Saturday, November 16, 2002

Cafe TriBeCa, Rosebank

Saturday, November 16, 2002

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

There are some occupational hazards involved with driving a convertible. On my way to the Rosebank Mall this evening, I arrive at a robot, looking left and right and back and front, being hyper vigilant about Johannesburg's finest -- the hijackers.

I'm listening to Pulp on the sound system, singing along. Suddenly this Bohemian white boy lurches across the road. He's running towards me, and one hand is in his belt. He could be about to pull a knife, or he's making sure his dagga stompie or his crack rocks won't fall out as he stumbles towards me.

I'm checking the robots, trying to gauge exactly when I can pull off safely without getting rammed. I'm in first gear, and I'm revving hard. I've unclipped my seatbelt, and I'm ready for violence. I will apply my tai chi training if the robot doesn't change.

"Hey!" says the dude, slurring, "Gimme a fuckin' lift you poes!" and he tries to hop into my passenger seat. The robot's changing, and I dance the car out from under him.

But I digress. I'm sitting here in TriBeCa with my famous Afrikaans actor buddy, Andre Stoltz. (I have to mention that he's famous, otherwise noone would know it.) Since my last bad experience at TriBeCa, I've decided never to waste my time attempting to eat anything here.

Andre is none the wiser. So he orders a toasted chicken mayo sandwich on brown. "Don't do it to yourself," I say. But he smiles charmingly at Zahra, our extremely gorgeous young waitress with alluring dimples, and orders it anyway.

"Do you have any Snapple?" I say, doing my charming bit.

Zahra says, "Uhm... We've got Smirnoff Ice."

"No! Not alcohol! Fruit juice. Snapple. Made from the best thing on earth!"

She blushes, and apologises. It's clear that in the world of TriBeCa, people who don't automatically order alcohol are a rarity. I'm not entirely sure, but I think this wins me a few brownie points with her. I order strawberry juice.

Andre says, "Roy, she wants you, my boy."

Which makes me think of Warren Zevon, the singer dying of lung cancer as I type. One of his lyrics goes, "I went home with a waitress... the way I always do... how was I to know... she was with the Russians too."

Which makes me think of me. I've never successfully gone home with a waitress. Once in Melville a waitress actually hit on me, but we didn't have sex. She didn't do sex on the first night. And another time in Parkhurst, a few months after I broke up with Antoinette, I took this babe waitress to Hartebeespoort Dam in my car, but we ended up not having sex either. So my batting average with waitresses is zero.

"Here's your strawberry juice," Zahra says.

"And you're ABSOLUTELY SURE there's no alcohol in this? You didn't maybe slip me that date rape drug, did you?"

She blushes, and her dimples get seriously pronounced, and for a moment I think it would be great if I could sit there till midnight and wait for her to get off work, and then be like Warren Zevon just once. But I'm saving myself for Heidi in Somerset West.

Andre's so-called food arrives. It's a limp, lightly toasted sandwich made from regulation government brown bread. There's MUCH too much mayonnaise. There are two small shreds of lettuce on the side, with an onion ring slapped on top. And there are FIVE rather over-sized potato chips. Five. I counted.

It's not Zahra's fault that the food's so cruddy here. So, despite the food, if things don't work out with Heidi in Somerset West, I'll have to come back to TriBeCa to order more Snapples. And maybe next time, if I have a waitress in my passenger seat, I won't have anyone attempting to jump in. Although, looking at Zahra's good looks, maybe there'll be MORE people trying to get in.

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