South Africa Tour 2009/10
The highlight of any AA Xmas and New Year tour is of course New Year’s Eve
Cape Town, undoubtedly one of the great cities of the world and the trip from the airport into town is immediately spectacular with its views of Table Mountain. This time, AA travel agent supreme Mrs B has set us up with a villa in Camps Bay, the posing district of Cape Town.
Wycombe doing his maths by counting his fingers has worked out that it is definitely cheaper to hire a car than use taxis as it is a good 25 minute drive to the Newlands cricket ground. Much to the ace reporter’s dismay, however, every car hire emporium is car-less, leading to much gnashing of teeth and stamping of feet – “Why the f*ck do they have signs up saying cars available today, when they haven’t got any?”
One of the highlights of any AA Xmas and New Year tour is of course New Year’s Eve. Mrs B has worked her magic again with a beachside restaurant called the Bayside Cafe, and we arrive mob handed. Our waiter for the night is a slaphead called Edwin who immediately struggles with the monster drinks order which comes his way some 2 microseconds after bums hit seats. Midnight then begins a protracted game of ‘wine tennis’ which basically involves him ordering a new bottle of wine every time the hapless Edwin places the previously ordered bottle of wine on the table.
This strategy proves to be highly effective later on as Edwin struggles to keep up with the bottle count. The bill shows 6 bottles consumed when at least double that number have been drained of their contents.
As New Year approaches, Midnight undergoes his Cinderella-like metamorphosis around the hour of his name and we get the traditional rendition of Dean Martin’s ‘Little Old Wine Drinker Me’. Saint, not to be outdone, belts out ‘Ticket to Ride’ leaving the surrounding Saffer clientele looking rather gobsmacked.
Outside in the street, no-one has the faintest idea what the time is, leading to several false alarms for the turn of the year. Not a firework in sight, the assembled Brits go large with ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
Wycombe has spent most of the night with a face like a slapped ar*e and complaining of tiredness induced by the stress of producing copy for his ex-pat fans in the deserts of the Gulf. This does not impress Mr Blade who tells the soft-palmed pen pusher “Thee should come aht wi’ me for a day’s work.”
Wicks decides to retire hurt early but he regrets this later as the latecomers to the villa, having consumed several more New Year celebratory drinks discover that the sets of keys they possess do not appear to open the front door. As all properties of any note in Camps Bay are secured and alarmed up like Fort Knox, the only recourse is to start hammering on the door and bellowing to try and entice Wycombe out of the Land of Nod.
No sign of any movement inside, so various buttons get pressed on a key fob which unbeknown to the victims of the lockout is a ‘panic button’ summoning an armed response guard. Wycombe finally appears Lazarus-like to open the door just as a large gentleman with a proportionately sized gun arrives.
Midnight and Saint decide it is all Wycombe’s fault and launch into a vitriolic attack which the cricket scribe rebuts resplendent in some rather saggy off-white Y-fronts. Hyacinth looks pretty stunned and the next day says that she was ‘traumatised’ by the sight of Wicks in his shreddies. Days later SP still ca not interest her in sex.