Florida Road 2016: A Retrospective – Part 1

I think it is fair to say that I have never lived in a 1980’s frat boy comedy. However, I have come close.

Let me explain.

Florida Road is undergoing a renaissance. A powerful body corporate has cleaned up its streets and added necessary spit and shine to the bars, nightclubs and eateries which flank the pavements. It is, without a doubt, a considerably nicer place to visit than when I frequented there. The parking is safer, the coffee is sweeter, even the people have magically become more attractive. It is clear that the efforts of those business people who wanted to change the public perception of Florida Road have borne fruit. Even the car guards wear orange bibs and cotton gloves. Nothing says “gentrification” like a parking attendant in uniform.

All this niceness wouldn’t have existed if Florida was not something else a few years ago. The need for all this change is universally recognized. I am not about to moan about the new Florida (in fact there will be an upcoming post celebrating it), but I do want to moonwalk a bit back in time to when it was something altogether different.

What follows is less a story of a night out and more a Greatest Hits compilation. A steamy quiche-slice of nostalgia made just for you. More of this is true than I care to admit.

The scene: it is Friday night in the flat share. A large, old, colonial style house where the woodborer are the primary tenants. It is definitely haunted. The most recent ghosts being the souls of mosquitos killed in a Stalinist purge conducted by a frustrated housemate. In the living room the group of us have congregated around cheap glasses of whiskey, cold beers and a hubbly brisling with big-dick energy. The music is old and it rolls. The attire? Shorts, shirts and flip-flops that do not understand the concept of hygiene. All of us are painfully single, the reason is about to become clear.

The discussion: do women find penises attractive? We do not have a woman among us to assist so the debate has become fierce. Currently there are two camps: the first states that just as there are men who find the genitalia of the opposite sex attractive, so too must some women. The other camp emphatically states this cannot be the case. Out of all known sexual organs, God failed men by giving us something that looks like the aftermath of laundry being slapped on the side of a barbershop wall. The debate rages. A round of stiff drinks are poured and the two camps decide the only reasonable thing to do is to leave the discussion for a while. The alternative? See who can bench press the smallest of our group. Shows of strength ensue. Each drunk takes a turn lying on the floor with the lightest among us being groped on two ends. It transpires you can bench press another man. It also transpires you can’t do this without running the risk of sticking a finger in his butthole. Between washing hands and hysterics someone manages to summon an Uber.

Within ten minutes, a white Toyota Etios pulls up to the front of the Musgrave house. Five men, all very drunk, shuffle out of the front gate. The ten-legged eldritch abomination in flip-flops manages to squeeze itself into the sedan. Before the destination is requested, the owner of the Uber account asks the hooligans on the back seat to behave so as not to mess up his precious 4.8 passenger rating. “To Florida Road please” comes the answer to the polite question of “where are you headed?” Five minutes, four radio station changes, two farts, three beers downed, twelve inappropriate references to someone’s mum, three complaints about the music and a boner joke later; the ten-legged monstrosity pours itself out of the car onto Florida Road. The account holder’s passenger rating is now 3.8.

Ah. Florida road in mid-summer 2016. There is music, laughter and energy in the air. The rotting plant debris in the rooftop gutters percolate the aroma of the night. It mingles with cheap lady-perfume, bad aftershave and the Durban-humidity to create a heady mix that motivates you to order tequila and hot curry.

The ten-legged blob looks at itself and asks where it should go first. One of the heads suggests Dropkick Murphy’s. The other heads nod in unison. It begins to perambulate down the road. The conversation starts again:

“What if it’s like a contextual thing?” The one head says.

“What do you mean?” Asks another.

“I mean, what if chicks think, like, a certain penis only work for a certain kind of guy…” replies the first head.

Heads three through five groan.

“You mean like it doesn’t matter what the penis looks like, it will only look good if it’s attached to the right dude and the right woman is looking at it?”


“I see…”

“So we agree then, the concept of penis-beauty cant possibly be attached to size? That would just make women vain…”

All five heads nod. They surely must have found the answer.

The entrance to Dropkick Murphy’s is guarded by a stern looking gentleman in a black suit. None of us are underage. Even the youngest of our group has a receding hairline and that was because he is an auditing clerk. However, we are stopped at the door all the same. Something on our collective faces must have told the bouncer we should be flagged for “rapscallionousness”. One of the heads looks into his professional eyes while being patted down and asks to see his happy face. By some miracle we are allowed in.

Dropkick’s (as it is affectionately called), is filled with the ideal demographic: young, twenty-somethings line the bars and tables. The men are impeccably groomed. The women are dolled up more than a beauty pageant for minors. Everybody is neat, clean and beautiful. In and among this crowd of aesthetes shuffles a lop-sided monstrosity. Five heads peering this way and that lurch towards the bar. It arrives at the wooden counter-top and manages to make eye contact with a muscular barman who has tattoos on his arms and gel in his hair. He probably has a pretty girlfriend. They likely listen to Ed Sheeran.

“Five tequila’s please.” The one head manages.

The barman obligingly starts to pour. As he reaches the fifth shot glass the tequila bottle runs out. “It’s not a problem,” another head says, “Top it up with water and we will give it to the homeopath. It might even be too strong for him…” The head studying homeopathy glares back at its siblings as they laugh sympathetically.

Then silence.

The world stops turning as a she walks in.

Beautiful. An oil painting summoned into existence through witchcraft and a school full of ten-year old’s wishing really hard. Her face is designed by Gustav Klimt. Her body is sculpted by homosexual Italians who have seen the feminine God in fever dreams. She is dressed by small woodland animals, scented by dying hives of bees and her makeup is by Clicks.

Five flamingo-heads swivel round 180 degrees to take in the view. 4.5 pairs of eyes (one head has undiagnosed myopia) bat away tears at the sight of this angel. In the distance, a jukebox starts playing Berlin.

One head breaks the silence:

“Guys, I gotta piss.”

“Can it wait until you are in the toilet?”

The limb detaches itself from the body and heads towards the bathroom. Inside are other, considerably bigger men shaking their willy’s around and leaning on elbows as they aim badly at the urinals. One asks me what I am doing.

“I came for a pee please.”

“So you don’t want cocaine?”

“Only if you wash your hands first. I also have to ask my Mom.”

Relieved, sanitized and free of drugs (though otherwise soaked), the limb staggers back into the throng of Dropkick’s to find the rest of its body. Currently, the body is engaged in a heated debate in the corner of the bar with a mixed group of girls. One of the heads continues:

“So what you are saying is that penises have personality? What do you mean? How does that make them look good?”

“I didn’t say they looked good… I said they can look good. It depends…”

“Holdonholdonholdon… so a penis, can look good and look bad, it just depends on the circumstance?”


And so the debate continued with an added element of Schrodinger’s philosophy until one of the heads thought it was best to leave.

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