Joe Cools Retrospective – Part 2

This is part 2 of an ongoing series of posts. I advise that you read part 1 before going further. You don’t have to though; I am not your mom.

What follows is an amalgam of some terrific (and terrifying nights) had at Joes Cool’s, a nightclub in Durban. For the sake of decency, names have been changed. More of this is true than I care to admit.


Foam parties are ontological proof of cocaine’s existence. Like God, I have never seen cocaine, but the wonder of its creation is all around us. Charlie sheen, the DeLorean, the Transformers franchise, the music of Styx; all these things are proof that cocaine exists. Foam parties deserve to stand alongside every manic idea that cocaine ever gave someone. Why? Imagine the pitch meeting:

Nightclub Boss (drinking bleach, on the rocks): “Okay, people are surly and drunk on our dance floor. We need to think of a way to make them more surly and drunk so they buy more booze and start mistaking this act for any kind of value when visiting our premises.”

Stooge 1: “We should run a special on cane and cream soda. That will do it. The everyman cannot resist cheap drinks that lower standards. Its math.”

Nightclub boss (eating his cigar from the lit end): “Excellent.”

Stooge 2: “We have a problem boss. All that cane and cream soda is going to be a nightmare to clean the next day.”

Nightclub Boss (eating a live chicken): “Yes. That is a problem. If we give them cane and cream soda they will dance, but if they dance, we run up cleaning fees…”

Stooge 3: “I have an idea…”

(They all laugh while ceremonially whipping the scantily clad bar lady. She stifles her screams because her job pays some of the bills)

It was at last time to descend into the foam pit. Lubricated in my own salts as I was, I confess that I was not excited to get wet. See, the foam in question is made using a simple soap solution. The consequence is that within moments you are soaked to the skin. Even worse, if you have an open drink (as I did), you may find yourself involuntarily ingesting an unhealthy amount of dishwashing liquid. But all this didn’t matter, we were primed and ready to dance. I had no choice really. The DJ had cued up another cringe-worthy number. This one was sung by a woman who had a whole verse (A WHOLE VERSE) rapped by a man. Sometimes the originality of modern musicians astonishes me.

Wading into the dancefloor, I had on my least convincing game face. Being heterosexual, white and English, God declared that I cannot dance. However, with the lower two thirds of my body below the bubble line, I was committed to shuffling and hand gestures. If anyone who was hearing-impaired had been nearby, my dancing would have translated as follows:

                Lemming talk well, afternoon hello big lady free flatulent squash. Uncle uncle uncle.

We had been joined by a pair of Australian backpackers who had endeared themselves to our group some nights prior. Both were women, diametrically opposed in size and appearance. Their commonality was their unabashedly disgusting use of language. Their verbal dexterity shone particularly when we had been drinking earlier before arriving. Most of us had been lovingly christened by our mothers’ genitals several times.

One was a tall, shapely blonde who had caught the attention of every male pulse in our group. We were willing to overlook her language if it meant finding out if other parts of her were as dirty. Her friend, as mentioned earlier, was not so attractive. Despite having a personality that filled a room to bursting, she looked like Queen Victoria at 70 at Christmas. The going theory was she didn’t have lungs, just two extra stomachs.

We were all on the dancefloor chest high in foam. Between the two Australian women was Ben, a handsome chap who rarely had any problems speaking to women. It had been established early on that the eye of the bombshell Australian belonged to him and no other. They made a beautiful pair, the two of them being quite tall, stood proudly out of the foamy meniscus. Aussie Bombshells’ friend, due to her height, was just out of sight to Bens right. Every now and then her ponytail would glide out of the foam like a shark fin. The rest of her body, submerged in foam, had little difficulty making its presence known by sending unsuspecting nearby party-goers on trajectories unknown to physics.

Now was his chance. Wet, slippery and in full view of everyone (a deliberate flex might I add), he locked lips with the beautiful criminal descendant. It was the culmination of two hours’ worth of tension which we were all glad (for his sake and ours), to see relieved. A lot of metaphorical patting of backs ensued. Were this a maternity ward, the men would have lit cigars.


Not satisfied with having earned the envy of every man at Joes, Ben took it one step further. In this regard, we cannot fault his gentlemanly approach to egalitarianism. Without batting an eyelid, he turned to his right and dipped his head into the foam and came back up snogging the other Aussie girl with just as much enthusiasm. In fact, he seemed to be doing so with more enthusiasm than most would deem necessary. The effect was rather odd. His tall frame dipping his head down to meet hers, as her face stretched up to meet his. It put me in mind of those old home shopping adverts, where a friendly man with a vacuum cleaner would lift a bowling ball to demonstrate the machines sucking power. This went on for a long time. I am fairly confident he unhinged his jaw. The poor girl, having shared her lunch with her friend, appeared to be getting more than her money’s worth. At one point I am certain he regurgitated the catch of the day into her before making the perilous trip back to the Arctic Sea. With all three parties satisfied, they continued to dance together. The sexual liberation on the foam floor was complete. The rest of us sighed with relief. I decided it was time to get another round.

But something was wrong.

There was at the time, an odd sensation every now and then, like being bumped but not by something you could see. As my eyes scanned the crowd, I noticed several people would give a start and turn around, peering into the foam. These were mostly attractive women. This went on for a few songs until people started mounting the speakers.

I mean standing on the speakers.


This is a proud nightclub tradition. A party isn’t properly started until you are willing to publicly show how bad you were at dancing or how much disrespected your father-figure. Standing on the speakers killed these two birds with a twelve gauge.

As I watched, girls dancing in the foam sprang domino fashioned towards the large DJ speaker. It was then that he emerged.

The worlds most magnificent little person.

He had become something of a local legend in the last few years. I had seen him before at several other night spots where he danced relentlessly and befriended everybody. He was soaked, from head to toe. Not a spot on him was dry. He was capped with a foamy yarmulke which only added to his unabashed awesomeness. I stared in envy as he held the attention of the ladies on the speakers with ease. I wasn’t the only one who wished to become friends with this awesome fellow. Another (very large) man waded through the crowd. Something about his mustard yellow shirt and impressive tits told the world he was a drinker. He too wished to dance on the speakers, but was having considerably more difficulty getting onto them. In a last-ditch attempt, he grabbed the little person by the hand to leverage himself higher.

Now, I wish I could tell you that for one brief moment of joy, physics abandoned us. I wish that this story ends with the large fellow climbing the speakers successfully and money raining down on both of them. I wish I could tell you these things because that somehow would feel right. I don’t wish to tell you that it ended with the poor little person being pulled down into the foam face first, without the mercy of both hands to cushion his fall. I don’t wish to tell you that the big fellow used this opportunity to take his place on the speakers and in doing so sent both girls into the foamy abyss as well. I really do not wish to tell you these things at all.

Despite the entertainment value this provided, I had become distracted. There had just walked in a small blonde girl whose blue dress and feminine geometry caught my eye. A distant, primal, voice spoke in my ear. It was succinct:

“Try not to fuck it up.”

To be continued…

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