Bottlecap's Brew Brawl in Africa

6.7.07 Johannesburg South Africa Airport


I think we might need to set up a permanent bureau on that island to keep a lid on that rascal lawyer Werner. Those biz class upgrade chits he sold me were totally bogus and all I could use them for was to get a free set of earphones and one lager. If that dude has burned me, I can only imagine what kind of trade he does when the real tourists start coming in. And I looked up his alleged "Island of Desire" stuff on Der Spiegel and it's actually called "Island of Extreme Suffering." What a crock.

So I end up stuck back there in steerage on the 11 hour flight down from London next to this Brit who looked to be normal but turned out to be autistic or something. He watched movies all the way down and kept up a steady stream of whistles, grunts, snuffles and guffaws throughout each picture. And these weren't exactly Oscar-worthy films. Because I Said So with Mandy Moore, Wild Hogs with Travolta and Tim Hardware Allen, Music and Lyrics with Hugh Grant. It was impossible to sleep through his noisy approval of them all. Must be a film critic for the Guardian back in London.

Since there was no chance of sleep, I tried to wander around the jumbo jet to keep my blood from clotting. Up in the galley I came across one Marvin "Bottlecap" McClusky, a beer distributor from the Midwest on his way to saturate Africa with his product. Back in the States you can't lollygag around the plane or they turn you over to the FAA, but I guess it's cool in Africa and the flight attendants seemed to be enjoying his company. Marvin wouldn't let me say which beer brand he works for, but he would say that "It sure as hell ain't Budweiser." His company has pretty much conceded Mexico and South America to the competition ("They call Bud-Lite 'Mexican Gatorade' down there," he said.), so he's gonna try to get the early bird in Africa. At any rate, we had a few beers and he explained that they call him "Bottlecap" because he's sold more beer than any other rep in his division. The good news here is that Bottlecap was hanging out with some Americans--Texans, in fact--last week in London and they're going to be in Zambia later this week. He said they were heading out on safari and might need an extra body as one of their group fell out at the last moment. Bottlecap told me to look for them at the Taj Hotel and to say he sent me. So we'll see if I can't work something out on that score.

I'll give you the details as soon as I know.

Tony Perez-Giese

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Crystal Preston-Watson