Caprice with Horsesby Dylan Muhlenberg / 13.01.2010
It would seem that my subconscious is trying to turn me into Gwen Gill. What other explanation is there for me wanting to constantly embed myself in events, report on parties and drop name in a vulgar display of smug superiority like real journalists drop facts? Anyway, if I’m going to do this then I should do it right and cast my net wider than my own incestuous scene. Which is why I attended the Queens Plate.
That and the excuse to dress homosexual. Out of the closet stepped the Country Road laceups and the bespoke white wedding shirt and a pair of pants that weren’t jeans. Then I did a Scott Schuman on the whole thing: losing the socks, putting a solid cuff into the trousers, wearing Plus One’s girdle as a neckerchief and giving the Wayfarers a day off so that the Aviators could make a long awaited return.
Obviously I didn’t know how to get to the Kenilworth Racetrack so I phoned a friend who grew up in the Southern Suburbs. ‘How do I get to Kenilworth?’ I asked. ‘Via a series of very bad choices,’ he replied. My theory was to wait for an expensive looking vehicle to pass me near Hospital Bend, then look to see if the driver was wearing blue and white and follow him to the ponies. This becomes a problem when you’re behind the wheel of a maroon Mazda 323 with ND plates and a rear-view mirror, air-freshening flip-flop that’s drier than Ghandi’s. Still, I looked so dapper that at several red lights there were requests from neighbouring cars for some Grey Poupon.
Prima facie the venue was like Caprice with horses. A more exclusive, moneyed J&B Met. What Seth Rotherham’s Sweet 16 birthday party must’ve been like. Nearly all of the girls were model pretty and the fat ones were probably huddled in the loser’s stable about to be turned into glue. Plus One accused me of leering, which was impossible not to do with all the perma-tanned bleached blondes with their bolt-on tits and their high-heels getting stuck into the ground, and then greeted a professional wrestler looking male bimbo in the manner that one would reserve for being reunited with your biological father.
The Cowley sisters were easily the second and third hottest girls there and were celebrating the fact that their horse, the favourite Pocket Power, had just won them R100 by spending R300 on tequila. I did my shot and quickly left in case I was expected to return the gesture. Then I met a 20-something year old professional poker player who lives next door to Arie Fabian in a block of flats overlooking Clifton beach. The guy wouldn’t disclose how much he’d bet, or what he’d won (people close to him said that it was in the area of R50 000), but he was understandably giddy. This was his first time playing the ponies and even though he didn’t really understand what he’d done – he’d gone the pick six route on the advice of his bookie – he instantly became my BFF.
Drinking a jug of complimentary Pimms, a drink which makes a gin and tonic taste like Zamalek, I then had to start competing with the Cape-Spaniard busboys for the marinated fruit dregs after the bar turned cash. The roly-poly young Rupert boy did not seem phased by this – understandable considering that he once crashed a five million rand Ferrari F50 – and having lost the gambler I thought that he’d make the ultimate benefactor. I started polishing a gem of an opening line: You want a horse to win you chop off three-quarters of its dick. Insecurity brings out the best in a beast. Napolean-short. Hitler-one ball. Shaka Zulu-micropenis. (Tapping my nose) If you’re hung like a human you’re always going to outrun the donkey dicks… But by the time I’d cleared my throat he’d already been whisked away by several short-skirted strumpets.
Michelle McLean (Miss Universe 1992) remembered me from the 2005 Mondi Magazine Awards, where after drinking myself charming on the sponsored Scotch I sashayed up to her and slurred, ‘I don’t care about the Golden Nib. I only wanted to win so that I could get a kiss from you.’ Because as luck would have it Farmer’s Weekly stole the kiss I should’ve got for my story about working as a sms porn star and an Afrikaner named Erns stole the follow up that I should’ve got for spending a night in the Buitenkant police station.
It was probably this experience that resulted in me steering my pen towards the niche world of male grooming. A gateway form of writing that has led to my becoming a social journalist. So instead of think pieces in the Mail & Guardian I’m now like Thunda, but writing a thousand mediocre words instead of taking thousands of mediocre pictures. Hell, I’ll be surprised if I can still write my name by the end of the year.
Images © Werner Ryke and courtesy 2oceansvibe.com