Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mixed praise

It's always flattering to be described as a lovely boy, which I now have been, over on Ali's ace new Split Down The Middle blog, but I wasn't altogether sure that such a nice bit of praise was entirely compatible with Ali's realisation, shortly after she started drinking with me, Dave and Dan, that "boys believe what they want to believe, regardless of the facts, or the measured opinion of friends, or the niggling doubts, or anything. If they want to convince themselves that something is acceptible to do, they will do it". Having provided her with such an insight into the workings of a man's mind, we should perhaps hand back the plaudits and hang our heads in shame.

Had a cool evening though - me and Dave met up there after work and downed a couple of pints, although the speed with which we drank them was dictated not so much by drunken enthusiasm (it was Monday night, after all) but rather by the fact that Dave, glancing down at a chili pepper nestling in our bowl of olives, wondered aloud "do you think that's hot?", and then decided to find out. Dave is a blonde bombshell with a fine, pale beard which is only visible in good light, but if you ever want to see it, the trick is to feed him a chili pepper. His face turns purple and his beard is suddenly visible. Ace. I've never seen someone drink a pint of guiness so fast. The olives were hot, too, egged on and contaminated.

As Ali intimates, the theme for the evening's discussion was social, and socio-sexual (whatever that is) embarrasment, so we traded stories of little slips, mistakes, ill-judged comments, that feeling of waking up still quarter-cut in the morning and having to cycle through an evening of memories to recollect the moment when you allowed one blip to colour the evening - you forgot someone's name, or said something too loud, or did something transparent which your companions saw through, and laughed about. These are tiny things, but they're somehow almost as agonising as the big problems. I always fixate back on the slightest things, and if I don't remember them I conclude I've just forgotten. "Did I make a complete idiot of myself at your house last night?", I think of asking.

Dan and Ali had plenty more stories. When we looked up, it was after twelve and the remnants of our pints were being confiscated. Bah.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

no, no, no. It wasn't meant to be mixed praise. It's these kind of bumbling funny stories which make me love you all so very much. The fact that each and every one of us do nothing more than muddle through. And sometimes, if you ask the question 'did i make a fool of myself?' the answer is yes. Be proud!