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4_Optometry Johannesburg 7_Confessions 8_Nostalgia school

My Best Man (confessions about . . )

My Best Man, I have always said, is one of the most honest upright people I’ve known. I’ve said this for many years. It isn’t strictly true.

One dark night in Deepest Darkest Doornfontein, shortly after having been crowned The unOfficial Inebriated World Dartsh Championsh of The World, the story of which famous victory has appeared in print elsewhere, we were smuggled out of the bar in secret to avoid a massacre by the vengeful forces that had lost to us in the final.

Behind the bar counter, through the kitchen, past the chest freezers and out the back door into the courtyard of the New Doornfontein. Out into that dark night.

Through the kitchen. Did you get that part? Through the hotel kitchen. Past a number of chest deep freeze cabinets. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the lids lifting, a hand reaching in and a packet being shoved under an old jersey. The jersey was probably part of the uniform of the new unOfficial Inebriated World Dartsh Championsh of The World.

When we got to the safety of our large and lavish room in the plush Doories residence a few blocks away we were highly relieved and thankful to have survived. So we reached into the huge old off-white – or once-white – Westinghouse we had inherited with ‘Fridge Over Troubled Waters’ written on the door in black coki pen and calmed our nerves. Poor old Willie the housemaster came round to ask us to Please turn down the sound, manne, my wife is trying to sleep. We felt for him.

Then an interesting aroma started to fill the room: BACON. Being fried on the two-plate hot plate. By My Best Man.

.

.

Somehow he had managed to procure a small snack and was generously preparing to share it. Not to mention the word purloining or anything and with no video camera evidence (they hadnt been invented yet), it remains only a suspicion that THAT’s what had been lifted from the chest deep freeze of the New Doornfontein Hotel. Illicitly. Nor do we know for sure that THAT’s who had dunnit. Did I mention he has a small trace of Jewish blood running through his veins, which would then make this not only a crime, but also a sin?

It was delicious. And was also the only Doornfontein escort we ever scored with . .

~~~oo0oo~~~

I had hidden this evidence docket, but then I got a confession from the perpetrator here and so now it has gone public, to be read by both my followers. One of whom is probably the said perp.

~~~oo0oo~~~

As we revved up on another evening after a night’s carousing, we rollicked as poor old Willie the housemaster asked us Please to behave manne, my wife is trying to sleep. We felt for him.

Gradually another bright idea took hold in the most inebriated head in the gang: Converting the hostel angle-iron bed into a fold-away stretcher. You can’t bend angle-iron, but My Best Man had done a year’s engineering before he started optometry, so through persistence and focused dedication, he did. His skilful panel-beating expertise is depicted in the big pic above *.

Gabba Glass Flagon

The sheer force of this exercise bumped the bed against an heirloom 5-gallon glass flagon with two ears. An heirloom purchased months before in a Yeoville junk shop. SMASH and tinkle. It must have been tempered glass, as there were millions of tiny pieces! My investment reduced to splinters. The crash brought the housemaster Willie to the door from his large housemaster residence adjacent. Please manne, I’m arsing you now to be a little bit quieter. My wife is trying to sleep. We felt for him.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Barks – Woof Barker, another character about whom a dog-eared book should be written – sometimes inexplicably went to bed early. Something about a good night’s sleep. Can you believe it? One night we got home handsome and clever and Barks had locked his door. Which was his right, except the Fridge Over Troubled Waters was in his room, and the beer was in that fridge. When we failed to rouse him, Chris Slabber said “Hold My Beer and Stand back!” and next minute BA-BLAM! he shot off the doorlock! It seems people from Die Pêrel with CJ numberplates carry small arms with them in case of moeilikheid. I didn’t know that. Access to refreshment was thus obtained. It was like the bloody Wild West!

Asseblief manne, said poor gentlemanly housemaster Willie, My wife is trying to sleep. We felt for him.

CJ Paarl numberplate
– CJ number plate like Slabber’s –

We wondered what Barks meant when he brought us a bullet he’d found near his pillow next morning. What was ‘e on about?

~~~oo0oo~~~

.

You’ll have a positive outlook on this eventful evening if you remember:

“Education is the sum of what students teach each other between lectures and seminars” – Stephen Fry

~~~oo0oo~~~

Asseblief manne – stop it, you hooligans! or ‘Gentlemen, Please’

Die Pêrel – the city of Paarl in the western cape province; average of eighteen teeth per head; papsak territory

papsak – wine containers without corks or Platter recommendations

moeilikheid – shit; troubled waters

~~~oo0oo~~~

This * jumping thing got worse and developed into a habit.

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4_Optometry Johannesburg 7_Confessions

International Darts Champs

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:

– Us – – Them –

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: they will feature again at the end of this story, 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.

New Doornfontein Hotel side exit
– recent pictures here and top showing clearly how the New Doories has been nicely renovated since our day – also doubled its number of stars – bloody looxury now – ‘open till late’ –

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 . .

fridge.jpg
Suddenly the smell of frying bacon filled the room . . .

and then . . . . .