Fly Me To The Loonby Dylan Muhlenberg / 23.12.2009
There’s a Zimbabwean working at Fly On The Wall Productions (the same people who brought us the Fokof documentary) who hasn’t been home in five years. When the rest of his colleagues heard this they also heard violins and decided that they needed to intervene. Collectively they pocketed their hands, but withdrew nothing more than pocket lining. They opened up their wallets and some moths flittered out. FOTW’s shoulders were up next to their ears, their brows heavily furrowed and the palms of their hands turned upward when a lightbulb illuminated above their huddled heads. Shazam! The magic had come.
They had got to thinking, and when they get thinking we get the type of things that they’ve given us in the past, which this time took the form of a party-slash-auction-slash-fundraiser at their offices. The big open plan studio with a balcony overlooking Roeland Street has swings and a bar and a trampoline and it’s a space that they’ll almost certainly lose their deposit on. Miss PE 2002 had recently won a years supply of beer, which she kindly donated along with cases of Red Bull, who she’s worked for since handing back her tiara, and that meant that all drinks went straight towards a seat on Air Zimbabwe. But even with Chippy and Laura in attendance, drinking wasn’t going to get the Zimbabwean back home, so a whole lot of artists donated art works to be auctioned off: photography by Sean Metelerkamp and photography by Faith and illustration by Love Hate and illustration by Libby and Tyler’s son, who, if you ask me, is the artist to invest in as he has no other option but to grow up into a high return investment.
I didn’t register who the other artists were because by then I was very busy watching a fight, which was over before it had even really started. Still, it made me paranoid, a hangover I’ve been suffering from since posting that last piece, which should’ve been titled “How To Lose Friends And Alienate People”, and I kept on looking over my shoulder waiting for Catwalk Trash to brain me with a stiletto. Then I realised that it was all the cheese chronic that I’d been self-medicating with. Like a lactose intolerant, it did me no favours. In fact it must’ve been a Swiss strain the way it put holes in the part of my brain that helps me to relate to people.
I was socially inept, crippled with shyness, awkward as group sex in a smartcar. I was Brian Little. Which is why it was so difficult to accept Markus Wormstorm’s compliments when he was telling me how my street cred with him had risen to a whole other level after he read A-Is-For-Aging. I reminded him that it could’ve just as easily had been him in the story and that he shouldn’t heap praise too soon. He just laughed, because after being in a band with Waddy Jones, Markus is obviously the type of guy who can take a joke. I don’t care if Brian Little has a sense of humour or not, and think that he deserves everything he gets, being all friendly with my daughter’s step dad like that. How would you feel walking into a strange room and bumping into the guy who tucks your daughter in at night? I tried not to cause a scene. I didn’t do what everyone thought that I was going to do. I didn’t freak out. I just grimaced, rubbed my temples, said my hellos and it was minutes later when I realised that nobody in the circle had said anything since I’d hijacked it and that I was now lurking and making everyone feel uncomfortable.
Someone said something about going to get drinks and I finally thought of something to say, having noticed that the man who my daughter shares a surname with was wearing a piece of fishing gut around his neck with a pinecone and a toy truck’s wheel on each end. I thought that it was some sort of granola-inspired parenting tool that comes with Rudolf Steiner’s school’s application forms. It wasn’t, it was his appendage and, this being an appendage party, it wasn’t the guy with a bunch of grapes hanging over his crotch or the guy with fake breasts or the guy with a turtle on his head that looked foolish – it was me.
However, it turned out that I did actually have an appendage that night, something that I’d amputated two years ago. It was the first time that I’d seen my ex, the Devilsnake, out since she showed up at my engagement party uninvited, and instead of freaking me out the cheese had my back, lining everything with silver. So when I turned around to see who was tapping me on the shoulder I just started laughing, hard, and couldn’t stop. She just smiled the type of smile that a Hyena would crack while using your fibula as a toothpick and walked off. I told my lift that I needed to leave immediately. He said no and then laughed and for the rest of the night it felt like my skin was made out of asbestos.
I’m glad I stayed though because the auction part of the evening only happened much later on and was actually a lot of fun. Especially with the camp drama student auctioneer saying things like, ‘Going once, going twice, sold to the guy with the… er, poes-face.’ Which isn’t that funny now that I’m writing it, but complimented the cheese like a fine wine. The best bit? The Zimbabwean got his ticket. Lets just hope that he’s able to use the return flight and that Fly On The Wall don’t have to throw another one of these parties to pay for a lawyer/ hospitalisation after Mugabe does whatever it is that he does to economic refugees.
Images © and courtesy Filipa Domingues