the exact chronology. I've told him what I did and didn't do. I've told him why I did what I did. And I've told him what she did to prevent me doing what I didn't do. And I've told him about the agreement we reached in a room full of people in December, in which I agreed to go back to the company for three days in January to complete one story. She agreed. I came in for those three days and completed three stories. And then she reneged on her payment schedule.

"I did the work," I say.

"So then it doesn't matter if SHE thinks YOU shafted her." He nibbles on his flapjack. "What matters is how a reasonable person would understand this complex situation."

It's my turn to shrug. "I have absolutely nothing to lose," I say. "And I really think that it's about time this sort of thing stops happening."

"I'll send her a lawyer's letter of demand tomorrow," he says.

And then we talk about writing. He's a novelist. I'm a novelist. He's translating a short story of mine into Afrikaans.

"What kind of a dog was it?" I ask.

His hands come up in an involuntary gesture to ward off the question. "I don't want to talk about that!" he says.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Fan, Bryanston

Monday, February 7, 2005

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

My ex-boss isn't at backgammon for some or other reason. Pity. I'd love to know why she hasn't replied to my email. After last week's letter from her in which she informed me I was under threat of arrest for debt collection, I thought long and hard, and sent her a conciliatory email.

No response at all.

So I'll be meeting my lawyer on Thursday, and we'll see what there is to see.

In the meantime, Boris seems to have had a fresh shave since last week. He's normally fairly shaggy, probably a legacy of his past in braving Bulgarian winters.

He's risen up the ranks in the backgammon club quite nicely. From being a beginner a few months ago, he came first in the third division. Impressive.

In our first game, I notice some erratic play on his part. I decide to punish it by offering him the cube. This serves two purposes at this stage of the game. Firstly, it warns him that I'm going to pounce on poor play. Secondly, it tests how he responds to the cube. If he takes it with cavalier disregard to what's actually going on, it gives me some knowledge to use in later games.

He takes the cube without even pausing to evaluate the board. This is great for me. Knowledge is power, and from this point on, I know I'm going to win.

In this particular game though, our first of the evening, I lose two points. So he's up. And gloating. And I'm smiling. Cos he's got some serious butt-ache to contend with shortly.

We start our second game. It's going quite nicely for him. He gives me the cube, turning it to two. There's NO way he should have cubed me. So now I hold the cube, and this gives me a huge edge over him.

He makes a dubious play, putting himself way behind in the game. But he's already shown me what he's made of. So when I casually turn the cube to four, and place it on his side of the board, I stare off into the middle distance and wait for his testosterone to steam through his veins, into his temples, and pop through his brain.

I don't have to wait very long. He takes the cube. And it's just a matter of playing tight from now on for me to win. Not only do I play tight, he also makes a few bizarre moves of his own, and I end up gammoning him. In one fell swoop, I'm 8--2 up.

We start our third game. I cube him early, when there's no real advantage for either of us. He takes.

I've read his cube play. Soon, if I make what he thinks is a mistake, he'll cube me back, putting it on four on my side of the board.

A few moves later, I play my turn, pick up my dice, and exclaim, "Ah, shit! I misplayed that. Shoulda played like this." And I show him some spurious move. All I'm doing is playing his ego. He's NOT analyzing my position very well. But he THINKS that I've made a mistake. Sheesh. I'd love to play poker against this guy. Sure as dynamite, two moves later, in an indifferent position, he cubes me back. So there it is. Sitting on four. In my clutches.

I outplay him a bit, and when it's ALMOST hopeless for him, but not clearly so, I turn the cube to eight. If he takes, and I win, I shoot ahead to 12--2. If I gammon him, I win the match, cos we only play up to 21, and a gammon puts me at 24--2. Of course, if he beats me, he goes 10--8 ahead. But I'm not worried about that. I've got his measure.

Very quickly, my position becomes insurmountable. I decide to play for the gammon. This involves a little bit of danger to me, but the payoff is huge. It means I go home early. Boris throws a few disastrous dice, which really screw his position totally, and I sail home, sipping a delicious and fairly cheap minestrone soup between throws.

We shake hands after I beat him, and he asks for a friendly rematch. So we play to five points, just for fun, and he beats me 5--2.

My ex-boss still hasn't pitched by the time I leave. Ah well. I'll see her next week.