This aggression will not stand, man!

Posted on May 11, 2008


Above is a music video some guys made in New York in late 2006 to send their friend Tweak off to Egypt, although I get the impression that it’s his apartment, the “Hotel Deluxe”, that they grieved most over. We received custody of him here and he became our friend, and we were pretty blown away to see how much value those friends placed on him – music videos with lip syncing and production and editing and shit!

But we do appreciate his equally pimperific Cairo apartment, at which we met on Thursday for a wee, low-key Lebowskifest. Although crazy suggestions were bandied about of bringing rugs, flak jackets, severed toes and the like, in fact the only activities that enjoyed any follow-through were bringing food and ingredients for white russians (not really that easy a pursuit since it involves surveying what friends are travelling and requesting that they bring back a bottle of kahlua with their duty free allowance, and then taking said bottles to work in order to head straight to the party. Drinking foreign alcohol is a somewhat complicated process around here, and kahlua isn’t something the black market dudes tend to have).

Another activity fraught with difficulty in Egypt: the purchasing of ingredients for Mexican food. The Podophobiac, for example, spent L.E. 150 on two bags of tortilla chips and two jars of salsa. Can over-privileged people not indulge their tastes for Americanized Mexican snack foods without going bankrupt? The search for tortillas was also arduous: they do make them here, but at least half the ones we purchased turned out mouldy. We delicately picked the worst mould off and proceeded to stuff our faces. What I wouldn’t give for an Old El Paso box though. I’ve always liked sanitized American ethnic food, especially their massive cheesy portions of pasta. The mexican meal was also cooked for us by two shirtless white guys, which was great. Is that not reverse orientalism or something?

After lying on the couch in a drunken food coma we turned our attention to the film. Despite hundreds (I exaggerate not) of emails on the subject and every preparation made, not one video file worked – not the one burned on the DVD, not the one on the iPod, not the one on the external hard drive. So I fell asleep on the couch as usual (I fall asleep as soon as any stimulant or narcotic is introduced to my body. I think something is wrong with me because I don’t think I used to pass out as much). I woke up an hour later to find everyone else extraordinarily intoxicated, and they prevailed on me, and other reluctant attendees, against our better judgment, to go to a club called Purple (used to be Bliss, but apparently changing the light and removing one couch makes it a whole other place, even though the DJ is the same).

We arrived there to find throngs at the door, young guys in tight shirts and pointy hair and girls with glazed eyes wearing leggings and oddly positioned belts. They weren’t letting even people with reservations in, but luckily Elvis is all hooked up with the manager and called her, and we swept in, old, fat and dowdy as we were. Or rather, old, fat and dowdy as I am.

A cursory glance at the (totally awesome) video shows the inimitable dance moves of said Tweak (I’m pushing for him to be called Drewdle in Egypt, but so far this suggestion has been met with very little approval. We’re currently just calling him by his name, which is just LAME). These dance moves arrived intact to Egypt, and he also added a few from the golden lahme video to his repertoire at our recommendation. We felt they were well within his style. At the best of times his gyrations require a large empty space, and with the addition of ridiculous quantities of alcohol and an insanely crowded club, scenes were bound to ensue. Drewdle hugged and kissed us all by turns, ruffling all our hair and telling us we were awesome. You can’t ruffle hair as big as mine – it magnified it considerably so that I moved at the centre of a circumference of maroon hair. Then he applied his elbows and knees liberally to surrounding people, and he also backed his butt up and ground it into the crotch of a girl who was standing next to me at the bar, and to whom I speedily apologized. Apparently khawagas can do no wrong (thankfully) because after greeting the girl with his behind he suddenly dove head first into a bank of couches in front of us. The people who were sitting on the couches looked surprised. He popped up like a cork and surfaced on a nearby drink ledge, on which he and his more than six feet of height climbed and danced around in the middle of a suspicious crowd of Egyptian youth. He leapt off and bought a bottle of water, which he raised above his head and flung around like he was putting out a fire. Dudes in tight shirts came to complain and restrain and were rewarded by being unabashedly fondled. They took it well. He also upended the rest of the bottle of water on one of our friend’s heads and rubbed it around – I know not to what end – but the wettened person seemed happy so perhaps he had requested cooling? Either way we were soon surrounded by a lot of water and frowning people standing at a safe distance.

At this point I took off. Subsequent reports of the night reveal that Drewdle curled up on the floor and started rolling around, bouncing back and forth from tables to pillars. A classic moment was when he missed his mouth and a full bottle of beer cascaded over his shoulder. Bouncers came and only the khawaga factor, it seems, and our acquaintance with the DJ and manager prevented my friends from being flung out. Someone apparently also passed out in the bathroom waiting for a taxi – but I have always regarded that as a perfectly appropriate course of action. I recall passing out in an after-hours club in Toronto once and indignantly telling the girl who dragged me out, “Can’t a girl have a little nap in the washroom?” which is what Canadians call bathrooms, you know.

Anyway I had a good time, despite the shinyhappypeople and public embarrassment. Maybe because of the public embarrassment.