One dark night in Deepest Darkest Doornfontein we were playing darts in the New Doornfontein Hotel pub, a salubrious emporium of renown. Probably one of the best hotels in Doornfontein. Top three anyway.
Actually to be more exact, we were engaged in a very important international darts championship tournament, and we were in the final. We had made it through to the final by skill and courage. And imbibing. See, it was The unOfficial Inebriated World Darts Championships of The World. Our opponents were the Sicilian Mafia who had materialised out of nowhere, tapped one of us on the shoulder and announced darkly in a sinister growl: “We play you next.” That’s how they got into the final. We didn’t dare to do anything but nod nervously.
It was like this in the Us vs Them stakes:
We were not fooled when during the important ceremony of ‘diddle for middle’ they missed the bull’s eye by about three metres and we hit bull to go off first. We knew they were simply lulling us into a false sense of security and had in fact wanted us to go first as part of a dastardly plot. This plan was executed faultlessly as we continued to whip they asses and beat them by a mile in all three rounds. Something was afoot. We got even more nervous when they appeared to accept their defeat in good spirit and retired to a corner of the bar conversing – sinisterly for Sicilians – in Portuguese and Joburg English.
Our lives were saved that night in that we ordered beers when the barman called ‘Last Round!’ and the Mafia didn’t. So at closing time the Mafiosi left and we stayed behind to finish our drinks, huddled in a corner as far away as we could get from the door in case it suddenly shattered and splintered under sustained machine gun fire.
The barman then escorted us out the back. He ‘eskorted’ us note . . Behind the bar counter, through the kitchen past the chest freezers – take note, I am not mentioning the chest freezers for nothing here – past the chest freezers: these clues will feature again at the end of this story, eskort and those chest freezers – and out the back door. As I hurried through the kitchen I thought I had seen some movement of the one chest freezer lid out of the corner of my eye . .
Then we were outside – into the courtyard of the New Doornfontein which was even darker than the unlit streets. Then out that side motor gate visible on the far left into Height Street.
We scurried home through the empty streets at night to our lavish quarters in the plush Doories residence of the Witwatersrand College for Advanced Technical Education a few blocks away, keeping to the shadows. It was all shadows.
Once safely inside we opened the large door of the old off-white Westinghouse with ‘Fridge Over Troubled Waters’ written on it in cokie pen. Finally we, The unOfficial Inebriated World Darts Champions of The World, could relax. Another beer to calm our troubled nerves . .
Suddenly the smell of frying bacon filled the room . . .
and then . . . . .