Posts Tagged ‘joburg


Don’t Let Monday Get You Down

If you live in Cape Town you’ve probably just had a killer weekend. It’s been sunny and beautiful throughout, great weather for floating in large bodies of cool water not thinking about anything.



The longer you live here, the easier it gets to really enjoy your weekends on a level people who live and work in Joburg will never understand.

I’ve always said there’s an art to getting weekends right and since we’ve moved to Cape Town and out of the wooden shitshack we used to be holed up in in the middle of a wine farm in Stellenbosch, we’ve had a pretty good run.

Of course it makes Mondays tricky, but they needn’t be.

Just put your headphones on and listen to my good friend Devendra Banhart’s chilled out melodies and take a deep breath.



Feelin’ better? Good. Now calmly pack your desk up, walk out of your office and never go back. Buy a ticket to somewhere sunny and make a living mixing cocktails on the beach and spear fishing in your free time.

We don’t need to be here.



Whisky Live FEstival – CT Leg

Last week was insane.

There really is no other way to describe it. I work exclusively on whisky clients so you better believe when the FNB Whisky Live Festival hits, all there is to do is batten down the fucking hatches, grit your teeth and plough through it.



Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I worked between 14 and 15 hours straight. If I saw J-Rab for longer than an hour on each one of those days, it was a long time.

Thing is, in the evenings I was working one of the stands at the festival, pouring fine Irish whiskey and trying my best to teach people a thing or two about what I strongly believe is the most magnificent spirit ever distilled.

After three nights of doing so, I became and expert at reading the people at the stand and was able to divide your average festival goer into one of the following categories:


1. The Guys Who Go There To Get Hammered

The worst of the lot. These fuckers don’t give a rat’s ass about whether your whisky is triple distilled, peat smoked or distilled by God himself, all they want to do is get wrecked and then boast to their friends about how they went to the festival, learned nothing, staggered drunk in the streets and spent the night in jail.

Here’s how a typical conversation went with these fuckers:

“How much to taste the 16 year old?”

“Three tickets.”

“Three tickets?! Fucken ‘ell!”

I smile warily.

“Tell you what. I’ll give you ONE ticket,” the Guy Who’s There To Get Wasted replies.

“No, you’ll give me three.”

“Ag, c’mon man! No one’s looking!”

“That’s not the point. The point is the festival promotes responsible drinking. If I give you free whisky, you get drunk and make us look bad.”

“Ja, but the other stand didn’t take tickets.”

“Yes, well that’s because their whisky is shit.”

“Hahahahahahhahah! Ok, well how much is THAT one to taste?”

“That’s one ticket.”

“Do it! And make it a double!”

“Please die.”

They then hang around, stinking up your stand for at least another 20 minutes talking loudly to one another and waiting for an opportunity to top up their glasses when you’re not looking.

Filthy vagrants. How they ever afforded the R180 tickets is beyond me.


2. The Wine Drinkers

The Wine Drinkers have got it down. They swirl the whisky in the glass just right, check the colour, check the legs, nose it whilst holding the stem of the glass delicately between thumb and forefinger and then, FINALLY, actually taste the stuff and recoil instantly like a snake just bit them in the face.

Wine drinkers aren’t used the the high level of alcohol in whisky, so they make this cute little face after they take a sip like someone just fed them a handful of sour worms and then try and say something polite about it like, “Mmm, very smooth.”

Fuck me. If I had R10 for every time I heard someone describe whisky as ‘smooth’ I would have walked out straight out of there and into early retirement.

Guys, work on your fucking adjectives, seriously. I think you can do better.



3. The “Experts”

I love these little jerkwads more than you can imagine. The “experts” are a dime a dozen at festivals like this, they arrive in their fancy 3-piece suits with their work colleagues, honing of Aramis while they saunter up to the stands with the hottest promo girls and proceed to wow them with how little they know about whisky.

One such expert and his three cronies walk up to my stand and before he’s even said one fucking word to me, starts helping himself to my ice bucket, loading about five blocks into his glass before addressing me like I’m a piece of turd he’s stood in and saying, “So. What’s good here?”

“For a discerning whisky-drinker like yourself sir, I’d recommend the 16 year-old”.

“Ahh. Yes. And how much is that?”

“Three tickets.”

Tear, tear, tear. I take his glass and immediately dump all his ice in the spitoon.

“Hey, what are you doing?”

“If you’re going to taste a fine whiskey, I would recommend first doing so neat and only then adding ice or water.”

“But the ice mellows the whisky!”

“No. The ice locks the flavours of the whisky in, thus limiting what you’re actually going to taste.”

“Oh. Well. I’ve heard differently.”

At which point crony No. 3 jumps in with the classic, “I see you don’t have your 12 year-old available tonight.”

“There is no 12 year-old in the family sir.”

“The 12 year-old? Yes there is! Comes with a blue label, I drank some the other night at a mates place. 12 year-old. Look it up.”

“Really? And how late was it when you drank this 12 year-old because, to put it simply, it doesn’t exist.”

“I think you’re wrong.”

“Probably. I mean what do I know? I’ve just worked on this brand for the last year of my life, dedicating countless hours to studying every facet of its history, heritage and intrinsic brand benefits, but yeah, you’re probably right.”

“Good. Now make sure you have some for tomorrow night, people are going to want to taste the 12 year-old. In my opinion it’s the best one.”

Face. Palm.



4. The Students

Sometimes these guys are actually pretty cool. They’re interested in learning more about whisky and don’t mind admitting the fact that they don’t know much to begin with. As a general rule, I prefer chatting with them than I do most other festival goers.

But once in awhile you get The Student who is an expert in the art of faking and comes up to the stand all eager to broaden his knowledge and literally pogoing on the spot with enthusiasm.

“So the whisky, it comes from barrels?”

“Yes, all whisky has to be matured for a minimum of three years in wooden casks (mostly oak) to be legally classified as whisky.”

“WOW! And While it’s in there, that’s where it gets the flavours?”

“Yes. Whisky gets all its colour and at least 70% of its flavour from the cask.”


“Um, yeah. It is pretty amazing…”

“And the different spellings of whisky, one with the ‘e’ and one without, which one is which again?”

“Irish gets the ‘e’.”

“IRISH GETS THE ‘E’! Hahahaha! I flippin’ KNEW IT! How’s that hey!”


“So ja… how much to taste the 16 year old?”

“It’s three tickets.”

“Tell you what. I’ll give you ONE ticket.”

“Tell you what, I’ll call security and get your wasted ass thrown out.”

“One ticket it is! Hahaha! Irish with the ‘e’, I flippin’ KNEW it…”



5. The Suicidally Bored Housewives

Their husbands drag them there. They’re hating every minute of it. They wish they were at home putting a fine bottle of Pinotage to bed. Don’t try and converse with them. They are suicidal.

“Hi there ma’am, would you like to taste some of our fine whisky?”

“Oh, no thanks, I’m here with my husband” (Translation: Do you have any prescription-strength tranqs? I’m about to die of boredom).

“Well, you might as well taste a little whisky while you’re here.”

“Yes. I suppose I should” (Translation: Bring a glass of that vile-smelling stuff within three feet of me and I’ll eviscerate you with these uncomfortable fucking high heels my husband insisted I wear.)

“Here you go, give it a nose and tell me what you’re getting”.

“Mmm… smooth…” (Translation: Mmm… godawful…)

“Ok, now take a sip. You should pick up some softer honey notes at first and then a bit of spice around the sides of your tongue and some light, citrus notes on the finish.”

“Yes. Very nice.” (Translation: Are we done here? Because you know as much as I do I’d rather be at home right now banging the pool-boy).



So yeah, as you can imagine, last week was a lot of insanity followed by more insanity. Of course there are those who go to the festival and are lovely people and want to taste new whiskies and learn about them, in fact most of the people there are like that.

They just aren’t as interesting to write about as the others Winking smile

So wish me luck this week and apologies if the content gets a little thin. I’m flying up to Joburg tomorrow so come stop by the festival if you wanna say hi. I can’t say the stand I’m manning, but here’s a clue:

It’s Irish, and it’s 402 years old.

Peace out party people, have a killer week.



The Tiger Returns

I’ll tell you one thing about Christians, they’ve got the monopoly on guilt. Hell, I don’t even go to church or practise Christianity, but when I do bad shit, the guilt comes thick and fast.

I’ve been meaning to post for a long fucking time, I was in a good routine y’know? People they used to say, ‘Yeah, that SlickTiger guy, funny fucker. Posts every day, EVERY DAY. We love him. We want him in and around our mouths.’



Now they say, ‘Yeah, that SlickTiger guy, what a jerk. He had something going there for awhile, but it’s clear he ain’t got the stones to see it through. He’s dead to us now.”

Well, I got news Party People, like a cockroach scuttling out the drain after the last nuke wipes humanity out for good, I’m back, and I’m badder than ever 😉

Since I last checked in, crazy shit has gone down. I packed my life up in record time, jumped in The Red Baron and blazed a trail of fire clear across this beautiful, fucked up country of ours.

Joburg showed me its true face just as I left. I saw it the last time the sun set, just as I was about to get on the N1 to Bloem. Its true face looks like this:



I rolled into Bloem late, my schedule was tight as a drum because my new company had organised a 3 day conference that they really wanted me to attend which started ON the day I was originally going to arrive in CT.

Bloemfontein is a ghost town at 9 on a Monday night. I could count the other cars I saw on one hand. A stray dog nosed through some garbage. An empty chip packet blew scraping down the road.

The next day I got up at 4.30, showered and left by 5. There was about an hour’s grace before the heavens opened like a floodgate and I drove the next 6 hours in rain that fell so heavy it was coming down in sheets.

Try overtaking trucks in weather like that. Visibility is zero, but it’s ok because you can see the other car’s headlights right?

Fuck no. I counted about 15 trucks and cars that were driving with their headlights off, and in every one of those cars I saw my own death, splattered at 120 km/h all over the asphalt.



I’d be worm food if it weren’t for porn. It saved my life – click this sentence to find out how.

I hit Stellenbosch at around 4.30 and headed straight to Cheetah Outreach where I found her feeding four cheetahs. She had one by the scruff of his neck, a huge handful of fur between her fingers.

‘Hey!’ I said, ‘Stop hurting the animals.’

She turned around to give me a piece of her mind, but stopped mid sentence when she saw it was me.

Two and a half weeks – I could see the difference in her. She’s more tanned, she looks relaxed, more at home here than she was back in the Big Smoke, stuck behind a reception desk, whiling her time away filling in vet boards and staring at nothing.



She hugged me and the feeling of her all soft and skinny against me was good the way a cold drink on a hot day is good, the way a deep sleep after a hard day is good, good right down to your bones.

13 hours later I’m sitting in a bus with my new co-workers, singing ‘The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round’ into a microphone plugged into the dashboard.

6 hours after that I’m line dancing to ‘Sexy Back’ and smashing Jager-bombs into my face with what I can only describe as hordes of women.

In life sometimes, you just go with it. If you’re me, you take that a step further.

I could go on about the conference, a lot went down over the three days, but I think the word I’m looking for to sum it all up here is ‘radass’. I invented that word, you can use it but you have to reference this blog 😉

The weekend was amazing. J-Rab and I hit Bikini Beach near Gordon’s Bay and on Sunday went to meet my buddy Scatter’s 4 week old daughter.

It’s amazing how perfect babies come out. They’re finished so neatly, ten fingers, ten toes (hopefully) tiny mouth, fat arms and legs. Then they grow up and get all funny-looking and full of imperfections, flaws and fuck-ups.

And now I’m in the thick of things. The new job has started guns blazin’ but you know me, it’s nothing I can’t handle 😉 Oh, before I forget, here’s a pic of me on the first night I arrived at my new place:



Tune in tomorrow for a post I like to call ‘SlickTiger Meets Gary The Cannibal’.




Porn saved my life

What’s pretty rad about living in the modern world is there’s not really any stigma attached to porn anymore, provided it’s regular porn and not 2Girls1Cup porn or 1Man1Jar porn (hadn’t heard of that one had ya? Google it! Do it now!).

This means that as long as you’re not at work and you’re a single guy or have an open-minded girlfriend, you can pretty much watch porn to your heart’s content and no one’s going to think any worse of you… except your parents. They might be a little creeped out by the copy of ‘Weapons of Ass Destruction 5’ you keep stashed under your pillow and come to think of it, so am I.



Ask any guy and they’ll probably tell you they’ve learnt a lot of valuable lessons from porn, like the perks of being a TV repair man for example or how to make light of an awkward situation like walking in on your wife and the babysitter dressed in leathers and lubing up a cucumber.

But how many guys can say that porn has saved their lives?

Well, porn saved my life. I did a solo road trip about three years ago from Joburg to Colesburg to Storms River to Cape Town then to Colesburg again and finally back to Joeys.

It was an epic trip and I had all kinds of cool adventures along the way, well at least I think I had all kinds of cool adventures because to be honest, I don’t remember much of what went down.

One minute I’m having a sokkie-jol with the locals at The Blue Moon in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere, next I’m arm wrestling one pasty Brit after the next at Djembe Backpackers Lodge, next I’m dislocating my arm in a swimming pool (long story) and popping it back in myself in Kommetjie, next I’m wandering around Vortex somewhere in Paarl with a giant pink sombrero listening to a total stranger rattle on about how the entire story of Christmas evolved from people eating too many magic mushrooms in the forest and staring at reindeer.



It was a holiday so badass I needed a holiday after it just to recover and actually ended up taking two day’s sick leave when I got back because I had bronchitis and felt like hell.

Thing about the trip was that I did every leg of serious driving more hungover than the last and all I can say is never, never subject yourself to that kind of torture. It got so bad that unless I’d swallowed three packets of McNabs Energy Tabs and downed two Red Bulls before hitting the road, I was about as useful behind the wheel as a blind monkey with one arm.

Once I’d taken the edge off my hangovers all that was left to do was keep my eyes on the road, concentrate and drive. Then drive some more. Then drive some more. Then after that, you guessed it, lunch at Wimpy, yum!

Bottom line is I was dead tired for the last couple of trips I did and tried everything to stay awake – winding the windows down, playing music loud, biting my cheeks really hard, slapping my face really hard, having a conversation with myself in numerous different voices, drinking lots of orange juice, singing the theme songs of every old TV show I ever saw (‘Come and knock on our dooooooor, we’ve been waiting for yoooooouuuuu”) and eventually pulling all my nose hairs out, one every 15 minutes.



It’s all bullshit. None of it fucking worked. All that happened was I got funny looks at the petrol stations I stopped at because my hair was a bird’s nest, my face was bright red, my nose was bleeding and I kept chewing my cheeks and singing the A-Team theme song under my breath.

I knew I’d hit rock bottom when, whilst driving between Cape Town and Colesburg I looked up to see an entire family of cute little dassies crossing the road and mowed down everyone of them.

I had to find a way to stay awake, those dassies never did a damn thing to me and there I was, smearing them across the road like lumpy jam.



Suddenly God, or some kind of divine entity, parted the clouds above me and in a epiphanic moment, an infinite reel of every porn movie I’ve ever seen started playing in my head.

It was everything from the classics like “Bang Hur”, “King Dong” and “Laurence of a Labia” to modern day titles such as “Position Impossible”, “In Diana Jones And The Temple Of Poon” and “How Stella Got Her Tube Packed” (don’t ask).

I’ve never been so alert whilst driving in my entire life. My only regret is that I didn’t figure this miracle cure for drowsiness sooner!

So the next time your parents / landlord / boss / the police walk in on you appreciating some fine pornographic material and try to evict / fire / arrest you tell ‘em straight up, “Hey, do you mind! I’m fucking saving countless lives here ok?! Christ, knock next time!”

Hey presto! Problem solved 😉



Gig review: The Killers

South African audiences suck. We have absolutely no idea how to rock out and you can’t really blame us. Overseas there are hundreds of excellent bands playing every weekend and in places like London they are totally spoilt for choice when it comes to concerts and artists.

Not so all the way down in darkest Africa. Down here we get international acts maybe three times a year if we’re lucky, which is bad because what ends up happening is everyone buys tickets to go see whichever band has decided to grace us with their presence not because they are die hard fans of that band, but just because a big international artist has actually come down here to play.

What ends up happening is you get masses of people paying ridiculous amounts of money to go and watch bands that they don’t know very well.

In the case of The Killers concert that happened in Joburg on Friday night, I’m willing to bet that the majority of the people who went to watch them knew four or five of their songs, mainly the ones that play on 5FM and that was about it.



They also have no clue how to chill out and enjoy the vibe of a big concert. We arrived about 40 mins before The Killers went on stage, which was just enough time to get some drinks and start missioning through the crowds to find a good spot.

Predictably as we got closer to the centre, the crowds became more and more dense until eventually we came to a dead stop in a group of people who started shitting us out in a really bitchy, horrible way for having the audacity to stand amongst them.

People, this is a fucking rock concert, you cannot reserve a place to stand, what the fuck?!

Eventually we managed to squeeze past the douchebags and find a place to stand and moments later the lights dimmed down, a low, long, grumbling note sounded over the massive speaker system and in an explosion of lights, The Killers launched into their first song, ‘Joyride’.

A bit of a weak song to start with some might argue, but it was a nice and gentle way to ease us all into things and I think it worked.

The exact tracklist they played after that is a little blurry in my mind, but I know ‘Bones’ was in there somewhere in the beginning and that they rocked out for the first three tracks and then played two totally obscure tracks after that and the energy in the crowd dropped instantly.



To the band’s credit, they played every classic Killers’ track they’ve ever written. ‘For Reasons Unknown’, ‘Spaceman’, ‘Somebody Told Me’, ‘Human’, and ‘Mr Brightside’ were all belted out passionately and executed with such precision, you’d swear you were listening to the CD…

But rest assured, this wasn’t Milli Vanilli we were watching, as perfectly as the band played, I picked up a couple of tiny slip-ups here and there – proof that it wasn’t just a backing track we were listening to.

What quickly became apparent watching them live though is that Brandon Flowers (the lead vocalist and frontman of the band) IS The Killers. Take that man out of the band and all you’ve got is a group of dudes who look like ageing session musicians, the kind of people you’d expect to see on stage playing U2 covers at The Rustic Theatre on a Sunday afternoon.

Mark my words, the next step for ol’ Flowers will be a solo career. He’ll drop the rest of the band, strike out on his own and make an album that, surprise, surprise, sounds exactly like The Killers.

You heard it here first 😉

There were a couple of little touches that I really liked. One of them was when they killed all the lights in The Dome and Flowers and the guitarist Dave Keuning stepped under a single spotlight and sang ‘Falling In Love With You’ (the Elvis track).



I also liked the bit when Flowers sat down at the end of ‘Spaceman’ and played the last chorous on the piano, just him on his lonesome. The man can sing, that’s for damn sure.

The only song I think they butchered completely was ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, which was really sad, because like I said in my previous post, that song means a lot to me. They opted for an acoustic guitar and piano instead of the electric and synthesized kind and played the song half a click slower than they do on the album.

The result is that it sounded more like a funeral dirge than The Killers’ track we’ve all come to know and love.

Other than that, it was a solid concert, and yes, I feel like I got my money’s worth. As for the rest of the crowd, who knows what they thought of it all. A lot of my friends who went to the concert were surprised by how unenergetic the crowd was, but as I mentioned above, this is fairly typical of South African audiences.

There were people standing next to us that didn’t so much as nod their heads for the entire concert. They just stood there and watched in a kind of silent, catatonic daze.

Nice one guys. No wonder international bands avoid us like the plague.



However, the real question here is has my faith in the band been restored? After watching them play live are they back in my top ten list? Well, the answer to that question would be ‘no’.

More than anything, I feel a sense of closure. I’ve bought all their albums, listened to nearly everything they’ve ever recorded and seen them play live.

I’m happy to say adios to The Killers. In five year’s time I’ll probably dig out some of my personal favourites again and play them on a lazy afternoon, but the danger of listening to any band too much is that their music loses it’s meaning for you and thanks to the masses of radio play this band has gotten, that’s exactly what’s happened to them.

They killed The Killers. Those music execs out there in dreamland, they killed The Killers.

Those bastards.