Monday, 14 March 2011


The former wife of my future then husband (yes, I know it's Monday morning, but get with it already) once attended a wedding where the best man had the misfortune to suffer from Tourette's Syndrome, and who walked down the aisle in top hat and morning suit alongside the future husband of the day (not his future husband - what is it with you that you keep getting confused with marital labels???) swearing his head off at the assembled congregation.

F*ck!!!  What a tw*t!!!  You look a complete c*** in that hat!!!

Genius!  Just imagine how Great Aunt Celia enjoyed watching the video of the ceremony she missed because her chauffeur had taken the wrong turn and wedged the Bentley between two hedges in the narrow lanes of Gloucestershire.

As an aside, I once had some friends who married on a romantic Caribbean island. The wedding video had several points of interest. The first being it appeared to be nothing more than a promotional film to lure tourists to the destination...twenty minutes of a 1970s-type travelogue; wobblycam of the worst kind...'s a beautiful beach, there's one of our famous banana trees, hey, a lovely bunch of coconuts... you'll find everything you'll ever want for a stay in the number on the bottom of this picture for a brochure...

Just before the tape ran out they somehow managed to fit in some footage of my friends' marriage ceremony.  We knew it was coming, thanks to the steel band attempting to play Wagner's Wedding March (Here Comes The Bride, Man) in spliff major.  Cut to startled faces of the happy couple, whose vows could just about be heard - if you strained your ears - under the steady lapping of the waves onto the golden shore, the swishing of the palm trees providing what one imagines was a welcome breeze on a tropically hot day.  

Ceremony over, the newlyweds - as obviously previously instructed - turned towards each other, smiled, held hands and sauntered slowly away from the camera along the decking, gazing lovingly into each other's eyes.   After a few steps the glowing bride's first words to her new husband could be heard loud and clear (they were walking away from the noisy ocean) thanks to the body mic she'd forgotten they'd attached to her generous polyester satin gown:-

Can't wait to get out of this bloody dress , Roger - I'm sweating like a f*cking pig.

Anyway, back to last night.  My lovely neighbour, Simone, rang my doorbell around 6 o'clock.  What are you doing tonight, she asked?  I have some friends over - come for drinks at 8.00, stay for dinner.  

And she grabbed my arm and led me into her apartment.

This is Nice Etoile, she announced to her guests.  She's coming later to dine with us.

I said hello to the smiling, warm couple who were standing in the hallway, before a rather attractive older Frenchman (shock of thick, grey hair, fit, tanned body - hairy chest!) who was sitting on the sofa in the living room, leapt up and made his way over to me.  He stood very close, looked deep into my eyes and kept me talking for a good ten minutes - all the while keeping a firm hold on the hand I had initially held out to him by way of greeting.

Your English accent is lovely!  he complimented me.

I thanked him. Told him I practised a lot.

He told me (or was it my left breast) that he looked forward to seeing me (it/us) later, and I bade my goodbyes (finally managing to wrest my hand back), thinking shit, I'll have to redo my chipped nails now.  

When I returned in two hours I found that they were all playing Scrabble, probably since I'd left earlier.  Simone sat me down in what had been her seat.  She was off to the kitchen, I was to take her place in the game.  What's more, it was my turn.  In French.  Interesting.  

Managed to put something down that wasn't an unintentional swearword (although the smooth lothario did later gain some points for coming up with the French equivalent of 'f*cked'), and the next hour was taken up with getting rid of the last of the game's letters.

However, M. Smoothy appeared to have had a personality transplant during the time I'd been coating my nails with Fast 'n Fuschia.  He was overly-animated, periodically SHOUTING manically, speech liberally peppered with (English) swearwords of a type I generally reserve for thinking about certain then husbands (the other couple didn't speak very good English, thankfully). He had lived in the UK and the US for years, very possibly having been given a Dictionary of Colloquial Swearwords as a joke by someone who hated him.  And he'd obviously studied it with gusto.  (Wasn't Gusto one of the Muppets???)

He didn't shut up and he complained about everything - the time it took everyone else to think of a word to put on the board (he himself took forever) - those c***s (looking at the lovely couple), they're so SWEARWORD thick, they haven't got a SWEARWORD idea between them - the decor - my god, just look at the crap art on these walls - the champagne - do you know anything about champagne, Jane?  Not a lot, I replied, even though my name's NiceEtoile.  Well, this is shit, he helpfully explained.  

The lovely guy in the lovely couple tried to tell him the whisky the Mad Chatterer had imbibed earlier in the evening would have affected his palate, but the MC was having none of it.  Why is everyone so f*cking ignorant???!!!

The floor show took place after the Scrabble game was wrapped up. The MC picked a fight - a Very Loud and Long One - with Simone's teenage daughter, telling her (well, I say 'telling', but the volume was ramped up to 'embarrassing') that she was 'a thick bitch'.  Simone's daughter's performance was admirable, an eloquent and elegant display of temper-losing (her gestures were well thought out and commanding), and she gave as good as she got before exiting Living Room Left and holing herself up in her room.

And the evening went downhill from there...

Very odd experience.  Everyone talked clearly, and their diction and gesticulations were perfect.  All participants appeared well-rehearsed, and 'owned' the space around them.  It was, Simone and I later agreed, as if the whole thing had been scripted by a top playwright, and was being performed in a famous theatre by first rate actors. Bravo!

When the MC started to make racist comments about a particular ethnic group, however, my desire to participate in the night's entertainment completely vanished.  He caught onto this and said Oh my god, she's a Lefty!  Yes, I am, I confirmed.  I think I'd better leave now.  Yes, I think you better had, he replied.

As it happens the party broke up at that point, anyway. The lovely couple kissed me and we pledged to meet again before I leave these shores. The MC ignored me for a bit, and then grudgingly shook my hand - not that I wanted to shake his, but I did so out of respect to my host - though this time there was no hesitation in letting me have it back as quickly as possible.

I later chatted to Simone, who was extremely embarrassed about the whole evening.  She'd known this guy for a few years, and had never seen him like that before.  She gave me the strong impression she wouldn't be seeing him like that again in the future, either.  

Almost makes the Wiki Man appear appealing.

Oh, hang on.  No it doesn't.

I've never been to the village in the hills north of Cannes called Tourettes-sur-Loup.  But last night, I think it came to me.

(Did I used to moan about dinner parties in Surrey???  What was I thinking...)


No. of points for 'baisee':  12

No. of points for Simone's daughter: 154,576

No. of points for being a racist pig: 0


  1. Now I can see why you are getting out of France. People are going off the rails everywhere. I had an aquaintence who announced that she hated "blacks" and then turned around and complemented the haircut of our African waiter. And that was just the beginning of the evening! Makes you want to stay inside far away from the "maddening" crowd.

  2. It is shocking, especially having enjoyed growing up in a place as multi-cultural as London.

    But to be honest, Maypay, there's also very little chance of me ever winning here at Scrabble, so in the end the decision to leave was a non-starter (a bit like my French Scrabble technique).


Please be nice, but not funnier than me. Thanks.