Friday, November 14, 2008

I Remember It Like It Happened Just Two Months Ago

Oh wow.

Lets just say that its refreshing to know that there are, well many things that I have yet to do for the first time. Yesterday, I made that list one the lessor.

Nick Key (who shall here forth be referred to as The States) and Nick Brink (who shall in turn be referred, here on out as Charley B – because it’s confusing going to lunch with two Nick’s) and myself (whom I shall self-dub, T-Game – for obvious reasons of me having a lot of Game, of the bachelor variety and not the antelope type) spent the better part of the morning in Town. That is Cape Town, CBDish.

We began our little outing at Green Market Square where The States succumbed to the pressures of The Man and bought 6 Terry Pratchett books in one go. I mean, have you ever. All the while, Charley B fumbled around the stalls looking through his new sun-glass-eyes for nothing in particular (not even a tacky mass produced piece of authentic African art for Evelyn (that is, the big E-V-E)

The day was humming along nicely and after our perusing had reached it’s limit and we felt like haggling no more, we made our way up Long Street for the infamous Royale Eatery. Legend has it, that their burgers are made out of 100% pure awesome. Naturally being a good connoisseur of all things meat-made, I had to attest to this claim of many a Cape Tonian.

After about a 1 and a half hour hike up Long Street because The States refused to drive up to the top of Long Street and made us walk, we arrived at what would become the Eatery of Destiny.

Upon entry we were greeted by a cute, pump wearing, brunette, brown eyed and vibacious excuse for a waitress, masked only by an apron and the chasm that separates the customer and the employee.

“Smoking, or Non?”
She might as well have said, “Hi guys, Im here to steal away both your breath and your dignity. And just in time for lunch too.”

“Um,” the three of us exchanged glances and I knew exactly what The States was thinking, (and we both knew that Charley B was only thinking of the Big E-V-E)
“That’ll be Non Smoking. Thanks”

It seemed like a good few years had passed between that moment and the next, for it is all I seem to remember. Apparently we had ordered ourselves milkshakes and burgers at some point between, which I can only attribute to being true because I found myself sipping on said banana and peanut butter milkshake. Charley B was facing the roadside, while The States and I (according to The States, positioned strategically) were facing the kitchen, the innards of this dream factory.

We both saw her coming. The carefully meticulated steps toward ours, the last table. Gently teasing us. Oh, how endearing the whole lot of it.
She silkily slided up to the table,

“Miss Piggy,” she said shyly

And then mustering up the Captain Courage in me, I retorted,

“That’s quite rude.
His name is Nick.”

I allowed a smile to escape from the corner of my mouth.

You see, I had attempted the classic literary move in favor of the double entendre .

Because Nick, and by Nick I mean, The States, had actually ordered the Miss Piggy burger, complete with bacon and all.

Pretty waitress returned the favor and showed me her smile.

“Sweet Potato chips?” She mused.

“Yep, that’s me”

“Hehe,” (Oh that giggle) “That’s a funny name.” She responded wryly.

I was finished. Stab me with a fork because I am done.

But that was not to be the end of our story, this story that exists only in a vacuum.
After much deliberation, it was decided, or perhaps assumed on my behalf that I would attempt the classic male maneuver that only ever seems to work on American sitcoms, the pick-up line.
However it must be understood that this was not the kind of scenario I have placed the vast majority of my lady friends in, or the jester that appears on camps of all sorts when all the pick up lines come out. No, this was to be pure, unadulterated chauvinism passing off as something of the confident bachelor type.

We eventually settled the bill. I got up from my seat and turned around, stuck my head out the window and took a deep breath. All the while, it must be said that The States was cheering me on. Doing what is expected from any wingman in such a situation (Charley B was still thinking about the big E-V-E) telling me that I was indeed The Man (not in the corporate capitalist sense, of course, but more in the massive street cred kind of way) and that I had this one in the bag.

Gorgeous Brunette girl nonchalantly sided the corner into the kitchen. I got up from my seat once again (I had to take a break from the adrenaline pushing through my veins) and timed the walk across the restaurant floor so that I would intersect her as she exited the kitchen.

My timing was off, and I missed her completely as she ducked round the back. I came back around for a second pass pretending that I casually left my wallet at the table as I casually walked back to the table of destiny. I missed her again.

I gave up. I was finished, and plus I couldn’t keep walking up and down the restaurant. That would have been too weird. I left the restaurant and casually looked about Long Street and shared a look of defeat with Charley B who had joined me on the pavement.
I looked back to check up on the status of The States, to find that he had engaged in slight banter with Delightful Brown Eyed Girl. I casually came up from the front of the eatery as The States was making his exit and saw that he had devised a clever ploy to engage her in conversation.

He asked her for a mint.
So she gave him one.
“Hi my name’s Nick.” He said wingmanningly.
“Hey. I’m, Gabi.”

Enter T-Game.

“Um what about me?” I asked with a smirk on my face as she was returning the bowl of mints to their place of residence.
“Here you go, and I’m Gabi by the way.”

She stuck out her hand to shake what I could have only expected to be mine. In my nervousness I shuffled my hand out of my pocket and she got the three fingered grip.

What petite hands she has.

I corrected the shake and a look of bewilderment arrested my face.

“Ah, What happened?” I asked her with a hint of surprise.

“Wh-what?” She seemed a little confused.

I repeated the statement, in case she didn’t catch it the first time or wasn’t completely English speaking.

“What happened?” this time, with a hint of a smile.

“What? I don’t know?”

“Somebody spilled GORGEOUS all over your outfit.” I said commandingly.
She laughed, and id like to believe that she wasn’t just being polite.

We then exchanged a few words that Charley B, The States and I had agreed upon earlier. I shared with Gorgeous Gabi, the sentiment that it is nigh impossible for a bloke to walk in off the street and sincerely compliment a waitron. Most guys end up as players or ballers and sincerity is the furthest thing from their lips and minds. So we left it at that.
And that was that.

Except is wasn’t for me. I haven’t seen Gabi since and don’t know if I ever will. The important lesson learned by all today is that it I have often been asked as to whether I have used a pick up line seriously, and for the first time ever, I can say yes. Well sort of.

This whole entire scenario is not so much the story of me having half an interaction with a stranger, so much as it is the new reality I find myself in. I am The Man and even though it is far more plausible that Gabi thought I was an A-Class Nerd, I’d like to believe that if I was a topping on a pizza, and I was cheese, she would ask for extra cheese.

It is my understanding that Gabi is currently seeing someone, and it is not my intention to embarrass her in any way, but let this serve as a reminder to us all that milkshakes and burgers provide the premise for good,
great memoirs.

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