Sunday, March 28, 2010

Everything Is Funnier In A Scottish Accent


Sitting in a pub. A woman sitting at another table comes back from the toilet with a bit of her long skirt apparently tucked into her panties. Her arse isn't on display or anything, it's just pretty obvious that there's a bit of wardrobe malfunction going on. For some reason she continues to stand and talk to her friend, and I'm really hoping she'll realise what's happened because it just looks a bit... it just looks a bit... wrong.

I lean over to The Dreaded One (so called because of her fluro dreads) and tell her, “I really feel it's my duty to tell her that her skirt is tucked into her panties.”

Almost on cue, however, the woman must feel something is not right because she reaches behind and tugs frantically and not as discreetly as she would like at the skirt. It takes a bit longer than is probably desirable (it's a full length skirt and there are many folds to be negotiated in a quietly frantic way) but finally the bit of hem is extracted from the panties. Phew. She quickly looks around to see if anyone noticed what just happened, knowing that that probably everyone saw what just happened.

I lean over to the Dreaded One without missing a beat and tell her, “I now really feel it's my duty to tell her that she's got a small bit of poo-stained toilet paper stuck to the bit of skirt that was just stuck in her panties.”

There is no poo-stained toilet paper, but the idea has amused me.

Not so much The Dreaded One. “That's disgusting,” she says.

“You wouldn't say that,” I assure her, “if Billy Connolly had said it.”


I lean over to The Dreaded One and tell her, “Och, ya noo, ah feel it's mah dooty ta tell the lass that there's a wee bit 'o poo-stained bog roll attached to her skirt.”

If I'm not capturing it here in writing, trust me that in real life it was a damned fine Scottish accent. And The Dreaded One's reaction? Sprayed her drink and almost fell off her chair laughing.

I propose an International Talk Like A Glaswegian Day. It will be the funniest day of the year.

Grumpy is Lee Bemrose, freelance writer. Contact him at

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Return Of The Wedding Uninvitation

You might remember sometime ago a close friend uninvited me to her wedding. Relations were a bit strained for a while, but we've hugged and made up and all is forgiven on both sides, as you can see from the above. It arrived in the post complete with my name misspelled. It's pretty damned funny, really.

And yes, we really have made up.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Brainspill 2: How Will I Find You?

Went for drinks at The Taphouse yesterday. Didn't think I'd go back there after a bit of an altercation a while back, but hell, water under the bridge etc.

A friend was in town for birthday drinks and a few doofer friends were going to be there. They started to trickle in and we moved into a room upstairs. It's a beautiful pub really. I hadn't fully recovered from the night before - The Dreaded One and I stayed in and stayed up getting messy. It was a lot of fun. We still get a lot out of each other when alone, after all these years. We've had some bumpy times over the years because I develop some pretty strong friendships with women from time to time. She once pointed this out and asked me, what are you looking for? What are you trying to find?

I'm not looking for anything. I'm not trying to find anything. What happens is, somehow these people find me. These unlikely friendships, they just happen. Our snug little world has been shaken up from time to time, but when the dust settles what's left is our life being enriched that little more by the presence of these new people. They find me every time. Or perhaps we find each other.

Is there a pattern? Maybe. It usually goes, life chugs along then New Person appears out of the blue. A kind of love emerges. It's me initially, but then there is real friendship between The Dreaded One and New Person too. This happened maybe five times, and after initial friction and uneccessary jealousy, there is real friendship. One New Person, for a while there I didn't think they would ever be in the same room as The Dreaded One, but I've seen them together talking and laughing like the very best of friends. I think it gets easier now. I really am not looking for anything, but I willl embrace another friendship just as tightly if it comes along. If it finds me.

The Dreaded One's best friend once asked her, in the next life, how will I find you?

That idea has lingered for a long time. It's beautiful and sad, and maybe that's what we're all doing, we're all trying to find each other.

So yesterday in the pub, upstairs in our private room. Sun is setting, room is filling. There is talk but my mind wanders. I'm tired and more drunk than I probably should be (but just as drunk as I frequently am). I start looking around at all these faces and am struck by how much I like these people. All of them. Talking faces. Laughing faces. Faces that simply were not there, once upon a time. This room full of people... where did they come from? How did their paths cross? How did they find each other?

There are other faces I want to be there in that room, but they cannot be there. Life's a merciless wind that blows us about like fallen leaves. This is good in many ways. Lives connect unexpectedly. If you're lucky, someone makes an impact and they are part of your life. You've found each other against all the odds.

I'm happy in that room, happy and a little melancholy. But mainly happy. There are hugs and laughs and plans made for the future. Some golden people in that room. Nice things are said. Feelings are expressed. Kind of people they are.

At one point The Dreaded One takes the vacant seat next to me and asks if I am all right. She knows me pretty well. She's been watching me. She asks if I want to go home. Yeah, I say, I think I do.

We say our goodbyes and make our way home.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Death In Bowengabbie Review

Death In Bowengabbie took out last year's Philip Parson's Young Playwright award after its writer and now director Caleb Lewis pulled it out of the running. This says a lot about how highly regarded the writing is, and indeed it is very good, by turns moving and funny. At times Lewis can be as evocative of place as Peter Carey. And in solo performer Andrew Brackman, playing a multitude of characters including a Tasmanian Devil called Rasputin, we have an actor capable of delivering comedy as well as the vulnerable and flawed stuff that makes us human. And yet, for me, it took a while to warm to the play. It won me over in the end, but there were minor issues.

Oscar returnes to his home town of Bowengabbie for a series of funerals, all rapid-fire 15 years after his departure. Each funeral is orchestrated by the departed to out-do the previous funeral in theatrics, and eventually it becomes apparent that something is not quite right. Are the deaths in this strange, dying town coincidence or are they linked? If someone is topping Bowengabbie's elderly, why? It's a love story within a mystery within a comedy.

It's hard to nail exactly what the flaws were (assuming they were onstage and not simply in my head), but they seemed to be in the credibility of it all. It all starts off straight enough, but we're gradually drawn into a dark, off-kilter other place and other time, and for me there was something not perfect with the transition. It took me there in the end, but with a couple of small bumps along the way. The love strand of the story didn't sit quite right with me, as though it need a longer time to unfold and truly draw us in.

And yet, and yet, and yet... the play becomes more farcical (if that isn't to strong a word) as it progresses so that it ends up being quite a different creature to the one we sat down with. And there were some delightfully funny moments both in the lines and their delivery. There are some really sweet, oddball characters living (and dying) in Bowengabbie, and they will win you over.

At The Old Fitzroy, Woolloomooloo until March 26


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Death In Bowengabbie - Interview with Caleb Lewis

Wow, they've crammed these stories in so much that it looks like the heading is 'PUTTING THE FUN IN ANGRY FUN FUNERAL'. Funny that the word fun should appear in both headings.

Anyway, seeing the play tomorrow night. Sounds pretty good, review next week.

Been a bit slack with this blogging business, haven't I. Been a lot going on. Said goodbye to someone I didn't want to say goodbye to. Sad, but kinda beautiful as well. Have some good people in my life. Once were randoms, now close friends. You have to love that kind of shit.