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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
As avid readers of this “SA-positive” blog will freely tell you, I seldom post about glamour. I like to keep it real. OK, so I might make a rare exception when my close friend Genevieve Morton, when she’s not palpitating the hearts of the world’s photographers, pops around. But more of Gen later.
Yes, unlike another good friend Seth Rotherham of 2oceansvibe infamy, I’m not very into glamour. Let’s immediately get down to changing that.
Have you noticed how South Africa’s media are getting just a tad excited about the so-called WAGs (wives and girlfriends for those of you living in Kakamas) of the footballers about to arrive here for THE World Cup of all World Cups? “Football fans will struggle to keep their eyes on the boys,” pants TimesLive, usually a rather sober commentator on all matters South African.
I think not. In fact, sod that, I strongly disagree.
Take two footballers widely exhorted to be the best in the world. Lionel “The Flea” Messi (Barcelona and Argentina) and Wayne “Garden Gnome” Rooney (Manchester United and England). Now neither of them are themselves oil paintings, or even vaguely appealing watercolours you might expect to pick up in the bargain bin at your local arts society fundraiser.
I mean, have a butchers at this…
Lionel Messi: so ugly that I had to publish a flattering cartoon image
I’m sorry. Being unkind is not at all my vibe but… Gerard Depardieu’s ugly little boet or what?
And it’s not about to get much better. Here’s Rooney…
Wayne Rooney: About to attempt a self-makeover by gouging his own eyes out
Look. That was a bit harsh but you are getting my point, right? Right. But, actually, the fact that both Messi and Rooney look like the back of a vintage Putco bus is not the point at all. The point is, well, their partners.
As a true football fan, the looks of footballers is not at all important. It’s all about the skills, isn’t it? The way Messi can dawdle around the pitch for an hour, lulling the opposing defence into an all-encompassing sense of false security, then latch on to the ball, effortlessly sidle past several players and dink the ball over the goalkeeper for the most sublime of goals. The way Rooney can pinball his gnomish frame around a pitch for every one of 90 minutes, bouncing off any opponent who dares to get in his way, roundly abuse the ref every time the whistle blows and still find time to arse a winner by getting his big bum in the way of a cross. Sorry. I’m a Liverpool supporter.
But you do get my drift. What I don’t get is how, given that these okes earn a few million rand a week and thereby have supermodels salivating over their wallets like flies over a boerie roll, they dare bring fifth-string WAGs to our country.
Our girls at Caprice aren’t exactly going to engage reverse to let this lot through to the loo, are they?
Colleen Rooney: No flies on her... despite eating all the boerie rolls
I’m ashamed of myself. That was just cruel. Let’s see if we can show off Mr and Mrs Rooney in a kinder light…
Wayleen: all dolled up for a braai in Bellville
Aah, that’s better. I’ll stop apologising now. And I make no apologies for introducing you to Antonella Roccuzzo, Messi’s girlfriend…
Leo's choice of chica with childbearing hips is unlikely to have South Africa's top-tier angels staring miserably into their Pinacoladas
Safe to say that, blessed as we are in South Africa with the world’s most outrageously gorgeous women, our men will be totally focused on what’s happening on the pitch. And I suspect the much-trumpeted WAGs will take refuge in their hotel rooms, furiously texting friends back home about how terrified they are to venture out to the bars and clubs. And we, dear Hatpeople, will – nudge, nudge – know the real reason for that…
All South African Gen Morton: just one of the real reasons for that.
Helena's got no excuse for being late for our date, has she?
See what I did there? I posted a picture before writing any words. I have no idea why I did that. I just felt like it. That’s what I love about being a lone blogger operating on my Umdloti verandah with only 500 birds, 50 vervet monkeys, two Jack Russells and a nutty unicyclist to deal with in a day.
I can do what I like. No newspaper editor to say: “No, Hatman, you can’t put a picture above the story on that page. Have you gone mad?” Editors are prone to asking stupid questions.
OK. So you’re wondering why a blogger with an impeccable record for not ever gratuitously dropping naked photographs of anybody, let alone 90s supermodels – or even my close friend Genevieve Morton – on my blog is doing posting a picture of uberbeauty Helena Christensen wearing only a small range of wristwatches.
Reasonable question. So I’ll answer it. It’s so I have an excuse to tell you a story about the time I stared into Helena’s eyes. And what eyes! Indescribable. But, of course, I’ll try. The colour of the water immediately below the surface in an isolated cove where nobody has ever gone before somewhere on the remotest island of the Maldives is the closest I can do for you. Hardly Oscar Wilde but it’ll have to do. Aquamarine. Helena’s eyes. With a hint of turquoise gently blended with indigo and offset by a drop of battleship grey. If I remember correctly. And I do. First, before I relate my “I stared into Helena’s eyes” anecdote (no pork content), please run yours over another pic of Hels, this time with friends Claudia and Eva…
Hard to believe Freddie's Angels are now approaching something some people sometimes refer to as middle age, hey?
Nice to see the girls have been keeping fit, isn’t it? Back to my story. OK. So my girlfriend at the time – Kate, London, circa 1994 – had a friend whose boyfriend owned the Brixton Academy. We got VIP passes for every show. The Stones played a warm-up gig for a global tour there one night. It was celeb/supermodel overload. I went to the bar to get in the drinks. Unknowingly got wedged in behind Paula Yates (y’know, Bob Geldof’s late missus) who was waving her hands about while talking to Chris Evans (Google him if you have to). I looked around. Simon and Yasmin le Bon. Linda Evangelista. No Christy Turlington (I don’t think). Dave Stewart had his back to me. Which I thought quite rude at the time. Also present were a small galaxy whose names I won’t bother to drop. Only because I can’t remember.
I’ve been ranting on forever about stick-insect models setting a terrible example to young women – see here and here - so I was highly chuffed when the Hatman Mansions’ media department pointed out that I had received support for my campaign for more shapely women from young Cape Town blogger Seth Rotherham.
Now Seth has come on in leaps and bounds since I dispensed to him as many pearls of blogging wisdom as I possibly could when I met up with the enfant terrible of the blogosphere during our “Strengthening the Ties Between Umdloti and Camps Bay Tour” earlier this year.
You may witness for yourself just how well our boy has done since then by visiting his rapidly improving blog at 2oceansvibe.com. The boy done good, hey? Yes, he has. Just drink in all that advertising and those awards. The super-fast cars. The whole vibe! I’m so proud of him. And he’s taken it even further, as he does, by pouring acclaim on a supermodel who is bucking the trend by eating more than three lettuce leaves and 12 lentils a day. Good on you, my boy. And more than good on the sumptuously configured Doutzen Kroes who is more than happy to show off her delectable curves to you…
Now that's more like it! The more woman, the more we like it. Just take in those child-bearing hips, boys. Good gollyness, Miss Mollyness! Doutzen does it for us, doesn't she?
Yes, she does. But, as our Seth rightly points out in his very appetising post, there is no excuse for going all “fatty-boom-booms” on us. Just keep it nice and shapely. As my dear Mum used to say, “Everything in moderation, dear”. And she was so right, wasn’t she? Yes. No fatties on Umdloti’s beaches this summer, girls. And certainly no emaciated supermodels. Yuckness.
* Acknowledging Seth’s support for the fuller figure, I would like to bring to the attention of Hatpeople a very good cause that is backed by Seth on 2oceansvibe… Montrose Manor, an eating disorder treatment clinic in Cape Town. Jolly good work all-round, I’d say.
I don’t have anything against blondes. I’m not blondeist. Look, I have even had friends who are blonde. My very good friend Gen Morton is blonde. Say no more.
No, I would rather rail against an in-the-early-stages-of-rigor-mortis old talkshow host named Larry King, a man so pleased with himself that he would stoop to harassing a poor, defenceless, clearly blonde model and beauty queen to the point that she refused to be interviewed any longer.
Good on you, Carrie Prejean. Whoever you are. Shame on you, Larry King. Have you no appreciation for the level of dumbing-down to which your nation has descended? Have you gone all “Jerrrry! Jerrrry!” on us?
Extraordinary stuff. If you have no life whatsoever. OK, so watch this dreadful harangueing of a poor young blonde. Who I had better introduce to you. Because I had no idea who she was until 10 minutes ago. You’ll recognise the formula. Beauty queen, model, admires Sarah Palin, has a top rack of gargantuan proportions, got involved in a little video involving hanky-panky, displayed some indecisiveness over whether men should be allowed to marry men and got called a “dumb bitch” by Perez Hilton (a bit rich coming from him) for her troubles.
There is a bit more to tell about Carrie Prejean but I’ll stop because my lifepath has been sufficiently enriched today. You’ll pick it all up as Mr King, who wears very nice braces but is starting to look like those dead Soviet presidents the Kremlin used to roll out for the cameras during the Cold War, savages the poor, sweet, innocent young angel…
Oh, my hatness! Wasn’t that just awful? If quite entertaining. What entertained me most was the burning question of which of the two had had the most plastic surgery. I have no previous with Miss Prejean but I’m sure old Lazza had a lot more wrinkles when I last braved his show about 23 years ago. His visage has now taken on the appearance of The Mekon cryogenicised at age 14 with a tuft of hair on top. Skande!
(Doff of the hat to Marc and Shaun of http://www.marcforrest.com/ and http://www.izimvo.com/ for passing this on.)