Men are, I find, wont to baffle wherever they may go. And not always in ways one expects and is prepared for.
I was sitting in the foyer of one of the local cinemas early on Saturday evening, waiting for Best Mate to battle her way through the traffic as I clutched in my sweaty little paws our tickets for the utterly glorious The King’s Speech. (Yes, I saw it at the première back in October, but it’s so good I thought I should do my bit for British film and pay to see it. You’ve probably seen several gushing reviews if you’re familiar with, y’know, the internet, so I’ll stop at saying simply: it’s wholly divine. See it.)
Uncharacteristically early, I was ensconced in a squishy chair, cursing myself for such book snobbery that means I refuse to read Jilly Cooper in public thus leaving myself novel-less. I people-watched and eavesdropped and watched a couple have an argument about which film it was they were going to see and pondered the preponderance of teenagers with massively backcombed hair.
Having whiled away a little more time sending emails to various people, I settled back in my seat and wondered whether I should get in the frankly ludicrous queue to make sure BM and I didn’t miss out on popcorn (nb: salted. Always salted) before the film started.
Suddenly, the phone rang. Causing a genuine double-take, on its display appeared Minor Celeb’s name.
We never speak on the phone: whether it’s Christmas greetings, or arranging a catch-up over drinks, our preferred method of communication is always the text message (unless I’m getting stroppy with him for taking utterly ridiculous work projects that he desperately needs talking out of when his PR is clearly not doing their job: those (heated) conversations are generally one-sided, and I have them with his answerphone). So seeing his name on the phone’s display was more than a little disconcerting.
I let it ring for a while, trying to work out whether he’d actually meant to call me.
It was probably foolish to expect a normal, grown-up conversation.
“Hello? Anyone there?”
Suddenly, from the silence there came ballad-esque piano music.
I stood and listened, slightly baffled, as it continued for about 12 bars before the phone went dead.
Somewhat perplexed, I fired off a quick text message: Very nice. Just for my amusement, or is this a masterpiece you’re working on? Do I get to hear the rest?
The message has so far remained unanswered, leaving me with no more clue as to what was going through MC’s brain (odds are - not a lot).
“How odd,” Best Mate said some fifteen minutes later as we wandered into the screen, laden with popcorn and. “Knowing him though, probably not entirely sober. But, on the bright side, I imagine that’s one of the most sensible and constructive phone conversations you’ve ever had with him, isn’t it?”
She is, in fact, quite right. And if the best I can hope for is a one-sided conversation through the medium of piano music, I think we’ll stick to the text messages.
Jamie Oliver Telicherry Black Pepper
9 hours ago