It was glasses nine and ten that really turned heads, though it’s fairly safe to say that number seven was our prize capture. One and two, I don’t even remember, but I do recall that by number four we were gaining some attention, our bags clinking with enthusiasm every second syllable as our arms gesticulated wildly in explanation of just how we planned to assault our housemates with empty Crownie bottles.
Number three was about the time we decided that no sentence couldn’t be vastly improved by appending the words ‘in my pants’. This rule was utilised heavily particularly between three and four, and then sporadically throughout the rest of the day. And night. Not only was it a lot of fun, but it turned out to be an excellent way to thin out the eavesdroppers from the crowd. It all started out relatively well executed, ie, “mmm, I’m really liking the 2001 shiraz, very plummy and it has an excellent aroma… in my pants”. By glasses seven to ten, it had all gone south. No longer were we just appending the words to our own sentences, but had decided in all our wisdom to also append them to other peoples’ speech, usually by yelling.
Not long after glass four VG vanished off to a wine seminar, leaving CouchBoy and I to our own devices for an hour or so. With our feet starting to ache from several hours of slow pacing between stalls and lots of general standing-abouty activities, it seemed to be just about the right time to sit down for a bit. Not wanting to slow down our rate of wine consumption, we headed for the Lindemans ‘Fine Dining Enclosure’. Upon arrival, we were turned away and somewhat confused by the notion of having to buy ‘food currency’ in order to acquire anything from said enclosure. After attempting to get to the stall selling this supposed ‘food currency’, the words ‘fuck’ and ‘it’ were uttered, a tad loudly, and we went back to the fine dining enclosure to explain our case to another person.
L: Hi, Welcome to the Lindemans Fine Dining centre. Have you purchased your meal currency?
Me: Yeah nah, we don’t have any tickets, but it’s okay, cause we don’t want to eat
L: Wh –
Me: Sorry, no, we’d just like to purchase a bottle of wine, if that’s alright. They do sell wine in there, yes?
CB: As in, not just by the glass, but also by the bottle? Because we wouldn’t need this currency to do something like that, no? It’s just wine, not food.
And as those final words were muttered, the poor woman decided that we were far too much hassle to be bothered with, and waved us through. This was rather convenient, as we were already halfway past her anyhow.
Upon getting to the wine desk, we discovered an unhappy woman who seemed to be intent on selling us a bottle of mineral water, rather than the overpriced bottle of wine we were asking for. No, not mineral water, I stated for the second time, but wine. The ‘crisp dry white’, thankyou. Yes. WINE. From the WINE ENCLOSURE. Two glasses and the bottle were brusquely placed on the counter, and my change dispensed with a slamming motion on the counter. Feeling rather pleased with ourselves for performing this piece of deceptive wine purchasing, we went and found some seats. They were conveniently placed at the edge of the enclosure, allowing us to commentate on passers by and their conversations, attire, and general demeanour with relative impunity.
A bottle of wine and a good chat later, I loudly summarised the efforts of our hour long conversation in a single sentence; "Crownies... they're easy mac of beer!" CouchBoy shoved numbers five and six ineloquently into his handbag. And with that, we left the Fine Dining enclosure, only to be accosted (for the third time this day) by a madman wearing a Hawaiian shirt covered in chillies, capped in a sombrero which can only be described as insane.
Naturally, we were on our way back to the wine enclosure, and who’d have thought it, but in the space of the fifteen meters or so we needed to traverse, we encountered a stall selling chocolate flowers. Now ordinarily, I’d have thought something along the lines of ‘hah! Chocolate flowers! What a fucking rip!’, but in my slightly inebriated state, I found them fascinating. They had this amazing display of a Christmas tree made of chocolates. Noting our wonder, the sales women came and spoke to CouchBoy and myself.
Chocolate woman: Blah blah blah chocolate flowers blah
CB & I: Mhm… So, can we buy these today?
C: Er no, but you can go online and purchase them there if you like.
CB & I: Oh (frowny face)
C: But you get a discount if you use this card!
CB & I: Oh! (smiley face)
C: And you can even get same day delivery!
Me: Can you order Christmas trees?
Me: Even when it’s not Christmas?!
CB & I: Wow!
C: Yes! And you can even get them in pink, and blue and silver!
CB & I: WOW! Thankyou!!
And off we went on our merry way.
Seven - the crowning glory of our collection - was obtained by blatant and unashamed deception of several people. It’s fair to say that by this number, we were fairly jolly. VG had returned from her seminar, somehow managing to track us down somewhere in the wine enclosure with less than helpful directions. Where are you? We’re drinking wine. Yes, but where? I’m not sure, but they have a very nice Petit Sirah. What’s the stall number? It was something 95, but we’re not there now. And then BAM! There she was! She’s clearly very clever, or at least quite excellent at finding and following the sounds of clinking classes, ‘MOTHERFUCKER!’ toasts, and the guffawed laced renditions of the words; ‘in my pants’.
Having found us, and us having purchased several bottles of wine in her absence, she ventured off again to find a shopping jeep in which to store our increasingly heavy goodies. At first this proposal incited argument.
VG: I’m getting a trolley.
VG: Why not?
Me: Because every cunt around here has one and they keep running my feet over. They’re fucking terrible things to have in a place like this. Look at all the room they take up! Cunts!
VG: Stop being silly, I’m getting a trolley.
CB: Yeah, we can get people back with them!
Me: YES! Like that one over there, and there, oh, and over there!
And so our trek to glass number seven began in earnest, with CouchBoy and I taking turns to run people over along the way. While I opted for the ‘do-de-do-de-CRUNCH!-oh my goodness, I’m sorry’ approach, CouchBoy simply wheeled along at a great pace, slamming into people full pelt and wandering off without so much as an apologetic glance. The effect of this was no doubt enhanced by my trotting along behind him, giggling at each particularly severe collision.
It was by this particular method of transit we arrived at Michilini’s wines stand. There, CouchBoy loudly noted that the staff were being rude to VG, in fact - he declared - particularly so given the better job she was doing of selling the wine than they were. He wasn’t wrong, either. While the staff sat around throwing corks over the wall at the people in the booth next door, VG had to hustle to get her tastings, and did a far greater job of explaining the wine and indeed the winery to the punters than these guys did. We suspect they may have sampled a little too much of their own product, perhaps.
But, bitching aside, we decided to move on. Before we did so, I hastily grabbed VG’s temporarily abandoned tasting glass from the table, and went about stuffing it in CouchBoys’ handbag. Then I informed VG that she left her glass at the stall. She walked over, hoping to reclaim it, and they all quite rudely shrugged at her. Luckily, the appointed glass-police person had seen the whole thing at the exit gate about two meters behind us (they had glass police on every gate, employed to stop people leaving with glasses), and instead of wandering up and asking to take a look in our now rather loudly clinking bags, instead laughed and gave VG a stamp allowing her to go and fetch a new glass. Jackpot! It was at that point we decided to make her the honorary fourth member of our team.
Having worked this system out, CouchBoy went off to declare his glass missing to another glass-cop. He returned successfully with a stamp on hand and headed off to the nearest glass collection point. And with that, we had eight.
At this point, we decided to make our way home - after all, we had a party to get home to and organise. Leaving the wine enclosure with our treats and a slightly altered gait, we made our way to the venison stand to pick up some kabana, stopping only to allow CouchBoy to lean over a wall and pluck a couple of errant glasses from the Lindemans enclosure, with nothing more than a victorious HA! to the assembled crowd of Lindemans staff and elderly women now laughing in amazement. Out the door we went, clanking the whole way and feeling rather victorious. In fact, the only hitch in the whole escape was when VG & CouchBoy wandered off ahead and left me to drag the shopping jeep loaded to the gills with wine down a set of stairs. The cart of course toppled over, a couple of bottles of wine escaped, people gasped and came running to help and I waved them away and yelled such delightful phrases as “Oi! You ARSEHATS! GET BACK HERE!” & “ALL THIS WINE IS MINE NOW! MINNEEEEEE!” all the while laughing hysterically. It certainly succeeded in clearing the good samaritans away.