Monday, April 02, 2007

And this is without mentioning that I bumped into someone I really didn't need to bump in to

And this is without mentioning that I bumped into someone I really didn't need to bump in to.

"You make a word!"

I turn round to the boys sitting at the next table and despite the fact that it is now past midnight and we are sitting in a bar they do indeed have a scrabble board with letters spread across it.

I pause for a moment, weighing up my choices. I have been drinking for almost five hours now and as such may not be in the best state of mind for such intellectual pursuits as scrabble. A glance to their game in progress also reveals that they might not be up to it either; I doubt a good 80% of the 'words' on the board are in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Against this is the fact that it has not escaped either mine or Dean's notice that one of the boys in the group is quite cute in a messy haired BwG* way.

And against this in turn is the fact that whilst everyone else has decamped to HiFi History Boy has chosen to stay with Dean and I and is currently sitting opposite me whilst I dangle my leg against his. The decision to stay may have been because he would be made to dance at Hi Fi but I rather like to pretend that it is for other reasons. At the very least it means he is happy to put up with the gossip which such a choice will inevitably have spun from our well-meaning but loud volumed friends. In such circumstances it would be rude of me to play scrabble with a not-quite BwG. It was for this reason that I turned down an earlier invitation to join in the game.

But there has been more vodka now and this is a lot of thoughts for me to juggle in my head. I look to the pile of letters that BwG's friend has given me and start to move them.

"C'mon if you have an English degree" BwG says. This much had already been established when they asked me to officiate on a disputed word ten minutes earlier.

I move the letters in no particular manner, but I know what is going to come out of my mouth, even though it really, really shouldn't.

"An English degree from Oxford".

And there it goes. I mentally wince at my own arrogance.

"Oxford?" It goes round the table, a high pitched murmur.

"You have a degree from Oxford and all you can come up with " - BwG leans round to look - " is FFA".

"I haven't finished!" I cry, knowing that there is no way to get myself out of this situation.

"Where are you from?" BwG's Friend asks.

This is obviously down to the accent. He will think I am arrogant and posh. This wasn't quite how tonight was supposed to pan out.

"Leeds" I respond with as straight a face as I can muster.

"Leeds?!" It's incredulous, just as I suspected. It will not be the first time that I have been told I am making my birthplace up. "But no one from Leeds goes to Oxford!"

Obviously it is 1845 again. And I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it, it's a knee jerk reaction.

"He did too!" I say emphatically whilst pointing at History Boy.

At this History Boy looks like he would very much like to be somewhere else, maybe even dancing in Hi Fi.

"Did you?" BwG asks.

History Boy nods whilst trying to fold himself up to be as small as possible something which, given his height, he is managing quite impressively.

"Sorry" I hiss as BwG and friends start putting the scrabble pieces away, already over the crazy lady on the next table.

"Thank you" comes the reply, pint in hand.

The scrabble table leave. The lights are put back on. We debate where we can get food in the early hours of a Monday morning, bemoaning the lack of a Little Griffin van.

And then the next thing I know we're in the taxi queue and I'm re-enacting so many nights of the past few weeks, nights which will blur until I can no longer distinguish them from one another.

I know the drill.

*Boy with Guitar, natch.

No comments: