Friday, June 06, 2003

Primi Piatti, Rosebank Zone

Friday, June 06, 2003

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

Like most of my portraits, Jacqui is much prettier in real life. I'm still working on getting my sketches to work as seduction tools. Sigh.Jacqui and I sitting having coffee at Primi Piatti, a spot where the beautiful people hang out. And the ugly people hang out to hang out with the beautiful people. And we're being beautiful together, oblivious to any surrounding beauty. This is our second date.

We're here together because of a quirk of fate. A mutual friend is getting married. Erich Viedge... Cool dude extraordinaire. Multilinguist. Man with a huge cd collection. Man who brings his friends together.

Last Saturday a bunch of us found ourselves at Cafe Cafe in Village Walk to have our wedding invitations personally issued. I'm on the list. I made it to the cut, being a close friend and all. So did Jacqui.

"Okay," says Erich, standing up and tapping a glass with a pen. I'm blowing soap bubbles, and they're popping on Janet's head. Janet is the lovely fiancée. "Listen up," says the Viedge. "We've set up a gift registry at the HOME store in Rosebank. If you want to get us anything, that's where to go." He sits down.

I say, "Erich, what would be a really meaningful present from me to you? What would you like ME to give you?"

He thinks for a while. Snaps his fingers. "Gottit!" he says, eyes bright. "There's a Patrick Rorke painting I've set aside at the Stewart Gallery in Parkhurst. It's R1500. If you can contribute something to that, I'd be very very very happy."

"Done," I say. I own a Rorke already, a beautiful nude that hangs on my bedroom wall. And Antoinette, my ex, has another of his nudes on her bedroom wall. It was a present from me to her after we broke up. "Which painting of his do you want?" I went to the opening of that exhibition, and had my eye on two of them -- a Muslim Girl, and a Woman Playing Guitar.

Erich says, "There's this amazing painting of a woman playing a guitar. That's the one." This fellow has excellent taste. "Hang on," he says, with another snap of the fingers. "Guys," he says, standing up again. "Roy asked me what I REALLY want, and it's a painting by Patrick Rorke. If you'd like to contribute to that, give some bucks to Roy. He's the contact person."

Everyone's keen, and it's a really meaningful gift. I collect a whole bunch of money, but a few people haven't given any. "Jacqui," I say, "will you contribute?"

"I don't have cash on me at the moment," she says. "Can I transfer some into your bank account during the week?"

I don't realise it at the time, but this is a delicious ploy on her part to ensure that we make contact during the week. "Sure," I say. And the party dissolves, and we all head for the sunset.

Now, sitting here at Primi Piatti, I find out what Jacqui was up to. She says, "If I gave you money that Saturday, there would've been no reason for us to get together." Excellent! This chick is total babeness. "And when you emailed me to say we should meet so I could hand over the money instead of transferring it, you made my day. People at work kept looking at my smile and saying, 'Who's the guy?'"

She and I did coffee on Tuesday night. Strolled down to the Stewart Gallery and looked at the painting through the window. Strolled some more. Stood in a doorway and kissed for about an hour. Yummy!

For our second date, we've just seen BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, a movie that blew the top of my head off.

And that's hopefully the last time I use the phrase, "blew the top of my head off". Quite a negative phrase, don't you think? And a phrase that just invites trouble, seeing as Charlton Heston is still alive and mostly-well and advocating gun ownership. And seeing as he has Alzheimer's, he might not remember how many times he's pulled the trigger. What's more, George Dubbya Bush is still finding enemies under every fig leaf.

Here's an SMS poem I wrote to commemorate Mr Bush's victory in Iraq...


by Roy Blumenthal

If the US troops wore Nike boots,
if the Burger King would only serve sin,
if Saddam's soul could be heard from hell,
if dollars were in
stroking Levi-clad skin,
if pulling the pin
meant Palestine would win,
if Bush's spunk could be spiked like junk,
if Korea were clean instead of lean and mean,
if war-wound cots were the price of loss,
if second-hand Jeeps were ours to keep,
then that's what war is for.

So here Jacqui and I sit, adoring each other, and wondering why on earth it's taken so many years for us to finally get together.

And suddenly I'm out of the "shag-anything-that-moves" mode I've been in since Heidi dumped me. I'm now firmly in the cross-hairs of "looming relationship" mode. Sheesh. Where the hell does this stuff come from??? And can it be trusted?

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