In the UK, you ‘pop out for a pint’. In the USA, people go out ‘to party’, and in Ireland, you go along for the craic. But in South Africa: you have a jol. Jol, pronounced ‘jawl’, can be used in a few contexts – all of them implying that fun was to be had. So you could go for a jol, which is a good night out; or go to a jol, which could be a night-club, bar or fun place; or the night itself can become a jol – in other words: great fun. And if you were a person involved in a good craic or perhaps were known to overdo the partying sometimes, you might even find yourself described as… a bit of a joller.
The Godfather Pub and Grill was definitely the jol to be had on Wednesdays or Saturdays. Once again it was Wednesday: karaoke night, and as usual the place was packed to the rafters with some of the best jollers Stillwater had to offer.
Vito, the Godfather himself, was ready for another evening of average, below par and downright awful singing. The scowl on his face couldn’t be missed and he had positioned himself strategically on the veranda so as to warn arriving customers of the dire entertainment in store for them. He was also quick to offer hoarse-voiced ‘Brando-esque’ warnings to anyone who dared to page through the song books lying on the tables.
“You face-a too ugly to sing. You close-a mouth an’ drinka wine instead,” was the advice that one lady paging through a book received, along with a free glass of the house special.
It was not lost on the people suffering these insults that this Greek ‘Mafioso’ had nevertheless gone to some effort in his appearance; donning his best dark suit, an oversized red bow tie and a classic Sinatra-style white-banded fedora. He may hate karaoke they thought, but he certainly wasn’t missing out on a packed night and the opportunity to be noticed.
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