So there he was, the little twat, caught red-handed with an Apple note-book and iPhone. The burglar had audaciously slipped into an open side-door at six a.m., right in the middle of my morning’s meditating with spiritual support from Kenyan coffee and a Cohiba cigar.
We looked each other in the eye, and I was relieved and pissed-off: relieved that, being of Cape Malay descent, the intruder had not shown the slightest interest in the sin-laded contents of my wine fridge. But the fact that he had entered my property without an invitation – e-mail or printed – and was helping himself to some electronic gadgets of value, made my temperature rise. Put it this way, I was not going to waste time asking Gatiep, Faizel or Malooma for his aunty’s biryani recipe.
After some choice words from me requesting him to please vacate the premises of his sinewy caramel-coloured physique, he replied with a few graceful, eloquent sentences concerning my mother, her rose garden and the health of our domestic worker.
He then produced a weapon with the potential to incur pain, at which I stepped forward with an object that I commenced to throw at him with great strength, yet questionable accuracy.
Turns out, my weapon of choice – which I had grabbed from the piano – was a half-full bottle of Kanonkop Pinotage 2010. Unfortunately my straight, tight throw did not cause the bottle to hit the criminal’s slick, oily little skull, choosing instead to land between his shoulder-blades with a dense thud. This welcoming noise was complemented by another brace of expletives in perfect, idiomatic Cape Spanish, assuring me that pain had been induced, before he hot-footed it back to wherever.
This experience leads me to state that we wine-lovers must appreciate the number of self-defence instruments we have at our disposal, things just lying around waiting to be deployed should the situation arise and one is confronted by a character of questionable moral worth.
· Platter’s Wine Guide: This hard-cover publication is 19,5cm in length with a dense 2,5cm of pages. Add to this the 465gm in weight and those four severe edges, and it is a wonderful little weapon. The slim width makes it easy to pick-up and handle, and if thrown in a spinning motion, one of the twirling corners is bound to connect with flesh, tissue, mouth or eye causing lasting and painful damage.
· Guardian Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: When full, this bottle comes in at a few grams shy of two kilograms. Had I had one of these to toss at my little cat-burglar’s retreating back-end, it would have broken his spine in two places. Apart from its pulverising presence as a thrown object, a bottle such as this will defend you should the foe decide to attack. With a wine bottle of this size one could ward off the full effect of a detonated suicide-vest, a slice from a gigantic curved Saracen sword as well as three exploding samosas. Always have a heavy-weight bottle at hand.
· Glass Decanter: These are great, especially those with the broad, flat container and the wide neck that fits perfectly into the clench of a hand driven by fury. Fantastic to throw, the decanter is however best for hand-to-hand combat. Hold the flat face of the decanter towards the assailant and walk assuredly forward. He will try to stab or hit you by going around the broad decanter, allowing who to feign once and then wallop him on his greasy flat-top with full power. The crunch should be audible, and it ain’t the decanter breaking. The police can take all the time they want to get to you, the dude is down man, and he’s staying down.
· Laguoile: Francophiles always have at least three of these knife-corkscrew combinations lying around, although I couldn’t find mine yesterday morning. In any event, unlocking the blade should have your Bo-Kaap burglar friend knowing that you mean business. If he decides to feel ballsy and come at you, wait for him and drop to your one knee when he is close enough for you to smell the half-eaten Gatsby on him. By going low and driving the blade into his calf muscle or through his foot, enough pain will be produced for him to forget about any harmful plans he had made for you. Remove the blade slowly while he is screaming, thus letting the blighter know that this was only foreplay and if he was not going to surrender, the real stuff is about to begin.
· Those wine-loving peaceniks who find this all too violent, can seek alternative methods with which to render a criminal harmless. A firm, relaxed recitation of a Tim James article on the glories of the Swartland wine region’s intoxicating terroir or the reading of one of those drawn-out, adjective-laden media releases on www.wine.co.za will cause the would-be assailant to fall into a calm coma of hapless innocence.
And all is good again.