Friday, 11 November, 2011As I told you last time, dear reader, the Nitty Gritty shebeen has undergone complete refurbishment with various additions and extensions.
It took a while because the building inspector was eating with the contractor, but it finally reached completion. The result is that patrons can now use the outside patio for lounging and relaxing as well as the traditional lounge area itself. When there are quite a few patrons in the house gathered for some social function, Ausi Maggie, Chief Executive Hostess and sole proprietor of the establishment, opens up the sliding doors that divide the lounge and the patio.
The kitchen has also undergone some extensive reworking and redecoration. There is now a much bigger fridge, freezer and cooking stove with one of those suction contraptions that suck the stale and smoke out of the room.
Before these improvements life in the kitchen was as hot as hell. And smoky too. But now the fellows enjoy their hors d'ouvres of menoto, dibete and dintshu without the smoke and oil.
Yes dear reader, Ausi Maggie is an example of the female entrepreneur who has pulled herself up 'by the pantihose', as she likes to remind us. Gone are the days when she used to make ends meet in a two roomed type five house as a "typewriter" for the department of Water Affairs. Now she boasts of three or four houses (nobody knows how many exactly), that she lets out, plus the one she built for her folks in the village and the Nitty Gritty, which used to be the type five.
It is a fact well noted by the fellows at the Nitty Gritty that Ausi Maggie has arrived. But, alas, she sees things otherwise.
"No guys! I have not arrived yet. I will arrive when that bugger of an ex-husband who ran away with the maid pays me all the maintenance arrears and the money that I spent all these years paying for the comfort of the maid while he was sleeping with her!"
And of course none of the guys agree with her on the last point on the simple logic that "You pay for what you get, and you get what you pay for."
"You know, Maggie," one of them says, "most people are never satisfied with their maids and they still have to pay them every month. At least yours was keeping someone satisfied in your household!"
"Ya, and gape you must consider yourself fortunate with a husband like that," ventures another fellow.
"O raya jang? What the hell do you mean?!"
"Well he was always around the house somewhere, so to speak!"
And then it becomes a free for all.
"Thata, that's my kinda guy. Always around the house making himself useful with the screws and nuts and other tools!"
"You mean making the maid more useful. Nothing worse than a useless, idle maid."
"The maid from hell, made in heaven!"
"The ideal husband, ladies and gentlemen is that one who spreads the love around and takes the bull by the horns!"
"Eh, I beg to differ honourable sir. The ideal husband is the horny bull who takes the cow by the tail!"
"I don't understand how he ever got the name of 'useless bugger' after all!"
Before Ausi Maggie can put an end to this free for all at her expense, one fellow is already shouting; "Let me tell you a story, let me say something from which you will learn!"
"It better be good, otherwise you buy the next round."
"This man was having an affair with his maid, in the same way that Ausi Maggie's husband was having an affair with..."
"Heela rra wee, are you going to tell us your story or are you going to rub more salt in my open wound?" asks Ausi Maggie, feigning a broken heart.
"Anyway, he was sleeping with the maid one night and then he told her how good she was in bed, right? And then the maid got up, put on her doek and uniform and said to the man; 'I know, even the garden boy says I am better than the madam!'
Ha! HA! DO you get it guys? Hey Maggie? It means the garden boy was busy with..."
"You have just spoilt the joke by trying to explain it. We will have another round Ausi Maggie, and this novice of a boring story teller will pay for everyone!" says Nikita, pronouncing his verdict on the joke.
"Now that's what I want to hear. I love you guys that's why I plough the money back into the business. But I will only really arrive when shebeens are legalised here like in South Africa. It will empower women and especially single women who head the household and have to make ends meet in this way.
There would also be regulation of drinking hours, control on what is said and who to, we would be liable for taxation, thus contributing to the larger economy of the nation. Gape if shebeens are legalised and placed under local authorities, then we would be bound to provide a healthy environment - you know, clean toilets, clean rooms, clean utensils and so on. Right now I am really insecure. I am always looking over my shoulder fearing gore someone will come and shut me down."
The fellows down their drinks in silence and mumble in agreement. Those who have patronised the Nitty Gritty long enough and have stayed up late know that Ausi Maggie, sole proprietor and Chief Executive Hostess of the establishment, has a guardian angel who watches over her as she watches over her shoulder.
It is whispered that this angel wears a police uniform adorned with several silver stars twinkling on his own shoulder, as he opens the lock to her heart. Then someone breaks the silence and says: "Maybe we should legalise prostitution as well while we're at it!"