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Seth And Nicolas Cage At The Wimpy In Riviersonderend

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

1996 was a pretty incredible year for me. I was two years out of school, working as a waiter at Blues restaurant in Camps Bay – in their heyday. An aside: I see the curtain finally closed on Blues a few weeks ago. God, the memories. Kenny G pulling out his flute. Prince Albert tipping me R4 500. Kate Moss doing body shots out of my naval on the bar counter. The list goes on.. (a lot of people do triple dots – I’m partial to two).

But there was more to 1996. We were two years out of school, having matriculated in 1994, the same year Nelson Mandela become president. Life was full of excitement and promise. We were older now – enough to think we had the ability to reminisce. We grew nostalgic and decided to relive our 1994 ‘Matric Rage’ in Plett. That was before it became the sanitised, commercial suppository it is today. The days when I was either winning the dance competition at The Cave, or commanding a corner at Rumours – the ‘chillout bar’ upstairs – Pierre Jourdan on ice, no doubt (happy to pay corkage – they only had JC le Poo).

And so off we went for some end-of-year summer action. Tape mixes included tunes from the ‘Throwing Copper’ album by Live, Fastlove by George Michael, Tupac, Toni Braxton, the Fugees and, of course Think Twice, by Celine Dion.

There were four of us, in two cars. I was driving Claudia – my Citi Golf Shuttle – with Richard Neville. Anthony Fox and Simon Hebe were in Ant’s blue Datsun bakkie, dubbed ‘The Aquarium’.

The co-pilot cracked his beer at the cooling towers and, armed with biltong and Ghost Pops, the first bit whizzed by in a flash. We were ahead of the other guys and stopped at that Wimpy in Riviersonderend for some chow. Richard grabbed a table and I went to the loo. And that’s when it happened.

There was a tall guy standing next to me at the stalls. I glanced at him briefly and, without having the time to take in his entire face, I picked up that he was wearing mirror Ray Ban Aviators with an aggressively receding hairline.

I carried on with my business and kept my head down, pushing the moth balls around. The guy next to me sounded like he was blowing his nose, but his hands weren’t at his face – they were busy below. I shot him a look and realised that he wasn’t blowing his nose – he was laughing – almost giggling. But I recognised this guy. And as I was about to figure out who he was, he let go of his business, looked upwards, slammed his hands on the counter above the urinals and shouted, “YES!”

It was at that precise moment I realised I was taking a leak next to Nicolas Cage.

For our younger readers, Nicolas Cage was an actor before he became an internet meme (and again more recently). He was the current Best Leading Man Oscar winner, for his role in Leaving Las Vegas, and banging out hits like The Rock.

I needed to remain calm.

I headed over to the wash basin and said over my shoulder, back at him, “you OK there, buddy?”

“Oh my God, I love this place”, he shrieked. I didn’t know if he had been drinking or not, but he reminded me of his character in Leaving Las Vegas.

He stared down, gripped his zip and pulled it up quickly, jumping as it quickly fastened. He froze and slowly turned to me.

“Do you live here?”, he asked.

“Yip”, I replied.

“Can I trust you?”, he asked.

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them,” I replied – one of my favourite Hemingway quotes.

“Oh my God, I LOVE Hemingway”, he screamed – very loudly.

Someone who didn’t recognise him walked in and stared at us like we were crazy.

Cage motioned to me to leave the loo and guided me to his table. He was alone and I soon discovered that he was in South Africa doing research for a possible movie – I can’t recall what it was – and he had ‘escaped’ from his entourage. He said that he needed some ‘time out’, and had stolen a production assistant’s car at a nearby town they were scouting.

Ant and Simon arrived in the other car and I introduced them to Cage. We all shot the breeze for about half an hour and it was time to continue our trip to Plett. When we were saying goodbye, Nicolas Cage leant over to me and said, “Please can we chat a little longer?”

I didn’t want to burn my mates, but they were like, “It’s Nicolas Cage – this will never happen again – do it!”

So Richard jumped into Ant’s car with Simon and I told them I’d see them further down the N2.

My understanding of the situation was that Nicolas Cage had become so taken by the Western Cape, during his trip down the N2, that he was having some kind of a spiritual awakening. He was enamoured with me and wanted to know more about my life here, in Southern Africa. He wanted to know about my travels, where had I visited in South Africa and beyond.

I told him all about the Garden Route and the cool places to visit. He was dying to try the Knysna oysters. The conversation turned to the Eastern Cape, and I told him about a recent surf trip to the Transkei.

Waves aside (massive swell – epic), he was particularly interested in a side-story I told him about a root I was fed in a small village on the coast of Transkei, which rendered me unable to taste or feel touch for an hour or so. He asked if he could get some, and I said I had never come across that particular root again and wouldn’t know where to procure it from.

Just then a huge noise erupted outside the Wimpy, with cars skidding and people running like crazy, through the dust, towards the entrance door. His production crew, along with the SA Police, had found him.

“Let’s go”, he said.

“Where?”, I asked.

“I don’t care!”, he growled, through gritted teeth.

His entourage descended upon him and, amongst apologies to me, they guided him out of the restaurant.

He peered back at me and mouthed the words, “thank you, Seth.”

Within a minute, they were gone.

I sat on my own for about 10 minutes, trying to digest what had just happened. I was glad three of my mates had met him, because otherwise no-one would believe me.

I never got Nic’s number and we never spoke again, but a couple years later I heard from him in a big way.

Nicolas Cage buffs will know the movie City of Angels, where he plays an angel, alongside Meg Ryan. There’s a trivia page on the internet about that movie. You can check it out here and you will see:

  • His character’s name is Seth
  • Seth has never been human and so has has never experienced touch or taste
  • The book that Seth gives to Maggie in the film, is “A Moveable Feast”, a set of memoirs by Ernest Hemingway
  • There is dialogue between Seth and Maggie – “Let’s go.” “Where?” “I don’t care.”

Fairly incredible.

I’m not sure what brought on this story. I guess my reminiscing was inspired by the #UltimateJourneySA competition we’re running. I’m not allowed to enter, but with R50 000 worth of prizes, I’d like to think I would have won if I could.

All you have to do is suggest your favourite South African road trip destination for the #UltimateJourneySAIt’s the place you would recommend above all others, the place that, no matter how many times you visit, takes your breath away each and every time. Or, maybe it’s that one place you have always wanted to visit.

Simply add your favourite location to the Ultimate Journey Map and encourage your friends to vote for it. If the destination is already there, make sure you vote for your favourite and you stand a chance of winning, too.

The prize? A South African road trip for up to four people, valued at R50 000.

Every person that adds a location and (or) votes for any location will be in the draw to win the prize.

Every person who takes part will only have one ticket into the draw irrespective of how many locations they have loaded or how many destinations they have voted for.

The campaign comes to an end on August 31, so get voting ASAP.

I’m not sure you’re going to bump into Nicolas Cage, but at least you’ll have three friends along for the ride.

This post is from 2oceansvibe.com. Click here to read the full text

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