Saturday, October 26, 2002

Espresso, Parkhurst

Saturday, October 26, 2002

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

Alistair and I have just finished thrashing each other at backgammon. We ended up square -- nil-nil. So while I feel bruised and battered from the ups and downs of the game, at least I'm still able to sit. Normally, Alistair is so much better than me that I end up with a very painful backside. He doesn't use Vaseline, see? He's gone off home to sulk, and I've been driving around trying to find a suitable parking spot, so I can catch a bite in the trendy part of Joburg.

Espresso is great, since there's a parking space right outside, and I can sit at a sidewalk table with my car winking at me. I like being able to keep my eye on it.

Actually, there's more to it.

Waitresses and managers tend to treat me better when they see me emerging from a sports car. They seem to think I'm more important than I really am. And I do nothing to discourage such thinking.

I've just received an sms from Heidi telling me an email has been sent. Naturally, I can't wait to get home, so I whip out my trusty Psion 5MX palmtop, and my less-trusty Nokia 6310i (it's a dog -- it drops my internet connection if I try to send emails larger than 1kb, and seems not to be able to send faxes larger than one page; my old 7110 could, so why can't this one, huh, Nokia techies??), and grab my email.

Yup. There it is. A message from Heidi.

Just as I'm counting the number of picture attachments, Erich arrives en route to Sandton, so I have to stop myself from being rude. We talk for a while. He and I are in business together. He's kind of taken over from me as the chief engine of Barefoot Press. We're trying to make some serious money out of the poetry tablecloths I introduced the world to two years ago.

Erich leaves after an hour or so, but, before reading my email, I order a chicken prego roll with chips.

And look at the pictures.

Heidi has had a blind mole following her around, and she's taken some digital pics of it. They kinda look a bit abstract on my four-tone grey-scale screen, but the textures are amazing. I'll look at them on a real monitor when I get home.

Half an hour later, and after reading the long and engrossing email, I notice that I'm really hungry, and my food still hasn't arrived.

"Excuse me," I say to the waitress, who is clearly not impressed by my car or my palmtop computer. "Have they forgotten about my prego roll and chips in the kitchen?"

"No, it's coming," she says, and before she can turn away to go check on her blatant lie, another waiter brings my order to the table.

So I eat the chips while typing away one-thumbed on my Nokia, composing an sms haiku inspired by Heidi. (If you're wondering, a haiku is a Japanese poetry form, comprising three lines, the first with five syllables, the second with seven syllables, and the third with five syllables. The pure form must contain a reference to nature, and cannot have any rhymes.)


an sms haiku by Roy Blumenthal

Inland; ears straining.
Dial Heidi on my cellphone:
listen to the sea.

I send it to about a hundred people. Christian Blomkamp, a key writer for the soap opera, GENERATIONS, sends me a reply almost immediately: "2 out of 20, Roy. But keep trying."

Then my long-lost buddy, Brett, sends me a message: "When are you coming to Cape Town to visit?"

I tell him I'm cyber flirting with this remarkable Somerset West babe, and that I've gotten my act together to apply for leave. So I'll be in Cape Town over December. (I have this real problem with things like holidays. As a compulsive workaholic with a thousand projects on at any given time, holidays are weird things for me.)

By this time the chips are finished and I'm ready to start on the prego.

It's edible. That's about it. Nothing special, and I won't be ordering it again. Not at R32.

Dion Scher sends me an sms. "I'm in the movies." I send him one back: "I'm also in the movies. I write the things." Hahahaha. (Well, at least I got to have a laugh.)

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