Sunday, October 10, 2010
I'll Get Me Coat . . . Hang On!
I decided to be a good boy last night and go home early. No late night drinks; no hanging about with riff-raff. So I goes to leave, leave I does, and go to get my jacket. I'm sure I hanged it up right there? Right there I did. There I did hanged it. EMPLOYEES ONLY is the sign on the door. But no, it's not there. So I decide to turn the place upside down. Nowhere to be seen. So this jacket has my phone, my keys, and my lip balm. Yeah, my lip balm.
Someone has stolen my jacket.
So I'm sat at the bar, bar I am. Right there at the bar. Jacketless. So I break the promise to myself. Break my internal contract. How can I not? I've nowhere to go. No jacket, no phone, no keys - no lip balm. So I'm recounting my tale of woe to all and sundry, to all and sundry I am. I'm receiving warm wishes and best regards, pity from some and solace from others. Until I get to the bit about the lip balm. Some curvaceous brunette at the bar, who tries to make glad eyes at me, at me the glad-eye she tried to muster. But she could not summon the glad-eye 'cause of the cheap champagne she had imbibed. Decided to mock me for using lip balm she did, try she tried. Tried to make an innuendo about lip balm and kissing and lips and balms. Failed spectacularly did she, fail she did. But it was the revelation of my lip balm that brought mirth, replaced the pity, replaced it did.
So I'm on the couch of a barmaid who cared enough. Wonderful hostess. We dial my number this fine Melbourne morning. Marathon runners on the street.
'Run faster! You're still not yet far enough from Frankston!' I call.
So it takes some hours before my phone is answered. Eventually Dave, Dave you mong, answers and and volunteers that he came across my jacket, jacket he did, did he. Volunteers that he will return my jacket, jacket he will, to the bowls club in one half of one hour. So I venture forth, forth to the club I venture. And I wait.
Eventually, some half of one hour after the promised half he promised, he did, arrive with my jacket in tow. 'Everything's there,' he proclaimed, 'I do not know how this jacket came to be in my possession.'
Except that you STOLE IT, you did, dear Dave, you mong, whilst drunk. Drunk enough, you were, to enter a restricted area and steal. Where, oh where, was I supposed to sleep, dear Dave? But you were drunk, the drunk's excuse, and cannot recall, can you?
So I arrive here, at Terry's abode, to homework the afternoon away, we shall. Shall, shall we, homework this fine afternoon, with the last marathoners having long since given up, with traffic restored to its usual flow.
And as we embark upon some fine homeworkery indeed, I reach, reach do I, into my jacket pocket. I shake the familiar rattle of keys, and check the phone, check do I, the messages that might have meant something last night. And I feel unease. I feel loss. I feel dread.
My jacket has been returned, returned it has, and is missing a vital thing, My lip balm has vanished. 'Everything's there!' said Dave, the mong, the drunk, the thief. Everything. No, Dave, you vile tard, you vacant stared, already dead, non-entity. Not everything. Not my lip balm. The very thing that caused me to be an object of ridicule, and for what?
Oh Dave, you sort. Next time you ask for a bourbon and dry, I trust you know what the answer will be.
You cost me a new toothbrush, and a pair of socks. You cost me my breakfast, and you cost me my dignity. And now, I fear, I need to buy some more lip balm, lip balm do I.
Please, the rest of you, enjoy this most wonderful day.