Vivian Reddy made me wish I had a suit … almost
On Saturday, I almost wished I owned a suit. Almost. I don’t possess one. I don’t want to either.
The last time I wore one was at a job interview in 2004. I felt like a dressed-up chimp in some cheesy circus act. It sucked. I got the job. I swore I’d never do it again. Wearing a suit, that is.
I’ve never had much use for suits. Strictly court appearances, funerals and interviews. I don’t do church; I avoid weddings if I can. Getting married put me off weddings for life. Getting divorced cheered me up, though.
A suit makes even less sense in Durban. Durban is a city for slops, baggies and T-shirts. Not pants, jacket, shirt and tie. The less clothing the better is the way to operate.
Back to Saturday. It was my own fault. Last week I inflicted commentator’s curse on myself. Again. Instead of shutting up, I opened my big mouth about going to the Clarens craft beer festival and how much beer I was going to guzzle. Right. Needless to say, I ended up nowhere near Clarens.
Instead, the Croc and I ended up at Vivian Reddy’s 60th birthday party. Both days of it. The party was cool. Great food – we couldn’t drink, which was a bummer given the sea of top-notch beer the Blankman and company were guzzling at Clarens while I slaved.
The kiddies’ party was top notch: 10 000 of them let loose at Sea World for the day, courtesy of Viv. And a two-ton behemoth of a cake. Nice.
Back to the suits. The main gig on Saturday was awash with them. Viv’s Gaddafi tent perched over the ocean at Moyo was suit city. Viv was all James Bond in a Savile Row-like piece of action. Bheki Cele, the Cat in the Hat, was looking gangster in his. Jimmy
“The Lip” Manyi looked businesslike in his. Jeff Radebe’s made him look pretty ministerial. The King was looking regal in his. I hadn’t seen him since he publicly verballed me for wearing a cap in his royal presence at the Reed Dance a couple of years back.
All the suits looked so cool and dignified. For a minute I was acutely aware of my lack of sartorial elegance. And the Croc’s. I started wondering if I did the right thing giving my suit to a car guard. I wanted to fit in.
Then I saw one of the bodyguards stuck outside the air-conditioned haven. He didn’t look too cool in his suit. The poor bastard was bucketing sweat. His Ray-Bans kept slipping. His shirt was soaked. His tie looked like a noose around his neck. He was suffering.
My moment of weakness had passed. I was right. So was Fela Kuti.