Oh dear. OH dear.
Let me just say this. No night at Bokkie’s Breakdance Bar in Springs has EVER left me feeling the way I felt on Thursday morning, the morning after the night that I will never forget.
Except I did forget, for a few days. That, dear readers, is why I have been absent for so long. I have been suffering from some bizarre form of alcohol induced amnesia that resulted in me walking around the ICC in vain search of panado, epsom salts (don’t ask) and a computer to blog on. Alas, it was not to be. I recall taking my computer to the gala dinner but I do not recall bringing it back. There is a possibility in a drunken moment that I donated it to a whining student from UCT who pleaded poverty. Strikes me as a bit odd now though – she was wearing a cocktail dress and six-inch stilettos. She must have been very persuasive. And so it has taken me a few days to recover and find a computer before I could once again fill you in on my move up the editorial rope ladder, as it were.
So. The closing dinner. Let me just reach back into the dusty, wine-filled cellar of my mind, and pick out a couple of classic bottles of memory. Nederburg 2005? A terrible year, according to someone from Johncom. Didn’t know you had to be well versed in wine-tasting to get trashed on some good plonk.
Anyway, the gala dinner at Nederburg was a real blast. Lots of pretty people, old people, and pretty old people dressed up to the nines catching busses to a wine farm. Sounds like a recipe for success (or disaster) if you ask me. Despite the rain, quite a few daring ladies managed to face the cold and turn up in “this dress cost more then my wedding ring” outfits. It was lovely to marvel at the ways in which their skin turned purple and attractive shivers ran down their spines. Ah, the sacrifices women make to look good. You really have to wonder.
I, on the other hand, was quite comfy in my purple turtleneck and beige Jet chino’s, pressed especially for the occasion by the German maid at the backpackers. Except for the burn mark right next to my ass cheek, I looked great. Let’s just say that I’m glad I remembered to pack my beige underwear.
Despite the cold weather everyone was cheered up by the shortage of speeches and the abundance of wine. Good food, good times! I settled myself at a table with the red-haired object of affection in my line of vision. Tonight was going to be the night I thought. Ladylove, you’re not going to know what hit you.
I think that might have been the last clear thought that I had that evening, or at least the last one I can remember. Everything else seemed rather fuzzy. I remember the glorious strands of Dr. Victor and the Rasta Rebels whistling their way to my ears like the call of a piet-my-vrou in the heat of summer. The tables emptied as people made their way to the dance floor.
Now, as you all know, I’m a pretty conservative oke. I must say that I was quite shocked by the flamboyant way in which editors, publishers and journalists conduct themselves at night. Talk about letting go! Gees, I haven’t seen such a party since I stumbled on that bring-and-braai at the Benoni drive-in. What a night! The only person who looked unhappy was that columnist from the Sunday Times – Fred or something? Not sure he was to keen on hearing Dr Victor cover Bob Marley. Shame for him! But more space on the dance floor for us! I have never seen so many old (ish) people get up and party. I must say, that young girl who was flung around by the CEO of Media 24 looked like she was having a bit of hard time. I don’t think he recognised the look of pain on her face as he stepped on her feet repeatedly while swinging her around. I was just about to be merciful and save her when she was thrown into the arms of what looked like a 14 year old, pasty-faced British boy. All I heard as he swung her around was another man whispering to another girl that if they wanted to get anywhere in journalism, they should show this boy “a good time”.
Aha! So that’s really how it works. The sordid details of the media world reveal themselves!
In an attempt to find the red haired lady who had so unsuspectingly stolen my heart, I stumbled outside onto the smokers infested red carpet. The young girl who had been attacked on the dance floor was moaning at another young chap for handing her over to the wiles of the young teenage boy. She was saying things about “matter of decency”, and “working – not sleeping – my way to the top”. Wow, what a firecracker. She was accompanied by two girls laughing uproariously, and another young chap who spoke with a very British accent. Now this group of people looked interesting. I started wondering how I could muscle in on their vibe when I heard one of them talking to that curly-haired bloke from the M&G Online about the “Naked Editor” bloke. I nearly choked on my fine wine when I heard that. Didn’t really think people knew about me, or were talking about me, but my surprise they were – even arguing about me!
I regained my composure and listened with amusement as curly boy talked about he had “inside information” about who the Naked Editor was, and that he would “eventually find out who it really was”. The young girls standing with him rolled their eyes and said that if anyone had “inside information”, it was them! I was tickled with glee. There I was, standing next to them the whole time, and they had no idea! I thought these people were journalists, not masters of inaccurate speculation. Wait…. I think I might actually have hit upon the essence of journalistic endeavour.
Jeez, so my blog is gaining some ground! And among the very people I was hoping to impress! Best be careful not to reveal too much about myself, or people might not want to hire me in the future…
(Although from the state of journalists and editors at the party, looks like publishers and owners are willing to hire just about anyone)
After that the evening was really quite a blur. A fuzzy blur. With chocolate mousse edges. (It was a blur with personality). I found myself in the bus travelling through wine country in the dead of night. Once again the young girl from the party was there, sitting across from me. Before I drifted off I noticed that she was leaning her head against the shoulders of some burly, good-looking Cameroonian guy who said he worked for Reuters. She kept saying she was so happy to be with such a damn good-looking man. I looked hard, but I just couldn’t see it. Even under the influence of Nederburg’s not-so-finest. Anyway, if he really was that good looking, I wondered, why wasn’t he an editor yet? He clearly could’ve slept his way to the top. Anyway, if these girls wanted to get anywhere (in Journalism at least), their best bet was probably the doughy-looking pommie boy, not a Cameroonian who looked like that bouncer from the strip club in Benoni. But, erm, what would I know about that anyway?
I woke up with a bobbejaan of a babelas, as my friend Boet used to say. This time, dearest readers, I really was naked. And extremely forlorn. And I was filled with regrets. I was sad to have missed my ginger-haired print media queen. I had no computer, no more alcohol, no more free lunches and, worst of all, the editors had left for bigger and greater things, leaving me washed up on a Long Street floor. What now?
Well, this is my question as my internet time ticks down to nothing. I have a few minutes to go before this internet okie kicks me off the computer. Does anyone appreciate the sacrifices I have made in my quest? Several kilograms of braincells, for a start, were required. And after all this, where do I go next? Sigh.