I’ve met some wonderful people during my world travels, and more than my share of complete nutters. There was Henry, the homosexual pensioner with full-face tattoos who I met in Samoa. Stavros, the pizza-crazed Slav who I saved from certain death in Hobart. And who could forget the pleasant chap who I saw giving a dog a bone in Guilin? But I think the oddball I met last night beats the lot of ’em.
I bumped into Rudi in the bar of the Semonkong Lodge, which isn’t a big surprise because he’s the manager there. The conversation started pleasantly enough, with the usual chatter about where I’d been and where I was going, beer and women. He seemed like a bit of bullshitter, but harmless enough. When I mentioned to Rudi that I’m a writer, his eyes lit up and he poured me a shot of Jager.
“You must put my life story into words,” the Namibian gasped. “I already have a multi-million-dollar book deal with a major New York publisher, and Steven Spielberg is interested in directing the film adaptation. It will be called According to Rudi.”
It seemed like a good offer. Who could refuse? I was surprised that a major publishing house would throw millions of dollars at a story about some random hillbilly that’s been written by an author whose two novels combined have seen less interest than Dave Hughes’s used underwear, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
“This is the offer of a lifetime, but you must sign the contract in the next 24 hours. You will stay here in Semonkong for free, and will spend your days with me and your nights writing. You must learn everything about me – the way I smile, the way I interect with the ladies, and the way I talk. I say ‘cool beans’ a lot – it’s a Rudi-ism.”
While I’m not sure a biography of some dude who runs a hotel would be as popular as Rudi believes, if he’s done even half of the things he claims, it would be a decent read. Here’s a rundown on Rudi’s supposed life and times – consider it his biography, on the off chancethe print version never comes out
- He was captured by terrorists while racing in the Paris to Dakar Rally. After they chopped off his teammate’s head, Rudi killed the bad guys, jumped in his car and finished the race
- He was a mercenary in the Angola War, and while he wouldn’t give me an exact number of people he killed, he did say that, “If you piled their bodies on top of each other, it would reach higher than Semonkong”
- Stephen King and Tom Cruise are his best mates, and they often travel to Semonkong to ask Rudi’s advice on their latest blockbusters
- He slept with Glenn Close, and didn’t show a scrap of shame when he told me that
- When Richard Branson told Rudi he couldn’t fly a hot air balloon across the Sahara, he did just that, and had sex with a woman as soon as he landed, and
- He once punched a crocodile and killed it
I told Rudi that I’d think about his once-in-a-lifetime offer, then staggered out of the bar and promptly fell in a ditch. I’m sure I did a better job of getting home than Rudi, though, because that motherfucker was smashed. The next morning I got up bright and early, hoping to fuck off out of there before Rudi turned up at the office, but he was already there. I got ready to fight off further begging for my services, but the prick just thanked me for staying there and took back my room keys without another word. It’s lucky I didn’t cancel the rest of my trip to stay with him!