Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Fat Hippo's

I am not much in the mood for writing. I spent all last night alternatively shivering and sweating myself through another bout of Malaria and, of course, I had forgotten to get in a resupply of Sulphate of Quinine after the last episode a couple of months back so I just had to chew on the pillow and be brave. Marcia was very considerate and with all the tossing and turning, the groaning and the staccato rattle of chattering teeth, she asked me if I might not be more comfortable on the sofa instead of the matrimonial bed. To cap it all, I had to make a sudden dash to the toilet and fell arse over tit in the dark when I tripped up over Three who with inexplicable loyalty, insists on sleeping on my doorstep. All in all, last night was the pits and I hardly feel any better today. Even my whisky tastes foul. That’s how bad it is.

Still, the work must go on. Now that the carpenters are here I cannot let a mere lethal disease stand in the way of progress. Pflicht is Pflicht and Dienst is Dienst so regardless that today is a communist worker’s paradise holiday, I dragged myself out there. If the lads were giving up a day getting smashed on the beach, it was the least I could do.

After days of seemingly just restacking and shuffling wood around, Robin the Filipino carpenter is really getting stuck in. His reorganisation was designed to create for himself an efficient working area and, judging by the speed he is planing and shaping the timber, it was worth the effort and I am starting to believe him when he says he’ll have the first two buildings up in six weeks. Now I know that even by geological time frames that is way behind schedule but if he can achieve it, I might just forgive his boss. Even Marcia has stopped giving me the most merciless hard time for employing a mate to do the job, compounding the error by paying him up front, and if I wait until about 2 am when she is really fast asleep, I can crawl into bed with her. So long as I don’t have malaria, of course.

Considering that Robin is working all this timber essentially by hand, I was very impressed with the pile of wood panels he had finished by lunchtime. The buildings will be double skinned and with the thickness of the panels, they will be all but bullet proof. They will be substantial structures and if the sea gets really nasty again, then at least I will be able to paddle away in my own Noah’s Arks.

I have one of these touch pads on my laptop, by the way. I hate them, much preferring a mouse but I agree that they save space. But with sweat pouring off me like a thrashed horse, I seem to be shorting it out or something so keep having to wring my hands dry with a towel and then when I wipe the touch pad, it does select all, delete in one single sweep. Like I say, it’s not really my day today.

There has been an entertaining exchange of comments on a few of my recent posts not least those regarding the name of my enterprise. One suggestion for the sport fishing bit was ‘Gobber’s Shark Expeditions’. Now I realise that this remark was made with all flippancy (although cleverly alluding to my nickname at Sandhurst) but once I started to think about it, it wasn’t as daft as it first appeared. Then I thought about the name of the business, Flordita. It was supposed to be Floridita, in honour of Hemingway’s favourite watering hole in Havana but a typo by the licencing authority in Angola meant it lost a ‘i’ and would henceforth and forever be Flordita.

Now that sounds very ‘twee’. It gives more an impression of sombre moods, maitre d’s, sommeliers, hors d’oeuvres and amuse bouches than a rip roaring grill restaurant and bar with scantily clad waitresses and even scantier clad sport fishermen swinging from the rafters and chugging beers. Clearly then, while Flordita would be an admirable name for the big a la carte restaurant I will build, for the grill and bar, it is a toss name. Now that Chris over on Grow, Fish, Eat had me going, I got to thinking and decided that ‘Fat Hippo’s’ would be an excellent name. Think about it. There you are a roughy toughy oil worker on shore leave and with cash burning a hole in your pocket and someone asks you where you are going for the weekend. Would you rather say, ‘Well, actually darling, I thought I might spend a quiet evening dining at Flordita’, or would you rather say, ‘I am going to get blitzed at Fat Hippo’s, shag the new waitress and then go fishing at Gobber’s’?

Chris has kindly said he will think about a logo. Between bouts of shivering, sweating and chundering, I’ve been thinking about it too. Does anyone remember the old Coppertone sunscreen adverts which showed a little girl having her bikini bottom peeled off by a puppy revealing her tan lines? Well how about a modern version of that but with a busty beauty suspended by her bikini bottom, revealing a nice bit of pert botty, on the tooth of a grinning fat hippo? Now that’s the sort of class logo I think speaks volumes for the quality of my joint:

Fat Hippo’s Grill Bar and Whorehouse (Double Green Shield Stamps on Saturdays).


  1. That pooch looks like my own cocker spaniel, Faith. I have trained her to be as adorable a dog that ever trotted across the face of the earth. The women that my dog has attracted...wow!

    I have never been able to train her to peel off a woman's bikini panties though, probably due to the lack of women walking around in bikinis here, being as it is, cold, very wet and in the english industrial backwoods.

    What sort of clientele are you hoping to attract Tom? I expect you'd rather NOT have a nightly re-enactment of 'Key Largo' in your lovely hotel...

    Flordita sounds like a low fat spread!

  2. "I have never been able to train her to peel off a woman's bikini panties though"
    not for the want of trying no doubt
    Ilove the name FAT HIPPOS......a cross between Bugsy Malone and Casablanca...
    class and farce
    just right!!!

  3. Chris, don’t forget it was you that started this whole name change thing.

    Johnny Gray has pegged me good and proper. Given my background who am I more likely to aspire to? Frank McCloud, Rick Blaine… or Bennie from Crossroads?

  4. Fat Hippo's - I like it! You'll even serve green vegetables to the very tough customers with their steaks!

    No quiche to eb served, tho'!

    Perhaps "Fat Hippo's Fantasy Bar", with the motto of:

    "... Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there.
    Scott Adams (1957 - )

  5. Casablanca - you? Hmmm!
    Major Heinrich Strasser would be my pick. Too much villain in you to be Rick Blaine, tho' you just may fit as Captain Louis Renault lol!

  6. Fantasy Bar? Maybe in Sidney but not here mate.

    Strasser? If I don't make the cut for Rick I'll take Louis, at least he was an honest rogue...

  7. Yes, i see your point about choosing "Fat Hippo's" over "Flordita," and i remember those Coppertone adverts: "Tan, don't burn; use Coppertone!"

    Only i did burn no matter what sort of lotion i used.

    You have to decide what clientele you wish to attract. Show some girl nearly bursting out of her bikini (not all that dissimilar from that advert for motor boats), and i expect you'll have a lot of drunk men you'll need to sort out on a regular basis. Not my idea of fun, as i'd prefer excellent food to a brawling bar, but then again i might just have to wait for Flordita's to open.

  8. Pflicht ist Pflicht und Dienst ist Dienst? You can take the Prussian out of Germany but you can't take work ethics out of a German in Angola.

    Fat Hippo? Sure. Why not. A bit like Thin Twiggy.

    I am sure Hemingway wouldn't have been kept away from any watering hole regardless of its name. However, and he'd be the first to agree: The mind works on association. Why do you think Chris associated Flordita with low fat spread? Maybe he is one of those "Does my bum look big in this?" A question which has never occurred to me. But then neither have I ever been on a diet nor does my bum look big in anything. I have a three way mirror which holds, like Snowhite's stepmother's, all answers.

    Flordita appeals to my inner button hole so let no one talk you out of it. And Fat Hippo for your bar is inspired. Livers do tend to expand - after a certain age and adequate consumption. Which reminds me: When I think of your hippo a rhino usually springs to mind. Now your Freud will do what Freuds do best: Why sit on the tooth of a hippo when you can be speared by a rhino? Brings a whole new meaning to broadside.

    What I really like - but then I am a sucker for subtitles - is the "whorehouse and green shield stamps on Saturdays". May I apply for the position of your very own Miss Moneypenny complete with twinset, pearls, pencil skirt and sky high killer heels to keep both the brothel and your stamps not only under control but the books in order? Marcia permitting.


  9. Agghhhuuuuuggghhhh!!

    That was good U. Thank you. Keep talking like that...

    Five years of therapy and I still don't know why I have a low-fat spread fixation.

  10. "When I think of your hippo a rhino usually springs to mind"

    I always considered a hippo a rather pointless sort of rhino...

  11. Glad you're back on your feet Tom!


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