Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Get out and stay out

So, I suppose it wouldn't be completely dishonest to describe me as someone who may or may not have the type of humor which, by some people's estimation, might be describes as perhaps... just maybe a little sarcastic or inappropriate. But only maybe. I might even be willing to say that, on very few instances - very very few, I might have said something with my outside voice when I totally thought I said it to myself. It was the pot. I totally blame the pot.
Once of my best friends, Lisa, moved from Boston to London to attend the Chiswick Academy of Snobby Entitled British Brats Who Think They Can Act. She had a flat (British for apartment) down the street from the subway and invited me to come stay for a week. So I did.
London in February sucks. It's grey, looks like Boston and at the time I was there (2004) it was pretty uncool to be from America. It hardly seemed appropriate to introduce myself, "Hello, I am Michael - and I think George Bush is an asshole too, what is your name?" - but I think it would have helped. I met one girl, who had an American accent, so after getting her name I said, "Oh, what part of America are you from?" - she gasped in horror and snapped back at me, "I am Canadian!" Fortunately I have a quick whit, so I resonded, "Interesting, I don't remember Canadians being so bitchy" and walked away. This was going to be a lonely trip.
The one cool thing about the school my friend was attending was that there was a pub in the lobby. Thank God at least it's a country full of my people. Drinkers. I am not sure if it made them easier for me to handle or the opposite, but it didn't matter. I had a pint, then another and another and they all seemed nicer. Lisa even found us some weed, enough to roll a joint at least, which we saved until just the right time. A party!
One of the undergrad girls, oh yes - her name was Partida. Who the fuck names their child Partida? Before we even got to the party, I knew this was going to be just the kind of shit show I liked. Snobby 19 years olds who were better than everyone. This is usually a good scenario for me, because I look younger than I am. No one ever knows if I am one of the 25 year olds or not, and I have to believe that since I have an American accent, they can't judge my socio-economic background like they can with their own people. I was feeling good about this party - not to make some new friends, but to just fuck with people. 
Lisa and I got to the party after a short walk from her place. It was a nice neighborhood - lots of big houses with door knobs in the middle of the doors and big American SUVs in the driveways. We smoked our hooch wrap on the way and began giggling before we even got there. Some people get paranoid when they smoke but the opposite happens for me. I get high, I feel like everyone around me loves my shit and thinks I am the funniest MFr in the world. Overall a pretty good place to be, but on this occasion it didn't work out to my benefit. At all.
We walked in to this completely ridiculous home that was easily over a million pounds. Dollars if you will. Now this part I am fuzzy on, but if I am to be honest - I will have to sway towards the truth that I must have said, under my breath, but loud enough to be heard, "Wow, it must be nice to have your parents buy a swanky pad like this to live in while you are in college". Maybe. By the evidence in what happens next, I would have to plead guilty if Judge Judy ever pressed me about it. Bible and all.
Now we were stoned. Really stoned so our primary objective was not to initially chat people up, it was to find the Brit equivalent to some nachos or Doritos. I also needed some sweet, so I hoped for some of that Cadbury chocolate I knew Great Britainers were famous for. All we had to do was be nice to people along the trail to the kitchen. Since I had only been in England for a day or so, I had to assume kitchens were in similar places in homes as were in America. Onward we marched.
To my luck, my guess about the kitchen's location was dead on and the spread these youngens had was mighty impressive. I felt like a hungry Ethiopian kid finding his way to his first buffet at the Soup Plantation. "Out of my way, bitches - I have American Sized munchies".
Lisa and I grazed as politely as we could, food smeared faces notwithstanding, and popped out the side door for a hand rolled ciggy. What a bohemian I was becoming. So international, so enigmatic to these English people. I really just thought it was a matter of time before they huddled around me to get my story. Maybe Lisa and I would make up a fake scenario that I was a casting agent from LA and get some serious ass kissing going. That was our kind of thing, so I knew it could be hatched, once we got our food on, of course.
After our cigarette, we decided to mingle. We got a cocktail and started our way to the living room in the front of the house. On our way, we got separated - so I figured I would make my way and she would meet me there. The house wasn't that big, so I wasn't worried. After all, these people would surely be interested in me, and maybe Lisa had already started a story - I would just have to stay on my toes and pick up clues.
Out of no where, this girl comes up to me, a little drunk, and says, "We don't know who you are and you have to leave". Since she wasn't asking for my autograph, I was instantly taken aback. "I am Michael, from America, here with my friend Lisa - she goes to the school and she is friends with everyone." Nope.... not working. Another girl and then a guy got behind her, "She can stay then, but you have to leave". Seriously - what a buzz kill! Where is Lisa and what are these crazy people talking about? "Let me find Lisa and we will straighten this out" - so off I went. I found my tipsy cohort smoking another fag outside the kitchen and told her we had a nine one one. "People are kicking me out because they don't know who I am" I told her and we have to straighten this out!" Drunk asses. We decided that we would just stumble back through the house and find them and explain I was with her. Certainly they would understand, apologize and we would carry on making fun of them. Not so fast.
They found us, actually and they were waiting for us. There was about 7 of them now and they confronted us like a pack of pissed off high school kids. Arms folded and everything. "Partida didn't like what you said about her and she wants you to both leave" Uh oh, thought I. What did I say? I was digging deep into my short term memory log. The possibilities were endless actually but I was too embarrassed to cop to anything - I wasnt' sure what came out and what stayed in, so I just played it cool. Lisa jumped to the front, she is such a good negotiator. "I have no idea what you are talking about, this is my friend, Michael - he is visiting me from America". "Well, Partida doesn't know him and she wants you both to leave" - Now it's both of us and while Lisa is good at smoothing things out, she isn't good about being treated like a commoner. She is from a very wealthy, self made I might ad, family in Bermuda and won't be spoken to like this.
"We are leaving - that's for sure" She grabbed my arm and pulled me through the crowd of Back Street Boys and Spice Girls that were trying to rough us up. We didn't say anything more, but in my head I was thinking, "Mistake, big big mistake" like I was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman or something. Did they have any idea who I thought I was? Assholes.
Once we got out side and we had a chance to collect ourselves, Lisa asked me what I said. Since I couldn't actually remember saying anything I admitted nothing. I did tell her I might have said something, in fact I probably did, but just wasn't sure. This is where she began to laugh. She started to laugh so hard I think she might have peed. A little. Then I started. The both of us laughed for about an hour after we got back to her place and ate everything we could find. The thought about being 34 years old and getting kicked out of a party of young over-entitled college kids that would never really have to work in their lives, ever, was pretty hysterical. 
The next day, Lisa's Grandmother got sick and she had to leave for Ireland immediately. That left me in London, alone - and now with a head cold. Lisa left me a list of students on the counter and highlighted the names of people who I had not already pissed off. One of them answered my call and agreed to take me around. Thank God. We did as much of the touristy stuff as we could and I left a couple of days later. Thankful to be gone of this dreadful place. 
Lisa lives in LA now and is a working actress. She has a new name - which I love as much as the old one. She and I are still friends and I have yet to get back to England. Let's just say I am in no hurry.....

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