Saturday, March 03, 2007

Timing

I seem to be cursed when it comes to making it to the theatre on time. I seriously don't think that there has been a single time I've managed to live out my fantasy of strolling on in at a leisurely pace, collecting my tickets and sauntering over to the bar for a couple of civilised drinks. It just doesn't happen. Ever.

What does happen is stuff goes wrong and I invariably end up in a mad rush to make it on time, arriving at the theatre still doing up my pants and lacing up my mismatched shoes, sweating like a pedophile and hoping that this time I got the venue and time right. Just last week I had to go to this theatre and it's literally three minutes walk from my home, but did I make it on time? Well, yes, but not in the comfortable and relaxed manner I dream of. On that occasion it was just as well I hadn't arrived early because there was no bar and I would have just had more time to squirm anyway.

Last night it was just all horribly familiar. There was doubt that I would be able to make it at all due to work commitments, but I managed to get away a little early and commenced the trek home through the city on the slow bus to Surry Hills. I was going out of my head with the stress of it because I had promised The Dreaded One a lovely night out, pictured us enjoying that leisurely glass of wine and I'm stuck on a bus full of annoying people and quite obviously I'm only just going to make it again.

In the end it wasn't looking too bad. Getting off the bus instantly put me in a good mood (it was full of your usual annoying public transport types), and a bit of jogging is always good for you anyway.

I made it to the crowded theatre with just enough time to get the tickets and have a quick glass of wine. Spotted The Dreaded One looking for me, drink in hand. I joined the queue. I arrived at the counter, told the guy tickets had been put aside and told him the name of the magazine in case they had used its name instead of mine. He looked through the tickets and said there was nothing under my name.

Fuckinitalicsawithanexclamationmark.

"Erm... are you sure?"

He was sure. One thing you cannot do in such a situation is make a big deal about it. Well you can and people regularly do. What they also do is make total twats of themselves. Still, I felt like I had moved mountains to make it here on time... or at least sat on a crowded bus for too long. I have a deal with the mag that my deadline is some time over the weekend because I like to review stuff early in the season and now I was going to have nothing. I neglected to print out the email confirming my tickets because this kind of thing has not happened for so long. And I couldn't even remember the name of the person who had (dis)organised this. Fuck fuckitty fuck.

I found The Dreaded One and told her what had happened. I could see she was disappointed; we had both been looking forward to this. Not enough time to make it home and get the email. Opening night so it was probably sold out. There was nothing I could do, and all I had done was the right thing. I was so cranky I wanted to punch old ladies.

"The guy," I hissed bitterly at The Dreaded One, "looked like a complete airhead. Idiot probably got my name wrong. Malicious fucker. Fucking Nazi."

In fact people get my name wrong all the time. I forced myself to calm the fuck down because I was going to give it another shot. I had promised The Dreaded One a night at the theatre, so a night of theatre she would have. I promised the magazine a review, so a review it would have.

The guy was dealing with someone and the girl at the counter waved me over. I didn't want her because then it would look to the guy like I was trying to pull a swifty, or that I didn't trust him... which I didn't but he didn't need to know that. In fact it was tactically much better for all concerned if he didn't know I didn't trust him. I had to make friends with him and I couldn't do it by questioning his professionalism. I pretended I hadn't seen the girl with her smile and her wave and her "Excuse me sir - can I help you?" Interfering bitch.

I worked out my blag, studiously avoiding the words airhead and Nazi. The Dreaded One has cancer of the ears and this would in all likelihood the last opportunity to hear the sound of Kitty Flanagan's comedy and the resulting laughter, so if he wouldn't mind terribly much double checking about those tickets it would really mean a lot to us...

In the end I left out the bit about the ears. I had something about the deadline which I intended to mutter to him very quietly because if anyone overheard I would just sound like a blagging wanker.

Further in the end I didn't have to say anything. He smiled and said he was glad I came back because he strongly suspects that the list hadn't been sent because about three other people had the same problem. He handed over my tickets with a courteous smile that made me feel guilty that I had thought of him as a malicious fucker. The only words I had to utter were, "Oh. Thank you."

I turned back to The Dreaded One, tickets in hand, an air of satisfied smugness at the ease of my blagging victory. "I think he knew my name," I told her. "I said it quietly and clearly and I think the penny dropped. I think he knew how deep the shit was that he was easing himself into if he didn't find my tickets right bloody now..."

Her look told me I didn't have to keep going with this one.

True to form, I got the time a little wrong and we were actually two glasses of wine early, and we enjoyed a very fine night of music and comedy.

5 comments:

Margarita Milongita said...

Hey Lee.. I'm back-for better or worse. I've decided the only way to beat my writer's block is to just write.. so I'm posting again.
Will I see you and Miss Ann in Melbourne anytime soon?

Quick said...

Yo Maggie. Yeah, writer's block... there ain't no excuse for it, but it is an excuse. Beat it, kick its arse.

Sorry, not likely to be in Melbourne soon, can't see beyond the two kitchens I work in at the moment. Definitely want to get back down there though.

Right now I'm going to do a speedy tour of my blogroll... or maybe a drunk tour a bit later.

oe said...

I like this tale, the way a few seconds of real life can contain so much story.

Amra Pajalic said...

Glad your night worked out. Always a pleasure hearing about your foibles.

Quick said...

thank you OE. That was the intention of the blog when I started (thus the line about squinting to see the funny bits), I think. But I've deviated a bit. Been toying with starting about three other blogs and trying to keep everything neat and focused... it will never happen.

And ta Amra, glad you enjoy. I am constantly amused by the silliness of everything.