Coins for the car guard

NoseweekFebruary 2020

Coins for the car guard
Piet struts the streets Of Germiston barefoot and with his shirt open, except for one button near the bottom which he closes up lopsided.

This is the way he held sway over the beaches of Margate back in the day. Today, at 50, the strawberry blonde mane is gone, as is the gold tooth he lost in a bet, but his intelligence and cunning linguistics remain as ready to do service as when bevvies of beach beauties kept him maintained in exchange for a taste of his skilful tongue. People always thought he would become a lawyer or a professor. Maybe he still will, but for now, he is the local handyman – when he feels like it.

“Buy me a drink, will you love?” Piet says to me; “I gave my last coins to a car guard.” The barman dutifully complies. “Whoa! Zama, stop!” I exclaim. “I am not paying for Piet’s drinks again today. Not happening!” Zama pours the vodka back into the bottle and shrugs: “Sorry Professor. I’m not allowed to give you any more till you have paid your tab.

“Car guard… really?” I say to Piet. He grunts and surveys the rest of the pub. The place is empty, except for a few voices I hear coming from the courtyard behind me. Piet gives them a quick once-over, decides I am the better prospect and takes the seat next to me.


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February 2020