Saturday, January 21, 2012
Pieces of Tartan (Part Three): Bobby and Booze
Friday, August 11, 1989 I slept until noon today, and I’m a little sad that I missed out on the action. We were invited to a tour of Edinburgh, but only Doug and Margot actually went. They lorded it over the rest of us by going on and on for HOURS about the story of "Greyfriars Bobby" using a dreadful Scottish accent.
For the rest of the day, one of them would find a way to the words "Greyfriars Bobby" into the conversation, just to get the other laughing. The emphasis was always on the last word, too, with the "y" cut off so that the word came out more like "boe-beh."
"Greyfriars Boe-beh," Doug would say, and Margot would hold her hands over her mouth, giggling like a schoolgirl.
"Greyfriars Boe-beh," Margot would say, with her husky voice, and Doug would let out a bark.
The rest of us all laughed. The first time.
I am firmly convinced that had poor little Bobby been in our flat this afternoon, this loyal, faithful pooch would have turned rabid. Surely he would have turned on all of us, having been driven insane by hearing his name taken in vain so often.
The place is beautiful, although the weather is off–alternately sunny and rainy. The building that we are living in is ancient. The steps outside our building are time-wornand currently being repaired. Our flat is beyond description, although the term bomb shelter comes close, I think.
Today is Viola’s birthday, so we made a big production out of that. Actually, during the day, Viola didn’t make a big production out of much of anything–she just stayed in the flat, with Melissa and me. We ransacked the living room and discovered a money chest under the piano.
Gleefully, the three of us filled our pockets with coins. No need to convert our dollars, now! Vi and Missa took the most, though. I felt a little guilty about the whole thing, honestly. I guess in a way, I felt like I was stealing from my twin.
We spent a lot of time taking a sex quiz. I received an 8, although I wasn’t completely honest about certain questions, like the homosexuality one. Vi received a 6 and Missa received a 4. Doug actually scored the highest, with a 16, although I noticed that he was a bit hesistant on the homosexuality question, too. He might be, though. There’s just something about him that tells me he plays for the other side.
We celebrated Vi’s birthday with Indian food–her choice. The food was hot and the conversation was interesting, and the combination made my head spin.
Saturday, August 12, 1989
Had our first rehearsal for Shadows of Time at the Institut Francais. The performance space is much smaller than our theater at Rhode Island College, but has a great deal more charm.
After rehearsal, Doc, Tallulah, and I went to an Italian restaurant for some late supper. The drunks were out in force and the service was terrible, but it was the only place on the street that stayed open until two in the morning.
But then again, I love watching drunks, as long as it’s from a distance. There was one girl, named Suzy, who was sitting at the table next to us, and was totally wasted.
"I didn’t order lasgana!" she kept yelling at the waiter, and then, would fall off her chair. Then, she would stagger back up, and repeat herself, swaying and bobbing back and forth, her hair dangling into her plate.
"I didn’t order lasgana!" she'd bellow. Finally, she lurched out of her chair and stumbled to the door.
Another drunk man kept coming into the restaurant, demanding service. The owner of the restaurant refused to let him in. In desperation, the kitchen staff put together a plate of leftovers and handed it over to him, if he promised to eat it elsewhere.
It didn’t work, though: he ate it outside, and then came back into the restaurant, and sat down next to me!
Doc kept us entertained with stories about his days as a minister in the sixties, teaching for a black college in the South at the heights of the Civil Rights movement. He’s really a fascinating guy.
Talullah is just as fascinating, but I'm not sure it's in a good way. Frankly, I think she's totally out to lunch. She’s nothing like I imagined--with her acting credentials, I expected she’d be dramatic, but I wasn’t expected the neurotic spawn of Norma Desmond, trapped in the body of a plump frog.
Melissa told me that the first night that they arrived in Scotland, when Aleister had shown everyone to a McDonalds for dinner, Talullah had refused to go. "I REFUSE to travel across the sea, just to grab a lousy hamburger at a McDonalds," she sniffed. "All I want is a cup of soup and a salad at a nice little bistro!"
To make her point, Talullah broke with the group, and grabbed Melissa by the hand, dragging her along for her quest to find her cozy bistro. Somehow, Melissa had formed a connection with her on the plane. Or perhaps it was just a cruel twst of fate: the two had ended up sitting next to each other on the flight to Scotland, and Talullah, frightened to death of air travel, insisted that Melissa hold her hand during the entire trip.
Unfortunately for Talullah and Melissa, all of the restaurants they visited were closing up for the night.
This didn’t set well with Talullah.
As they entered their third restaurant, the waiter stopped them at the door, and politely indicated that the restaurant was closing.
Talullah, infuriated, pushed him out of the way and scuttled over to the nearest empty chair.
"I DEMAND to be served!" she cried out, hitting the table with her fist.
Melissa, embarrassed, tried to sneak out of the front door, but Talullah stopped her. "No, Melissa," she said, using her theatrical voice. "You sit down right here, next to me."
By this time, the manager of the restaurant had been alerted by the waiter. "Ma’am, I’m very sorry about this, but we’re closed. You’re going to have to leave."
"My dear sir," said Talullah, turning to him, arms outstretched, in her best Evita pose. "We’ve just been traveling across the ocean for the past 36 hours. Can’t we JUST get a cup of soup and a soda?"
The manager frowned. "No, ma’am. You can’t."
Talullah let out a dramatic sigh, and lifted herself up from the table. Slowly, she dragged herself out of the restaurant, turning every now and then, in the hope that the manager would change his mind.
They ended up in McDonalds, after all.
Anyway, I guess that what goes around, comes around. The drunk that was sitting next to me served as a reminder that it was time to go. But on the way out, someone threw a slice of pizza at Talullah. It stuck, square on her backside.