Friday, June 28, 2013

The night Cliffie went home and never told Jayce

 Jason carried a gun for a while back in the Nineties. When it was the fashion.
            They’ve gone out of vogue now, but in the days when the clubs were rocking in Rosebank, handguns were huge.
            There used to be plastic drums of building sand outside every nightclub so that the owners of firearms could safely unload their weapons without shooting some poor doorman in the foot. Then they’d hand their weapons in to be stored in the gun safe and in return they’d be given a token that they could leave peeking out of their shirt pocket where everybody could see it and know that they were a bad-ass gun owner.
            It was ugly days. Rosebank was overrun with cocaine and hijackers and, ay, maybe it made sense to carry a gun.
            But not Jason.
            That oke should never have been allowed out of the house, let alone armed and dangerous. In those days he was just taking too many drugs for too many nights in a row to be trusted with any kind of weapon.
            But some official somewhere clearly wasn’t concentrating the day Jayce came to apply for his gun licence. And we were his mates, we clearly weren’t on top of our game either, because we really should have put our foot down.
            The guy could barely string a sentence together, let alone hold down a job. He was living in his mom’s garden flat, he was eating pills like they were Tic-Tacs…
            Jayce was a mess. But so were we, so we didn’t spot it until it was a bit too late.
            It all came to a head that night at Therapy.
            Now to understand Jayce, you must realise that he’s a bit gay. Well, he probably is totally gay. Fact is, I’ve never seen him with a girlfriend.
            But Jayce doesn’t know he’s gay. In fact he’s about the biggest homophobe you’ve ever checked. But he still liked to jol at Therapy, which was like the biggest gay club in Rosebank in those days.
            In those days we used to hang out with this oke called Cliffie. A skinny little oke who could never handle his dop and used to keep passing out in the oddest places. Jayce was lank protective of the oke. I know, I know. It was all a bit gay.
            So the one night we’re all having a fat jol at Therapy – the place is full of gay okes – and Cliffie decides he’s finished jolling so he goes home. But he forgets to tell Jason.
            By that stage Jayce is completely shunted on pills and Red Bull and vodkas. And somehow he gets it into his head that Cliffie has passed out and some gay guy has dragged him off to have his way with him.
            This is what’s going on in Jayce’s crazy mind. We’re just jolling, completely oblivious.
            Next thing we know, Jason has gone and checked his gun out of the gun safe and come charging back into the club. He makes directly for the toilets with his gun drawn like he’s James Bond.
            He starts kicking in the doors of the stalls and waving his gun around at the poor okes inside, screaming, “Where’s Cliffie? Where’s Cliffie?”
            The three of us come charging in there after him, lank shocked and screaming just as loud, “Cliffie’s gone home! Cliffie’s gone home!”
            I saw a couple of terrified dudes cowering in the one cubicle, looking at one another, as if to ask, “Your name’s not Cliffie, is it?”
            Jason, was like, “He’s gone home? Oh. Okay.”
Then he put his gun in his pocket and walked out, just as about six bouncers came charging into the toilets looking for him.
            So that was it. After that night we banned Jason from owning a gun. We made him hand it over to his mom and the oke was no longer to be seen necking pills with a handgun token peeking out of his shirt pocket.
            And almost at the same time, crime began to decrease and those sand drums disappeared from outside the clubs.
            People started taking less drugs, or at least they took drugs less openly and things became a lot more relaxed in Jo’burg.
            You don’t check okes running around with guns as much as you did back in the Nineties.
Yiss. You used to check some mal stuff back then, hey.



Phil T said...

For sure. Mal shit. I remember a night in Roxy's in Melville. Around 96/97 (before it got kak and full of dooses). This big black rugby player from RAU is standing at the bar in the old Roxy's cafe (to the left of the main entrance, where all the best people hung out). Two mustachioed breekers, think they were off-duty SAPS, get in to an altercation with him. One of the guys, who is a foot shorter than the rugby player, leaps into the air and headbutts him. Knocked the fuck out, one shot. Manager of Roxy's come out from behind the bar, and the small oke pulls a 9mm from his shoulder holster and pushes the manager up against the wall, and then puts the barrel of the gun into his mouth. Threatens to kill him there and then. Then threatens everyone in the room, who have been watching this whole thing go down. Mexican standoff for about 20 seconds, nobody moves, nobody even fucking breathes. Two breekers calmly holster their guns and walk out the front door. I go over to the still-sleeping rugby player on the floor, and realise he's shat in his pants as well.

Crazy fucking night. Joburg in the 90s.

Hagen Engler said...

Shot for the story, Phil. I know the bar. Rascasse they called it at one stage. Shem the roxy got kak towards the end, but it was legendary! Also Joburg in the day. Edgy as fuck, but awesome. H