Monday, February 2, 2009

The Rotters

“Let’s get wrrrrecked!” was the call to arms of Craig and Errol, two ropey, atrociously alcoholic felons who terrorised the African street lentilheads’ digs. If the Zimbos made your mother cry, the rotters would send her into a sobbing nervous breakdown. In two years, I never saw either of them without a drink (theirs or someone else’s). Their ethos can perhaps be best summed up in one of Craig’s favourite songs, which he sang to me on the African street roof, one wrrrecked afternoon:

“There's sweat on my finger tips
I got a belly full of beer shits
My head is too close to the wall.
There's blood in my underwear
I don't know how I got it there
I swear I'd bust open my head, should I fall.”
- The Wonder Stuff, A Great Drinker (1993)

Salad Valley Bush-dive
They were breath-takingly, brutally rude bastards to anyone unfortunate enough to be in their path. I myself paid a local thug R50 to beat them up the first night I met them. They’d made some eye-wateringly disparaging remarks about me in front of my new girlfriend’s father. Sadly, my designated assassin got drunk on the 50 rondt at the Spur, and bush-dived the salad bar before he was arrested. The rotters were left untouched, and instead drank themselves to unconsciousness on the African street lounge floor, blissfully ignorant of their intended violent fate. I never did get a refund.

Fish and Chips Bush-dive
The rotters were scarred with countless drinking injuries, constantly falling off, over, and into things. Craig got 20 stitches after falling on his prized new bottle of whiskey. All the way to the hospital he sobbed for his loved - and tragically lost - bottle. Then there’s the time he went down the rock slide at Mermaid Pools on his face. How we laughed. Errol passed out face-first in his fish and chips at a family meal. How his dad didn’t laugh.

Re-tox Parties
The rotters were ever trying – and failing – to give up the grog. A few days of sobriety were always rewarded with riotous re-tox parties that punished them and their livers like a roaring,  brandy-fuelled Volkswagen Beetle crashing into a wall of burning rubbbish bins. These parties lasted for days, with the rotters taking turns for one to pass out while the other drank on, like a wrestling tag team.

The Glass of Water Pick-Up Line
Despite constantly reeking of cheap booze, and dirty unwashed hair that looked like rats had been fucking in it, Craig was remarkably successful with women, in those rare moments he wasn’t drooling, passed out and without the rudimentaries of bladder control. He invented the glass of water gambit, a girl-meets-boy master stroke by this Cola Cane Casanova, and a legend to this day. 

Despite bulbous, manic eyes the size of tennis balls, a wide, leering mouth, and a Mr. Spock haircut, Errol pulled Shannon- so well done there.

What’s the Frequency Gwyneth? The Rotter Lexicon
Grog fever – What the drink-starved rotters would fall into thrall to after several hours without alcohol. Symptoms including screaming, cursing at all bystanders and recently previous friends, and downing whatever or whoever's drink was at hand.

Kickin’ it live – The boisterous, hopeful, pre-falling down phase. Just after Grog Fever, and before Showing them.

Showing them – Guzzling drink and drugs at a sprint, where more timid souls would fear to tread. Going out and getting “so drunk you’ll chunder on a bitch’s tits” (actual quote).

Cola Cane – The floor-sweepings of the Zimbabwean alcohol industry. Seven dollars got you a bottle of this violent blend of spirits and wine.

Pouncemania – Rotter feelings toward a winsome member of the fairer sex. Eg. “Fuck me! Shannon’s pounce-mania!”

A Big Fat Lezza - Any woman who's not pouncemania, or who rejects your advances.

3 comments:

Miranda said...

Ah those rotters! You have it down pat! Hilarious. I brace myself to see them every time I go to the UK and you'll be alarmed to know that nothing much has changed. Its ugly as ever.

fush and chips said...

Miranda, I last saw the rotters in Harare, 2000. Errol was in crutches but he still provoked my huge Scottish friend enough for said friend having to be held back from beating seven shades of shit out of him.

Shiny said...

You got them just right! I happened to be the girlfriend of one of the other rotters for most of my final year. I knew he loved me when he told me where he stashed his 'Emergency' bottle of Jack Daniels - under his car seat. I knew he really loved me when he shared said bottle with me! Don't stop writing, this stuff is great x