Saturday, August 07, 2010

On Not Quite Getting A Byronic Ode

We're about two thirds of the way through BattleActs! and we have discovered (amongst other things): no one present likes David Cameron, cucumbers can be used to cool down a nuclear reactor and there is a man in the corner who is on his stag do and has fallen asleep.

As is fairly traditional one team, through a combination of error, foolishness and the luck of the comedy Gods, is hideously behind in the scoring system. As a last ditch attempt to earn them 600 points they have been challenged to recite in unison a poem. Now all they need is a subject.

Breakfast Club Boy catches my eye.

"And the poem has to be for this lady" he says pointing at me.

This isn't the first time I've been embroiled in a BattleActs! sketch - there was the time where I was shouted at and subsequently got a foot infection from the floor, and then the time (which I really should have blogged about) when, as part of the read-from-a-book-and-then-improvise-the-story, they read my diary out on stage*. In comparison - having a poem created for me? What harm could that do?

There's a momentary flash of confusion as the team onstage are unsure whether Breakfast Club Boy has pointed at me or the woman in the next seat. Having assumed I was getting a poem I shall be miffed if it's going to the blonde who arrived after me.

No, the lovely one" Breakfast Club Boy clarifies, which, really, is quite charming for someone who thinks tie dye is an attractive look and has already complimented me on my GaGa esque cardigan in the last week.

"What's your name?" Girl Kapow asks.


There's a flicker.

"Doesn't rhyme with much, does it?"

I realise here that I blatantly should have said Connie (particularly given the fact that I suspect some of Breakfast Club Boy's friends think that is my actual name) which rhymes with lots of things.

"And what do you do?"

OH GOOD GOD IT'S THAT QUESTION. I have a minor aneurism at the sound of it.

"I'm a writer". It covers many bases, including the reason I'm in Edinburgh, after all. After this we narrow it down further (plays) and I provide them no word that will actually rhyme with anything.

"And what do you like doing when you're not writing".

Erm, well I like theatre and books, and cocktails with odd names, and boys with guitars and Doctor Who and dresses and vintage head scarves and (though it's a secret) Big Brother 11 and making lists and -


I have a glass of vodka in my hand so obviously I say:

"Drinking vodka".

It is all that Billy The Kid can take. "WHY COULDN'T YOU HAVE SAID YOU LIKE CATS?"

And, y'know what, I have to concede that, in rhyming stakes at least, he has a point.

But it's too late and the poem must begin.

It's slow, faltering:







[Pinter pause but with less menace and more rhyme terror]


[Pinter pause]"

Breakfast Club Boy cannot take this any longer. "Your poem was: 'There was a girl named Corinne, Who'. Is that good enough to win them six hundred points, Connie?"

I smile at his slip of calling me Connie when he is not supposed to know me. And then, though I know this will lead to inevitable loss for the team (a loss that I now have my part in) I have no choice in the matter.


*Honestly not as bad as that makes it sound. Almost.

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