Oy, where to start? So much drivel...
OK, we'll start on New Year's Eve. By that point, the Greggers hated Oxford. Ask him. He'll do a whole "Men on Film" two snaps up deal. "Hated it!" I don't think he really saw enough of it to make a well-rounded judgment, but that's mostly because Oxford was closed for several days between Xmas and New Year's. We tried to go see an exhibit on drug trafficking at the museum of science history (or summink), but although the gate to the museum was unlocked, the museum itself was closed. Oh, there were people in there working, but they were not about to let the scummy tourist types in.
But I digress. New Year's Eve. We hadn't really made any concrete plans, but it seemed a bit (ahem) redundant to get drunk and watch movies (we had watched all of the movies that Blockbuster Express has to offer and pretty much cleaned out the liquor store). So I started calling around to restaurants to find somewhere to eat that was not a kebab van. I got several instances of no answer. "Oooh," thinks I, "they're busy already. Too busy to answer the phone." (A more experienced Oxfordian would have realized that they were closed on a profit-making opportunity due to the influence of national health care.) So I called one of the trendiest, foodiest restaurants in town, called Baby. An answer! I made a reservation for between 8 and 9 for the set menu, not because we're cheap, but because £10 per person of the price was going to the tsunami relief fund.
So it was rush rush primp primp at the end of which time I did not look all dead sexy as I had planned, but instead like I was ready for mass.
We got there at the appointed time, but they had already misplaced our reservation. No real problem, though, as we were THE ONLY PEOPLE THERE. That's right. It was like the last time we'd been to see "Just Jack!" It was "Just Us!" So we did get good service from the hot kiwi waitress (Greg kept asking me if I could do my hair like hers -- that's gotta make a girl feel good. Umm, I'd like to fantasize that you're the waitress the next time we do it, OK?) I asked her why it wasn't more, you know, lively, and she didn't know either.
We were alone for a short time, though. We were soon joined by a couple of couples who sat nearby.
One set seemed pretty normal, although I wasn't in prime eavesdropping area, so they might have been child molesting devil worshippers for all I know.
The other set... How to describe, how to find words to do justice to these people? Hyperbole needs some help from exaggeration just to scratch the surface of the experience of sitting near enough to listen. Of course, the woman was so loud that you didn't necessarily have to be nearby to listen -- the people upstairs probably heard as much as I did.
Their conversation started off mundane though loud. More than just chitchat, it was CHITCHAT. They were eavesdropping on us, too. We found that out when their topic turned to American politics, directed toward us so we could reap the benefits of their deep insights into the flaws of the American system. Boy, did I learn a lot! I learned that before Clarence Thomas was elected to the Supreme Court, there was... I don't know what there was! There was something. I didn't hear the next few words because my brain was all wiggedy-wack from hearing about THE ELECTION OF CLARENCE THOMAS. I voted for Ruth Bader Ginsberg myself. They segued on to the vast black conspiracy that has occured in the US, which no one initially believed was happening until it was uncovered by the intrepid Nancy Drew of politics, Hillary Clinton.
By this time I was laughing so hard I had black mascara streaks running down my face. Greg loudly asked me something about the next Supreme Court election and I may have wet my pants.
I had a theory that the Hillary Clinton bit had something to do with one of those rogue e-mails that people send onward -- I had gotten one some time ago about Hillary being a member of the Black Panthers (debunked by Snopes.com).
Anyhoo, after our reaction to their "knowledge" of American politics, the snotty glances began. It's not like we were pointing and laughing or anything, but I guess the fact that they were TALKING AT US and then we were laughing allowed them to conclude that we may have been laughing at them. I dunno. They didn't seem all that sharp to me, but they were clearly young and trendy, and we were scum.
Next, their conversation turned to the subject of "The Book," which apparently the dude had written. He was trying to get it published and was in negotiations with a publisher who wanted to make a lot of changes (!). Because of the previous conversation, I thought this was pretty funny, too. Also because I work for a publisher and I know what it means when we need to make a lot of changes. It means "Let's see if we can polish this turd!" The snotty glances escalated. They became squinty glares full of daggers. We had more wine and just smiled back. A few more people came by then, some dressed as Fashion Don'ts (this is coming from someone dressed as an elderly Italian woman who may as well have been wearing black knee-hi's). We sort of forgot about The Snotties and continued having fun without them, but every time I glanced around, I caught that woman giving me the stink eye. She was not about to let it go. I thought we were going to have to throw down on our way out of the restaurant, but the Snotty People left before we did and did not wait outside to jump us. Too bad.
Then midnight came, we drank champagne, the Greggers said something very funny about how confusing it would be at an Indian restaurant if you had a Ganesh made of ganache, and we took the relatively empty bus home to get ready to go to Ireland.
The whole way to Ireland, all either of us had to say was "Clarence Thomas," "Hillary Clinton," or "ganache" and lots of giggling ensued.
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