The Swinging Sixties might have swung like an army of chimps on speed elsewhere in the world but, here in South Africa, life under apartheid was about as titillating as being stuck in a lift (elevator) with Margaret Thatcher.
“In the 1960s it was ILLEGAL for sunbathers of the opposite sex at municipal swimming baths to be closer than a specified distance from each other. To ensure that this legislation was enforced, an official on duty carried a ruler to assist him with his inspection. Any two persons not adhering to the specified distance were charged accordingly.”
I defy any of the boys down at the pool to keep 11 feet 6 inches away from Genevieve Morton on a hot day
I always wondered why, after asking my Dad if I could get a Schweppes Creme Soda from the pool tuckshop, I then had to walk 11 feet 6 inches over to my Mom to grab the money from her.
Now it all makes perfect sense. Doesn’t it?
* A red hat tip to the boys over at the Socialyz blog for lending me that lekker pic of Gen. Which I think they nicked from Seth.
* Dear Hatpeople, if you look up to your right on this page, you’ll see a great big fat badge saying something about the 2010 South African Blog Awards. I’ve only been around for a year so it may be a tad cheeky of me but I’ve entered your “diagnosed SA-positive” blog into three categories: Best New Blog, Best Personal Blog and The Kulula Best Travel Blog (well, I think I’ve been parping the vuvuzela big-time for people to travel to our Beloved Country!). I wouldn’t be at all offended if those of you who quite dig reading my stuff clicked on that there badge and nominated http://www.fredhatman.co.za in any one of those three categories. In fact, were I to amaze all of us by winning something, the Birkenhead is on me down the Stanford Arms! Cheers!
I’ve been thinking about developing a personality. No, not mine. I gave up on that some time ago. Earthworms have got the jump on me. Not my fault I like to wear an anorak, write down the engine numbers of passing trains, have a massive collection of pet rocks and have taped every episode of Noot vir Noot on VHS.
No, I’ve been thinking of developing a character, like sex symbol blogger Seth Rotherham has done so cleverly with TBG (Tall Blonde Guy) over at 2oceansvibe.com. And very charmingly too, if I may say so.
I did have one. A character. A strange, eccentric, reclusive one called The Bushguy. But then I left Umdloti to go on a unicycle marathon, found Stanford and lost him. Not difficult. Last I heard, Bushguy was still living in the thick coastal bush above Umdloti Beach with his dogs and existing on mushrooms.
So what to do. Where to find A Character? As always, one doesn’t have to go far. He’s been on my doorstep. No, not at Hatman Mansions. But on the doorstep of my conscious. And characters don’t come any bigger, colourful, tougher, crazier, more beautiful than “The G-man”.
Are you feeling strong today? Are you up for this? Sure? OK. Let’s take a look at him…
No sooner had he been introduced to Miss South Africa and The G-man takes a call from a fan
OK. Now I can’t speak for you but if I had just been introduced to Miss South Africa Nicole Flint, I wouldn’t take a call from anybody, not Nelson Mandela or even my close friend Gen Morton. Even if I had just bought one of those phenomenal new iPhones that look like a crayfish.
But this is how he rolls, The G-man. The man for every situation. So cool you need to wield an icepick to get near him. A man you’d want alongside you in the trenches in a particularly brutal and unconventionally-fought war.
The G-man is an ADD-addled action hero. He’s seriously feral. A natural-born actor. He’s South Africa’s Bruce Willis, Woody Harrelson and, er, Lou Reed all rolled into one unpredictable, fearless and insanely cool package. And you don’t have to take my word for it.
He lives noisily in a quiet village north of Durban. You might see him barking like a dog at the La Mercy Lagoon. He can convincingly imitate 36 animal sounds. I know. I heard them all during this madcap adventure.
I could go on. But I’ve used up all of my G-man force for the day. So this what I’ll do. Send me a photo of you with The G-man and, every Friday, I’ll choose the craziest one. The winner will receive one of those brand-new, totally insane Special Edition Crayfish iPhones. Yes, just like the one The G-man is using in that pic!
How cool is that? Yes, yes, I know. Please try to remain calm. OK. Here’s a tip on how to find The G-man. He really digs the coffee that Judd “Juddy-poo” Campbell purveys at the absurdly groovy Corner Cafe in Glenwood, Durban. You’ll find him there most days, high on caffeine and getting up to mischief.
Brace yourself, introduce yourself, get in a picture with our boy and send it to email@example.com. If it’s the nuttiest one of the week, you win a Crayfish iPhone and I publish the pic on here. Well. Why are you still sitting there, staring at this word. Vamoose, babies!
I don’t know about you but I’ve been flattened since our glorious World Cup came to an earth-shakingly climactic end on Sunday night. Pap. It feels like somebody I really loved has died. No exaggeration. I haven’t blogged in two days. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to write.
I’m messed up. I’m in mooch mode. I’ve thought about picking up on “Isidingo”. Picking up Leeanda Reddy. Melancholic. I catch myself staring into the fire and seeing Asamoah Gyan hitting the bar with that penalty miss against Uruguay. I’m off my food. My hair needs washing. No shampoo. No sham, it’s just poo. It’s like Gen Morton called and said she doesn’t want to see me again. Again.
I don’t really know what to do. Macrame? The washing-up? Steal some kid’s Panini World Cup sticker book and try to finish it? And then give it back to him? Or sell it to buy new clothes so that I don’t have to do last week’s laundry? I do know that I need to let go of World Cup 2010. I do. You too? Perhaps this will help…
Did you pick up all the little gems in that? The beautiful words and unmistakeable voice of The Arch effusing in his inimitable way at the opening ceremony? “This is like a dream… I must be dreaming!” Yes, Arch, it was like a dream… a dream come true. And we don’t want to wake up!
And there were a lot of vuvuzelas in tthat vid, right? Vuvuzelas, kuduzelas, favelazelas, madikazelas, madethismyselfazelas. The horniest World Cup of all time, Hatpeople. A month of sex in B-flat. No wonder we’re pap. You might even have seen yourself in there. Did you catch the beautifully loony London Mayor Boris Johnson putting out his best parp at around 4:15″? Best you have another look and listen, hey?
I have nothing else to say except to thank Peter Greenwall for creating this authentic slice of his World Cup experience and sending it my way. So I didn’t have to think of anything to write. Cheers, mate. OK, I’m off to make a fire. The Scrapster and Dodney Doodlebug are shivering on the mat. And I’m shaking. Cold turkey.
Oh, and one more thing… do that 67-minute thing for Madiba and your phenomenal country on Sunday, OK? I’m going to help some guys get a vegetable garden going on a vacant plot in the middle of Stanford so that the poorer souls can be fed some nutritious food. Go on, do your bit. Get yourself tested “SA-positive”!
Some of you may recall that I got involved in a very jolly jape earlier this year, in which one of my nuttier mates Geoff “The Heartman” Brink rode a UNICYCLE from Durban to Cape Town.
That’s right. One man, one wheel… and one hell of a ride which lasted 58 days and covered nearly 2,000km. I was Geoff’s back-up driver, blogger, photographer etc and we did it to raise awareness of the madness of landmines for The Sole of Africa.
I still get flashbacks about this epic journey nearly three months later. Given that I have yet to father a child and still haven’t quite managed to engage in flagrante delicto with Genevieve Morton, The Heart and Sole Tour was the most beautiful thing I have ever done in my life.
And I thought that, Gen phoning up to ask if I would like to co-create a sprog notwithstanding, that would be that. But it’s a case of “not so fast, Freddie”. No, Gen hasn’t phoned (yet) but a couple of equally deranged unicyclists have.
To make a proposal. Not to bear my children, I hasten to add. But to create something which will involve even more pain and result in something just as beautiful.
Before I let you in on their mind-bogglingly mad idea, I’d like to get out my old projector and show you a short movie. If you’re sitting comfortably (and, of course, have pressed pause on the following fliek so as to allow the thing to fully buffer) we can flick off the lights and begin…
Crikey! What did you make of that malarkey? Yes, these guys are as nutty as squirrels poo. What did you think of the madman right at the beginning whose unicycle went over a bump and propelled him on a (near) collision course with quite a sturdy tree? Well, that’s Johnny Cronje. Fine. But the really worrying thing about Johnny is that he is actually one of the most sane people I have ever met.
So, get your head around this. Johnny, Alan Read and Donna Kisogloo are wanting to ride their unicycles for a distance of around 2,000km to raise awareness of a very good cause over a period of about six weeks later this year. Now this would sound very much like the Heart and Sole Tour… except for one rather notable difference.
They want to do it off-road!
Yes. I know. Do what I did when I first heard about this. Breathe. Deeply. In. Out. In. Out. You should start getting back to normal quite soon. Lucky for you. I’m not. Normal, I mean. Because the three of them have asked me, as South Africa’s prime exponent of slow driving (I mean, 58 days of driving behind Geoff Brink to Durban to Cape Town at an average of 16 km/h has to be some sort of record, right?) to be their “support vehicle driver” for this 2,000km off-road unicycling adventure.
And, only because I’m so intelligent and worked out that “support vehicle driver” sounded far more posh than “back-up driver”, I have agreed to do it. And photograph it and blog about it and film it and raise awareness of it and… er, live it for the next eight months.
Look. There’s a lot of organising and sponsorship-raising and stuff to do before we leave, so I can’t tell you much more about it right now. So, amuse and amaze yourself by taking a peek at what Johnny and Co and their unicycles do for fun at weekends and I’ll fill you in as we go along.
Heavens to Betsy, I am so looking forward to more unicycling craziness already! Two thousand kilometres. Every single one of them on dirt? Bring it on!
Everybody knows that I hosted the party of the year in 2009.
I just love celebrating my birthday properly. So I invited Frikkie, Lofty, Tich and old Farquaharson round to the Bush Tavern in Umdloti and we had a right skinful while watching the rugger.
Never mind that the Boks lost. Never mind that Lofty got bounced out for trying to snog the barmaid. Never mind that Frikkie fell down the steps on the way out, ricocheted off a really big oke’s girlfriend and took a mighty right to the ear for his trouble. Never mind that Farquaharson, as is his custom, deposited his zooosh kebab on Mrs Hindmarch’s Morris Minor. And never mind that I had to be reminded of all this the next day after being rudely woken up at 2pm in a zinc bath full of what had been ice at the bottom of Tich’s mother-in-law’s garden. Great night out.
But it appears that my party-hosting skills have been usurped.
And, once again, it is that young bounder who goes by the name of Seth Rotherham who has dared to upstage me in the partytjie stakes.
How, you ask, has Camps Bay’s premier blogger and unparalleled sex symbol managed this? Good question.
Well, the little blighter has only gone and hired some posh club in Camps Bay, secured the services of, in Seth’s breathless words, “South Africa’s Most Exciting Party-Pumping Entertainment Act – The Wedding DJs” and then reeled in every one of his infamous Weather Girls (read excruciatingly gorgeous swimwear models), hasn’t he?
It'll be a nice change to sip a cocktail with Gen instead of getting rat-arsed with old Frikkie
The slick-on-the-draw mind behind 2oceansvibe.com has left no stone unturned in his quest to trump me and for this I am, like, totally stoked. Because he’s invited me along to witness it all.
Something you will not be privy to if you haven’t yet snapped up a ticket. There weren’t that many left at 10.30pm last night (Thursday) so if you want to be rubbing snakeskin boobtubes – or whatever the fantabulous wear these days – with the fantabulous and the even more fantabulous and watch me totally chopping up the floor with my terrifyingly suave Umdloti Wardance, then you had better get on to Webticket like quicksticks. Eighty ront a shot gets you in. There will be zero tickets at the door so don’t even entertain the idea that you can sommer rock up and swan in.
No, really. Seth has taken The Party of the Year standard up a few notches with this little soiree and, with the help of Marina Nestel, uberbabe behind The Little Black Book, tonight’s fandango should cook like Jamie Oliver on, well, whatever, Jamie Oliver is on.
I’m so looking forward to hooking up with my close friend Gen Morton (don’t listen to what people are saying, we are only very good friends and that’s the end of it, right?) and hearing how her very hectique modelling career has been going and, y’know, just chilling in the VIP suites with all of my other model, photographer, film and general celeb connections. I’m not dropping names because, as you know by now, I like to keep it all below the radar. Makes a refreshing change from getting slaughtered with Frikkie and the boys though.
I’ve got it. Why don’t you read what Rothers himself is saying about his own party by sliding effortlessly over to his very entertaining, if a little cheeky, 2oceansvibe blog and reading all about it. Hang on, you’ll need to scroll down a bit, past the pics of Candice Swanepoel “jumping around in her underwear” – Seth rolls like that, to the bit about The Vibe and what will be going down at St Yves in Camps Bay from 6.30pm tonight.
How did you get on with that? He’s got a hilarious turn-of-phrase has our boy, hey? Yes. OK. So let us look forward to a lethal cocktail of glamour, terribly subtle body language, immaculate grooming and terribly good-looking people in very tasteful clobber. I’ll do my best to fit right in. But I can’t promise anything.
So what are you waiting for? Shimmy on over to here and grab your tickets now. Check you later.
Look. I might be new to blogging (just 14 weeks in the game). And I might be a total stranger to the intricacies of the internet. Indeed, I’m still trying to work out what pingbacks, analytics and plug-ins are. No pork. I’m groping around in a worldwidewebbed wonderland here. And having too much of fun.
But here’s a thing. This blog’s Google Analytics, whatever they are, show that the searchwords that bring the seventh highest number of visitors to South Africa’s only “medically diagnosed SA-positive” website are, cough, splutter, “Genevieve Morton naked”. Are you with me here? Yes. After, quite understandably, “Fred Hatman”, “proudly South African”, “Umdloti”, “world’s best blogger”, “unicycle” and, er, “world’s biggest liar about being the world’s best blogger” comes “Genevieve Morton naked”. What’s that all about?
OK, so I’ve mentioned Gen on my blog a few times. I would. She’s a close friend and confidante. And she raises even Umdloti’s temperature when she takes her permanently reserved suite at Hatman Mansions and lies around my rimpool in that white bikini she likes to wear. And my staff very much like her to wear.
But have I posted any naked pictures of her on this blog? No. This is, to all intents and purposes, a family blog. Even if I do have naked photographs, and I do, I wouldn’t share them with the world, would I? No. That’s quite correct. I wouldn’t. So stop searching for pictures of Gen naked on here, OK? It’s not nice.
Shockedness. Some bloke just knocked on the front door of Hatman Mansions and, before I could give him the old top-to-toe lazy eye and order him to use the back door, told me in a stunningly assertive tone that it was November and asked why I hadn’t grown my moustache already.
November? Really? Wowness. A lone blogger operating off a red stoep-painted verandah in the heart of Umdloti’s coastal bush is inclined to lose track of time. Moustache? What was the cheeky git on about? Ah, Movember. That time of the year when usually suave, clean-shaven okes adjust the flightpath of their morning razor to accommodate a dodgy alien invader growth of facial hair around the “laughing gear” region. And girlfriends and wives threaten to withdraw certain sexual favours until the old Gillette is returned to the playing field.
Well, they would if they weren’t aware that us guys growing moustaches this month is for the very good cause of raising awareness of the various cancers that target the male gender. Prostate. Testicular. Nastinesses.
The geezer at the front door then thrust a piece of paper into my hands and said “You choose!” before starting his five-mile Tuscan pebble-crunching trek along the sweeping driveway back to South Beach Road. Let’s have a look at that all-important document…
Mmmm. I'm bummed that the Tom Selleck in Magnum PI look doesn't feature... so I'll just have to plump for "Gringo", 'ay bambinos?
Should be interesting. I had disastrous results with the “Trucker” look earlier this year – while in training for a friend’s Trailer Trash partytjie – when my facial hair couldn’t seem to agree with the remnants of of my head hair over what colour to opt for. They reached a compromise solution of “one hair brown, one hair grey” which wasn’t a solution at all. It was a total dogs’ breakfast.
But this is for a very good cause so I’ll have another bash and if I have to give it a good dredge every morning with Maybelline No1 Midnight Mascara then it’s because I’m “worth it”. Check? Cool.
So this is what I’m aiming for this Movember…
Tom's top lip enjoys a good turnout. And so will mine. Even if it involves putting in extensions...
I was a big fan of Thomas Magnum back in the day. So I hope he’ll forgive me for not completely copying his vibe and going more for the gringoesque dropdown look. It’s just that wearing a broom across my face would come over as being a bit too tidy. And I live in Umdloti, not Miami Beach. And because my Gen (Genevieve Morton to the rest of you) prefers it that way.
OK. So I urge all you male Hatpeople (and those females who farm around Kakamas) to free up those ‘taches and pledge your support for Cansa. It’s the totally cool thing to do. Even if it don’t look very much like cool, mo bro.
You know those promo things they put on television? Where they promote a programme that is to be aired in about two weeks’ time?
What do you call it? A blurb? A flighter? A puff? A promo? A pain in the arse? I call them “a pain in the arse” because the telly channels seem to fill every available gap with them, even after the actual programme has come and gone, and by the time you’ve seen the chuffing thing 937 times you’ve pretty much vowed to yourself not to watch the prog. Out of principle. And because you feel you know the programme better than you know your mum.
So I’ve got no excuse to do the same myself. But I will. To blurb the second in my new series of “The Umdloti Interview” (chats with some of the nutty creative types who live in my hometown of Umdloti, KwaZulu-Natal north coast, South Africa) I bring you a piece of work by art photographer Jacki Bruniquel, who lives around the corner from Hatman Mansions and diagonally opposite another close mate of mine, Gen Morton.
Check this out…
A Jacki Bruniquel i-marge of Esjay Jones, lead singer of South African band Stealing Love Jones
Coolness, hey? OK, so full interview with Jax on here on Saturday. It rocks. Don’t even think about missing it. This was just one of those blurby promo things. I won’t do it again… this week. Promise.
“They came, they saw, they conquered” is a saying I dreamt up a few years ago while doing the morning crossword on the bog at Hatman Mansions. Yowzerness, you might exclaim in surprise. You didn’t know I do the crossword. Well, what can I say… I’m a man of letters. And you didn’t know that the origins of that popular phrase lay in the head of Fred, did you? There you go. It’s just the way I roll.
So I don’t have to apologise to anyone for corrupting my saying to “They came, they schmoozed, they, like, TOTALLY ROCKED the Smother City!”
Which pretty much nails the vibe that Heart & Sole unicyclist Geoff “Heartman” Brink and moi created in Cape Town as we swept all before us and “AmaOneTyre” (the unicycle)… at the SiliconCape launch (where Helen Zille and I fell in love, serenaded by the delectable Lucy Kenny and aided and abetted by head honchos Vinny Lingham and Justin Stanford) to morning coffee with Seth (yes, Rotherham) at Camps Bay Vida to arvie beers with internet marketing supremo Fred Roed of worldwidecreative.co.za and ideate.co.za fame to dinner with Gen and Lyndall (yes, Morton and Jarvis) at Caprice to a public appearance at Caveau to… hang on, this is turning into a very long sentence… so time for a pic (waffle to be contd.)
Seth (the "sex symbolic blogger" of 2oceansvibe fame) and I strengthen the ties between Camps Bay and Umdloti at the SiliconCape launch. Lest you be confuzzed, SA's sex symbol blogger is the one on the right. Just so you know
OK. Where was I? Oh, yes. (continuing)… to an autograph signing session at the Sky Bar at the Cape Royale (big doff of red hat to Goldfish for providing the tunes) to breakfast at La Bruixa where we shared Barca scrambled eggs with social media oligarch Dave Duarte to a pizza and glass of wine with Channel24 editor Jean Barker to a highly convivial and fruitful meeting with Argus editor-in-chief (and obsessive mountain biker) Chris Whitfield to double espressos and almond croissants with Springbok rugby legend turned commentator and philanthropist Bob Skinstad to.. oh, chuff it, that’s enough name-dropping for now.
Hatpeople have been reading me banging on and on about Geoff “Heartman” Brink and his nutty unicycle ride across South Africa to raise awareness of the Mineseeker Foundation’s Sole of Africa campaign to rid our planet of landmines.
It’s been a continuous cacklestream as we’ve watched Heartman fall off his “AmaOneTyre” machine a thousand times, pick himself up, slap on another Mickey Mouse plaster and wobble off again. Well, more good news my babies, the laughing ain’t over… by a long way.
You simply have to stock up on the old Kleenex, seat yourself near to the floor so you don’t bruise yourself when you fall over laughing… and take a butchers at this vid that our good ally, Fred Roed of www.ideate.co.za, dropped on to YouTube last night!
Warning: this video contains scenes of hilariousness overload… OK, flick the switch Projectorman!
Lekkerlag, ne? OK, so after enjoying that little gem, why don’t you trot over here and read the “One Minute With A Superhero” interview that Fred “One Time!” Roed did with our Heartman? It gives a true flavour of the madman that is Geoff Brink… gotta love him!
So Geoff, myself and Genevieve are off to Cape Town (by plane, not unicycle, this time!) in a couple of hours to meet all the Smother City geeks, heckle Helen Zille during her speech and tweak “sex symbol” Seth Rotherham’s nose at the SiliconCape launch tomorrow. I will be blogging here about all of that malarkey as well as our meetings with the media moguls we will be brown-nosing in order to drum up further publicity for the Heart & Sole Tour.
Sponsors are rapidly climbing aboard in support of our landmines awareness-raising initiative and we are almost ready to announce their names and set a date for the departure of the Heart & Sole roadtrip! Watch this space and, remember… “AmaOneTyre!”… “AmaOneHeartman!” “AmaOneWorldWithoutLandmines!”