Archive for August, 2008

I love the saying “I got out of the wrong side of the bed”: it’s one of those phrases that has an almost cartoon-like quality, the suggestion that the sort of day one will have is arbitrary (but inevitable) in its direction, and all that it hinges on is which side of the bed one swung one’s legs out of: the premise that underpinned the ghastly “Sliding Doors” – the film that launched a thousand ill-considered haircuts…

Wife used the phrase yesterday to explain why she was in a filthy mood, but she used it with a smile on her face, and an utter realisation that she had no logical reason to be so furious.

I had spent the previous day in an absolutely foul mood, but that was entirely based on my ludicrous decision to slap tables, down red wine and demand Puccini until 2.30am. Nevertheless, to various people who were unfortunate enough to come across my path that morning (specifically Account Manager About Whom I Have Changed My Mind, who is in danger of a significant name-change, perhaps to “Account Manager Who Wants to Watch Her Fucking Step”), they might have wondered about my bedside exit strategy, because I was a little BEAST for the entire day. When I got home and Wife (who, let us not forget had had no more sleep, though rather less red wine than me, and was thus also exhausted) that I had to lug boxes out of the cellar and the attics in my diminished state, I came very close to bursting into tears. Or setting fire to something.

Wife dealt with her quandary rather more straightforwardly: she got into bed and shouted for me to perform every menial task she could thing of, including the memorable (and slap-worthy) “Could you turn my light on?” and “Could you change the DVD disc, please?”, but also stretching to issues of tea-preparation and delivery, and pedicure. All this served to interrupt the brilliant “Who Do You Think You Are?” on TV, featuring Boris Johnson who is as magnetically fascinating on TV as he is repellent in his political views, although I did like his book on the Roman Empire.

Concerned readers will be pleased to hear that Wife has risen from her bed this morning a paragon of loveliness and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

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Although, apparently that should be “Sir Ben Kingsley”, as the pompous twat insists on being addressed… But that’s beside the point, the point is that last night, I turned INTO Ben Kingsley; not the lovable, stick-carrying incarnation of Gandhi, but the maniacal, expletive-shouting lunatic who makes such a worrying impression in “Sexy Beast”.

Good Friend in PR is here, you see – and after drinks in a bar, we went back to the friend’s house where he is currently billeted. And we drank, and we drank, and we drank – until 2.30am. On a Monday. This makes me a twat on any number of levels: most excitingly, on the level of a man who has to go to work the next day and doing anything other than sob, but I managed to supplement it with a couple of quite interesting versions of twattishness:-

  1. The twat who compares everything (unfavourably) to Shakespeare – the fact that everyone is used to this makes it no easier for anyone to tolerate.
  2. The twat who demands total iPod control and is not above ordering music in if it is missing (last night’s choice: “E Lucevan Le Stelle”, previous offences include Nina Simone and Kathryn Williams).
  3. The twat who slaps the table repeatedly, shouting “No! No! No!” like an unfortunate combination of the above mentioned theatrical knight and Amy Winehouse’s refrain in “Rehab”, as he shouts over everyone who’s trying to get a fucking word in.
  4. The twat who gets back to his Wife, who is understandably nervous as it’s 2.30 in the morning on a Monday, and her husband was “popping out for a couple of drinks”, not shouting his head off until the early hours of the morning, arming himself with a horrifying hangover.

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I mean: “What?”

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This is Acclaimed Photographer Friend’s view of the weather in New York at the moment. Wife and I are off there next weekend, and so were keen to understand just how relevant the mutterings of “100% humidity” proved to be – and it sounds like we’re going to be in for the kind of weather that we have been craving (and missing) in London this summer.

We’re both very excited: there are friends and family in New York (most particularly, Sister, who returns there today after a five week stay over here with Nephew) and the dollar is still weak enough (though strengthening slowly) to leave Wife with sleepless nights about the amount of shopping that it’s going to be possible to cram into the 200 hours that we are there for.

We’re back in The London – which is equidistant from everyone that we want to see, and opposite MoMA (which somehow, I always think I want to visit, and am, somehow always disappointed by) – but which (most splendidly) has suites instead of rooms, and so there is room for Nephew to come and run around, and for Wife to do catwalk style parading in whatever new wares she has purchased that day.

I find it such an exciting city to visit, no matter how many times I go back, when we drive in from the airport and see that clustered skyline of buildings jockeying for position, I get a feeling in my stomach comparable to the one when the lights go down in a theatre… I can’t wait.

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Last night, purely by coincidence, I bumped into PA to Famously Unpleasant Chairman and we went for a drink.

It was always viewed as evidence of her professionalism (and, let’s be honest masochism) that she had worked with this man for eight years in a number of different agencies: but it was also widely assumed that whatever job she went to next would be the equivalent of a full body, deep tissue massage.

This was not the case. Her next boss used to refer to her two PAs as “Cunt” (yes, you read that right – and she was a woman), and was pretty uninhibited about demanding 24 hour attention (and, apparently, the ability to see the future and to mind-read): but it wasn’t until PA to Famously Unpleasant Chairman turned to me and spoke the words “Have I told you about the menstrual blood?” that the full horror of the situation struck me.

It seems that this woman had an office that made Miranda Priest’s office in “The Devil Wears Prada” look like a dingy hole: there was a Bill Amberg ostrich leather desk (in lavender, if that helps you build a picture, or (less likely) identify this noisome bitch) and toning (though, as it was cream, not matching) chair.

One morning, the cry went up: “Cunt”

The two women turned to each other: “Do you suppose that’s me, or you?” asked my friend – but it was the other woman who walked into the office.

“Clean that up!” was the instruction and this villainess pointed to the seat of her cream leather chair, where a smear of blood was apparent.

The PA went outside, ashen-faced, to consult with my friend: “There’s blood on her chair”.

“Has she cut herself?”

“It’s menstrual blood. She wants us to clean it off.”

“I’m sorry: not for anything in the world.”

I don’t doubt the truth of this story for one second – although those of you lucky enough never to have worked in an advertising agency might. The sums of money that one is dealing with, the lifestyle that becomes (too quickly, in some cases) second nature – and the throngs of people who will “Do your bidding” are all dangerous incitements to this kind of lunacy – and if you’re a certain type of American (and therefore more susceptible than most to believing that anything fake is real), then it’s very easy to get to a point where you end up saying the sort of things to which the only fitting response is a slap around the face with the sole of a shoe.

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Below is American Diva Friend’s “build” on the Golf Umbrellas’ issue – one that has preoccupied me much of late. I think she has done VERY WELL:-

Golf umbrellas spring forth from New York City.

Where no one actually plays golf.

(Too much walking around).

NYC (and all of America, for that matter) is the land of big fat selfish pigs who actually need a very large piece of rubberized plastic the size of a very large card table to cover their fat asses as they sprint between their Yukon Troubadour Caravan and the food shop or restaurant or hot dog vendor they’re trying to reach.

For more food.

These same people are also what I call LOUD TALKERS.

They take double strollers into tiny food shops on Saturdays around 11am to shout at their children inane things like “I LIKE how you are listening, Brittney” and “Good SITTING, Justin” to let The World know they are parenting and spending quality time with their children.

Beware the small food shop on a rainy Saturday when LOUD TALKERS meet golf umbrellas.

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