Scoop 7:Banged up abroad

GigiIt’s 10 o’clock on a Friday night and the Lollipop Lounge is abuzz with ex­citement. A bachelor in a nun outfit has just plunked his drink on my table. “Please keep an eye on this”, he mumbles as he stumbles towards the men’s toilets. My head bouncer kneels next to my table. “A good client, boss, is falling all over the other clients. He cannot possibly drive home in his condition. I recommend we phone a taxi to get him home.”

“Fine, has he paid the bill?” I ask. I know the consequences of an unpaid bill at two in the morning. I see the customer passing my table with two bouncers helping him leave the club in a graceful manner. Half-an-hour later my head bouncer kneels by my side again. “A small problem, boss. The taxi brought the client straight back to the club and he is causing havoc outside.” The taxi driver took our well-oiled customer home, but on arrival, he told the driver not only would he collect money for the fare from his house, but also his gun to shoot him. Now you can ima­gine. Were you the taxi driver you’d have done the same thing. He brought the ­rude client back to the origin of the problem: The Lollipop Lounge. The client got out and kicked the taxi. Fell backwards onto the tar. Grazed his arms in the process. Then, protesting, with a wild gesture knocked out the window frame of our SSG ­guard hut.

In complete panic our SSG guard presses the panic button and all hell breaks ­loose. Police and SSG vans ar­rive in full force. Meantime our protesting client passes out face-first on the grass. This isn’t a script for Get Shorty, I pro­mise you this really happened.

Now between the SSG patrol van and the police they decide it would be better for our unfortunate customer to sleep it off in Randburg police station. We the Lollipop Lounge de­cide not to press charges for the window pane. So the police, after collecting his wallet, cell and ID, load him carefully into the van. SSG took all the details of the police and handed it to my head bouncer.

A job well done. On Saturday morning my auditor phones. “Morning GiGi.”

“This is very early for business,” I reply. He’s not his usual friendly self. “Well something strange happened last night. One of my clients that I sent down to the Lollipop Lounge for lunch ended up in prison last night. His wife had to pick him up at 5.30 this morning. He is an Austrian. Only here in South Africa for a short business trip.”

I felt the blood drain from my face. “Well, all lot can happen between 15:00 and 22:00, South African citizen or not,” I squeak, trying to explain.

The lesson: … If you end up letting it all hang out, watch your language, your manners and don’t pass out face-first on the grass… See you on December 15 at our year-end function!


Gigi writes a weekly column for Scoop – click to see!
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