South Africa Tour 2009/10

Midnight nearly erupts like a volcano

Day 1 of the Test arrives and Wycombe has managed finally to track down a hire car with his friends at Avis. I agree to go down to collect it with him and sign on as a second driver. Given Scoop’s traffic disaster with his previous car, my jaw drops as he starts arguing about the cost of reducing his potential liability in case of another accident from 8,000 Rand to 1,400. “Why should I pay that?” he bellows. “Just pay the man”, I whisper in his ear.


Somehow we arrive safely at Newlands, although Wicks drives into a kerb on way and misses a car by inches turning a corner. The grass bank beckons where the usual hordes of glory-hunting England fans turn up. Cape Town is a superb setting but I prefer the exclusivity of Durban with the hardcore supporters.


It’s a slow old batting day after Strauss decides to put the Saffers in on the basis that the weather is a bit dodgy with even some rain delaying the start by half an hour. The slowness of the proceedings leads Midnight off on a mission to get sh*t faced.


By close of play arch-bore Jacques Kallis has amassed a century and the Saffers close at 279-6. With AA fitness freaks Midnight and Saint, I catch the train back into Cape Town heading for Long Street where PC Tango has recommended a drinking establishment called ‘Bob’s Bar’ where the West Ham v Arsenal game will be shown.


It is a short walk from the station to Long Street but Saint and Midnight’s allergy to walking leaves them moaning about the stroll and a taxi is commandeered to travel the energy-sapping 500 metres to the bar.


On arrival Midnight is not looking too delighted as he is greeted by a Leeds fan in a high level of ecstasy about his team’s defeat of Manchester United. Somehow the Manc resists shaking the Leeds fan warmly by the throat, but he is not at all happy. Mrs B and Hyacinth are none too impressed by the drunk/drug addict that appears to be sleeping in a room next door to the Ladies toilet, which gives an indication of the salubrious nature of the bar.


Things go tits up for West Ham after taking the lead and this appears to please Mr B who is still harbouring grudges about Carlos Tevez and the Blades’ relegation. One day he will get over it. SP meanwhile is irritating the f*ck out of both me and Midnight as he lapses into ‘UK Gold’ mode, finding something funny and repeating it about 1,000 times. This time it is “Who have you got in the next round of the cup?”


With SP winding him up, Midnight nearly erupts like a volcano as the Leeds fan belts out a lusty version of their anthem “Marching Altogether” and I conclude that it would be better to encourage everybody back to Camps Bay. A rendezvous is arranged in the ‘Prima’ restaurant and I am amazed to find a w*nkered Midnight at the table when bed surely would have been a better option.


What is the meal of choice for the sh*t-faced? Something easy to consume, one would think. Not for Midnight as he attempts a meal with a technical difficulty of 4.9 – spaghetti Bolognese. At the conclusion of his half eaten pasta, I ask Midnight if he is eating it or wearing it, as most is draped across his t-shirt.


Herbie




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