Posts Tagged ‘grahamstown

13
May
11

Mindgun – One Seriously Badass Site

The saying goes that you’ll never meet your future wife in a bar and I think there’s a lot of truth in that, but man-o-man, if I had to write a list of all the twisted, crazy fuckers who’ve ended up being great friends that I met in bars, it would be a goddamn mile long!

Mr D was one of those fine, upstanding maniacs (read this story as proof). I met him on a night when I was playing a gig in Grahamstown. He was knocking back a pint of stout and eyeing the bar like at any minute he might pull a knife out and lay into someone for making eye contact, so naturally I walked over and started up a conversation with the man.

 

 

We struck up a friendship that I regard as a personal best based on the acres of common ground we shared through the bands we listened to, the questionable literature (mainly comic books) and movies we were into and our common appreciation of the whisky-drinking, hard-living, party-loving legacy artists like Jim Morrison left as an example for us mere mortals to live up to.

And man-o-man, did Mr D and I live it up. We eventually worked as barmen at the same dodgy-assed pizza joint where our only mission from one shift to the next was to see just how drunk we could get without passing out / getting fired.

Those were the old days, the bad days, the all or nothing days. It was blood for blood by the gallon and we were ready for war Winking smile

Over the years we went our separate ways. Mr D now teaches English in Korea, but recently we’ve been able to stay in contact thanks to the blog site he started, Mindgun.

The man is a killer photographer and actually worked as a staff photographer for The Argus (among other papers) in Cape Town before he left for Korea.

His mission with Mindgun is to take a picture everyday and write a couple sentences / paragraphs about it so his photographic muscle doesn’t atrophy while he’s over there.

I’ve thrown in a couple of my favourites below and as you can see, he’s no slouch behind a lens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s a great writer and an even better shooter so his site gets my full recommendation as an awesome place to stop by when you have a minute. It’s also pretty fascinating to read about Korea and his experience of it from the cuisine (pig spine soup and dog penis fish) to its culture and history and Mr D is right in the thick of it, guns blazing, writing about what he sees in the only way he knows how – with 100% unashamed honesty.

So be a pal and bookmark the man’s site, you’ll be a better person for it.

Otherwise have yourselves a killer weekend party people, I’ll see you all same time, same place on Monday.

Until then Winking smile

-ST

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04
May
11

Tiger Back In Action!

Hey Party People!

It’s been fucking ages, how the hell are all ya crazy basterds?

I hope you all had a killer Easter and took the three days that magically turned into 11 like I did. Yesterday was actually my first day back in the orifice, but to be honest, I was too depressed to blog so I just kinda moped around feeling sorry for myself and slouched at my desk surfing porn.

It was an epic holiday though, we went up the East Coast, checked out the Knysna Elephants, stopped at Storm’s River, stopped at PE and headed on through to Grahamstown which was a total mindfuck in itself.

 

 

In GTown I stopped by my old digs, which we affectionately used to call The Zombie Mansion, and man-o-man it hasn’t changed one bit.

 

 

We had so many good times in that house, it was awesome to see it still standing and judging from the sarongs that were being used as curtains in some rooms, I’d say it’s definitely still a student digs.

It’s the biggest house I’ve ever lived in and rent was R1080 a month, how crazy is that?! We threw parties in that house that were so epic I still get random flashbacks from them that make me hide under my desk mumbling incoherently for up to 9 hours at a time.

I’m glad I got this pic though because sometime while we were living in this house, this camera randomly appeared one day and nobody could figure out who it belonged to, so I used the film remaining in it to take a whole lot of pictures of the house before I left GTown at the end of varsity.

I kept the camera for another year before I decided to finally develop the film and I was well stoked to find out a) what else was on the film strip and b) see pics of my old digs.

And so with great trepidation I drove to the nearest Kodak shop and handed the camera over to the guy behind the counter.

“Develop this shit my good man,” I said to him, “but just know this: I only took the pictures at the END of the filmstrip, the others were in the camera when I found it, so if there’s any weird shit on there, I swear it’s not mine!”

“Ok,” he said and opened the camera. “It’s empty.”

“It’s whaaaaaaaaaaaaattt?!” I replied, incredulously.

“Empty. No film inside it.”

“But it said 22 pictures! What the hell man, it wound on and everything!”

“Mechanical error probably. Sorry.”

 

 

So I’m stoked I got something to remember the Zombie Mansion by, even if it was taken years after we’d already left.

Oh, and for anyone reading this who knows me in real life, how fucked up is this. The day we left Grahamstown to come back to CT was the exact same day nine years ago that I bailed off the side of the Great Hall!

In fact, at the exact same time we were on the road heading to PE, I would have been taking that same drive nine years ago, except I was all smashed up in the back of an ambulance.

I’m like the six million dollar man Winking smile

 

 

J-Rab has some more pics of the crazy shit we got up to on holiday, I’ll try get them off her tomorrow. In the meantime I’d better get back to the grind.

Another day another dollar right? Bleaugh.

-ST

24
Jun
10

Silencing The Rat

Cave liked to get good and drunk and punch things.

Sometimes it was doors and cupboards, he’d curl his ridiculously long fingers into ridiculously large fists and punch dents into the wood until his knuckles were skinned and bleeding.

Other times he’d let his pent-up rage out on a window or two – we’d all be sitting around at another blurry digs party, making insidious efforts with random girls to get laid and next thing a window would smash somewhere and we knew without even getting up to look that it was Cave throwing another one of his inexplicable drunk tantrums.

You’d meet him sober, in daylight hours and he was a reasonable enough guy. You might say he had a ‘kooky’ side to him, but that was about it. He spent a lot of time avoiding the drama department at all costs, despite the fact that he usually got the leading parts in all the plays. It was pretty hilarious actually, he’d skip out on as many rehearsals as humanly possible and then take to the stage on opening night and steal the show. He was a natural.

So yeah, he was a reasonable enough guy, maybe a little crazy, nothing too out of the ordinary. But once he got started on the sauce something else took over and the guy, all six feet five inches of him, became uncontrollable in every way.

He was skinny as a bean pole, but fuck me, it took at least four guys to wrestle him to the ground once he got started. I never got involved, it was way more fun to watch everything go sprawling in every direction in a tornado of whirling limbs as they tried to subdue the raging monster that was Cave after a hard day’s bingeing.

On the night in question I was out at the Rat with other friends when Cave, and all hell, broke loose. I dimly remember getting invited to the party in The Gutter (a friend’s digs) that Cave was at, but I’d decided to opt for regular insanity at the Rat that night instead of the particularly potent strain of insanity The Gutter bred.

If memory serves me right, it was Guitar Jon, Pansy and Mr D who had the pleasure of wrestling Cave that night. He’d been hitting it hard all afternoon and sometime around 10pm decided to pick a fight with the windows upstairs in The Gutter.

Problem this time around was Cave caught a major artery as he drove his right fist through one of the panes and he started pissing blood in dark squirts from his wrist all over the place.

Of course, in his magnificent and drunk state he flat out refused to be taken to hospital and physically assaulted anyone who came near him to try and help him out. It took them half an hour to drag him, literally kicking and screaming, into Pansy’s car so they could drive him to hospital and even once he was inside the car, he fought like an asylum escapee to get them to pull over and let him out.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Grahamstown, things at the Rat were getting rowdy. The usual crowd of loud, drunk jocks that hung out in groups of five or more were belting out James, Counting Crows and Bon Jovi songs at lung-busting volumes while the rest of us grimaced and ordered more tequila.

I swear, the Rat and Parrot in Grahamstown is like some kind of washed up old pirate ship that beached itself in the middle of that ghost-riddled town and refused to budge. Empires will rise and fall, but that place will always stand, a bastion of drunken debauchery, until Judgment Day, and even then, ol’ Satan himself will probably drop by for a smoke and an ice-cold pint.

Anyway, back at Settler’s Hospital, the guys had just managed to wrestle Cave out the car, but noticed he wasn’t putting up the fight he had been before. Somehow they got him to the casualty ward after much drunken swearing and half-hearted flailing on Cave’s part and explained to the shocked nurses what had happened.

He was immediately given some kind of sedative to calm him down and once the nurses had wheeled him off to get him fixed up, the three of them breathed a collective sigh of relief, got into Pansy’s car and went to find a bar.

In four years of drinking in that town, I’d never heard the Rat go as quiet as it did when they walked in there half-drunk, all scuffed up and disheveled from fighting Cave and covered from head to foot in the man’s blood.

They looked like three murderers coming for a drink after their last kill, but they hardly gave a fuck. Pansy ordered a couple of beers and shots while Mr D scanned the room with tiger eyes and Guitar Jon lit a smoke.

From there they got stuck into the earnest job of getting completely fucked up as the jocks around them welcomed them like heroes returning home off some ancient battlefield and bought them one shot after the next while the guys told and retold their story, making it more outlandish with each telling.

I left sometime in the early morning, shortly after Mr D took down one shot too many and ended up puking all over an oil heater in the corner of the room. I think most people left after that.

One thing’s for damn sure though, nobody getting fucked there that night will ever forget the three guys who came sauntering through the door, beat down and bloody, not giving a flying fuck, untouchable in every way.

Silencing the Rat.

-ST

23
Jun
10

In Whisky There Is Comfort Still

I had this way of picking up things and drinking them when I was a kid, probably like most kids do. When I was 3, the electrician came at night to fix something or other and my mom offered him a beer, which he drank a sip of and left on the living room table.

I picked that bad boy up and drank the whole thing. Then I jumped up and down in my cot, laughing my ass off for about 2 hours and then I passed out stone cold and woke up feeling fine the next day. There’s Irish in me, not a lot (my grandfather was half English, half Irish), but enough 😉

I think about a year later I had my first taste of whisky. My mom has always enjoyed a whisky and soda in the evenings and had poured herself a glass and left it on her bedside table. I thought it was just water and took a sip, but unlike the beer, I didn’t down the whole thing because it tasted like crap.

 

 

I spent the rest of my childhood sober until I was about 12 or 13 and my good buddy Ricky T and myself drank our way through three six packs of his dad’s “Two Dogs Alcoholic Lemonade”. Two Dogs was like an aborted first attempt at an alca-pop and tasted awful, but did the job pretty damn well.

How we thought we’d get away with drinking his dad’s entire stash is something I don’t think we gave much thought, if any, at the time.

From that point, the story gets long and complicated and I won’t get into any of the details except to say that from an early age, I was never shy to drink like a goddamn fish. I’ve never been an alcoholic and have very seldom if ever gotten drunk alone or binged for longer than four days, but I learned to drink hard and I did it well.

At varsity I started drinking whisky because I thought it looked cool and for R6 you could get a double First Watch at one of the bars in Grahamstown and so naturally I drank that foul fucking stuff like mother’s milk. You could clean engine parts with First Watch. It’s Canadian whiskey, which means they use rye instead of barley to make it and because of that it can be quickly mass-produced and sold much cheaper than normal whisky. It’s nasty, but damn! It does the job.

 

 

Back then, a bottle of Jack Daniels was my idea of a fine whisky. Me, Barman and Graumpot had a tradition where we’d buy one another a bottle when our birthdays rolled around and sip it on ice. Bleaugh. What the hell were we thinking?

After varsity I drank Bells with an air of faux sophistication and thought myself an accomplished whisky-drinker. Eventually I tired of the taste though and gave up on whisky in general, that is until about three years ago.

I started working PR for the Whisky Live Festival and as a part of that, went on a number of whisky tastings and started to learn a little about the spirit. Over time, my interest for whiskey began to mature naturally because of the close contact I had with it and the people involved in the big liquor marketing and distribution companies in South Africa and I found the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.

All of this culminated recently when I attended ‘Whisk(e)y 101’ with the College Of Whisky, the first part of the course they put together to train people to become whisky presenters. Since that course, I’ve been enjoying various whiskies on an almost nightly basis (Talisker, Singleton, Bushmills 16 y/o, a bottle of Dimple 15 y/o) and amazingly, this spirit, the flavour of which was once almost inaccessible to me, is slowly opening up.

 

 

I find myself admiring this amber liquid against the light, watching the legs fall and wondering what journey that dram took to find its way to me.

The thing about fine whisky is that it is made through a process that cannot be speeded up and as such, it is almost immune to the unnatural acceleration that has come to define the way humans do things.

I take comfort in that fact. I take comfort in the thought that somewhere across the world, a master distiller still picks his way through his distillery, nosing and tasting his whisky as it lies in oak casks, his palate able to almost distinguish individual atoms of scent and taste, waiting for the perfect moment to blend or bottle his whisky so that when it reaches us, all the way down here in Africa, the product we are getting is perfect in every way.

The simple pleasure I get out of enjoying a dram of good whisky far outweighs any of the times I drank the stuff to get shit-faced back in varsity which, I guess, is a clear sign that I’m getting old 😉

The end with, here’s one of my favourite whisky quotes, 10 points to the person who guesses who said it:

“The water was not fit to drink. To make it more palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learned to like it.”

-ST

17
Feb
10

The Three Evilest Shots You’ll Ever Drink

If you’re the type of person who enjoys this blog, then I’m just gonna jump right in there, take a shot in the dark and guess that you probably don’t mind a drink from time to time.

You don’t mind a drink from time to time, you don’t mind going out with your friends and maybe doing a sneaky tequila or two, you have nothing against that. You don’t mind opening a fine bottle of wine and drinking the whole thing by yourself, that’s fine by you, and you don’t mind taking a hip flask of whisky to work everyday and taking large gulps under your desk when no one’s looking, you know, just to steady your hands a little.

 

 

We don’t judge here at Them’s Fightin’ Words, well unless you’re MTN, The Parlotones, 30 Seconds To Mars, a fascist pig, or any number of other things that irritate the shit out of me. I like drunks though, so you guys are safe.

In fact, a lot of my good friends are well accomplished drunks, and I’ve followed their drinking careers in some cases right from the first drink I forced them to down. You know where you stand with a drunk because the second they’ve had a few, THE TRUTH starts flowing like a fountain of milk and honey from their wet, booze soaked lips, usually with hilarious consequences.

Also, I love watching the body language of truly wasted people, especially when they’re trying to get some ass. Take this one friend of mine for example, we’ll just call him X, to avoid an awkward conversation later today. When he’s nice and lubed up he’ll approach his target, leaning backward at an angle of 45 degrees from the floor. Then once he’s made his approach, he’ll straighten up to a respectable 90 degree angle, occasionally wavering forward to 100 and backward to 80.

God help his target if she shows any kind of interest because then it’s balls to the wall, 135 degree forward leaning, right up there in her personal space. Now it’s her turn to lean backward at 45 degrees. It’s like some bizarre mating ritual perpetuated by two similarly charged magnets.

 

 

So anyway, I decided for today’s post I’d share a few priceless nuggets of information I gathered whilst living in Grahamstown and studying at Rhodes University, Where Leaders Learn… To Drink.

And no, I don’t know your friend’s sister Kirsty who went there to study a BSC, or your mate Rhino who was part of the surf club so let’s not even go there ok? I went to Rhodes I remember NO ONE! I leave all that remembering bullshit up to other people cause yesterday’s got nothin’ for me, pictures that I’ll always see, time just fades the pages in my book of memories.

Here are the three EVILEST shots ever invented. I sincerely hope you never have to drink any of these. Rhodes students invented these. Yeah, that bad.

 

THE MOTHERFUCKER

 

 

Not a very original name for a shot, I’ll be the first to admit that, but when you’re caught in the hazy deluge of a three-day drinking binge, these things seldom matter.

For this particularly potent assault on sobriety, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 x double shot glass
  • 1 x shot of absinthe
  • 1 x shot of stroh rum
  • 1 x draught glass
  • 1 x lighter
  • 1 x bent straw

Ok? Are you picking up what I’m laying down here? It goes like this: You pour the absinthe and stroh into the shot glass and light it. You hold the draught glass upside down over the flaming mess, catching as many fumes as possible before putting the draught glass down over the shot glass, thus neatly extinguishing said flaming mess. Carefully sneak the shot glass out from the draught glass, being careful not to let the fumes escape and SMASH the shot in your face.

Then, quick as possible, put the short end of the bent straw under the draught glass and suck the fumes in like a bong hit. I watched someone pass out instantly when doing this once, so maybe tie yourself to something first.

 

THE SAMURAI

 

 

Specially designed for the shoe-string budget drinker, this is by far the MOST FUCKED you’ll ever get on one shot. I’ve been there. I have the scars to prove it.

For this suicidally retarded foray into drunken oblivion, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 x shot of stroh rum
  • 1 x shot glass FULL of sugar
  • 1 x round slice of lemon, with rind

Can you see where this is going? I think you can see where this is going. This is going straight to shit, do not pass go, do not collect 200.

First empty the entire shot glass of sugar into your mouth. You’ll be surprised how much sugar a shot glass can hold. Swill it around a little to get it moist and then pop the entire lemon slice, rind and all into your mouth and chew it up but good.

By this stage your mouth will be so full your cheeks will be in real danger of rupturing. Now somehow get that shot of stroh in there and swallow the lot. Sit down for 15 minutes and for god’s sake, no matter how ‘fine’ you feel, DON’T drink anything else. Now stand up, walk around a little and marvel at how completely wasted you’ve just become.

Make an educated decision at this point, ask yourself ‘Can I handle any more booze?’ O’course y’can! Ffffaahk!

This will be the last thing you remember.

 

THE SACRED SHIT OF SATAN

 

 

This shot should not be drunk by ANYONE. It was invented by barmen at Champs Action Bar shortly before the place was closed down. Champs was frequented mainly by truck drivers, correctional services officers, criminals and students who were into metal and didn’t mind spending their evenings watching people fight one another with broken bottles and screwdrivers (true story).

So anyway, there is nothing cute or clever about this shot. To make it you need:

  • 1 x double shot glass
  • Bit of tequila
  • Throw in some stroh rum
  • Fuck it, why not some whisky
  • Vodka’s definitely a winner
  • Some amarula cream so it can curdle instantly
  • And why not finish that bad boy off with a healthy dollop of Tobasco sauce?

Does that sound like fun to you? I had no idea what it was when I bought it because I was already pretty hammered. The sign behind the bar said ‘Don’t be a pussy! Try The Sacred Shit Of Satan.’

‘I’m no goddam pussy!’ I slurred, ‘gimme Satan’s shit!’

Yeah. Boy did I regret that decision.

So there you have it guys, three fun ways to spend a night slurring incoherently, hitting on ugly strangers and starting fights that trust me, you’ll lose.

Hahaha! Good times I tell ya, good times 🙂

-ST




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