Saturday, 19 August 2006

h2g2: Dinner for one

On my recent adventures in Germany my blood almost ran pure champagne as at each friends house a bottle would be cracked open in my honour and a glass thrust in my hand. And even a Union flag was raised in the garden. It was great! At my middle set of friends we started off with the champagne, then the wine and then after our barbeque I moved on to tasting the whiskies! I'm rather partial to whisky and although my better instincts told me I may be consuming too much alcohol my friend's husband had that look in his eye that he doesn't always come across people prepared to imbibe. So naturally I obliged.

I don't smoke but when offered a cigar, well, I just couldn't refuse. I was offered a choice and unsurprisingly it was the larger one that smelt fab in a melting chocolate kind of way. Resistance was futile and I was having a ball.

My friends were telling me about the German (and a few other countries) New Year tradition of showing a terribly English short film and it even holds the world record for the "most frequently repeated TV programme ever". Dinner for One: The 90th Birthday is just 18 minutes but an 11 minute version can be watched online at Google. It is English slapstick comedy about an elderly woman, Miss Sophie, whose butler, James, has to play the parts of her long dead friends during dinner and who becomes more drunk as the evening passes. Before each round of drinks in honour of Miss Sophie the catch phrase is:
James: The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: The same procedure as every year, James!

I had never seen nor heard about this film before and my friends produced a little book with the dialogue. Being English I naturally tackled the dialogue with great gusto and a mock aristocratic accent and we fell about laughing.

The evening progressed and I was just so happy and mellow and didn't feel too bad or even drunk. The cigar was nearly finished as was one of the bottles of single malt. At this point it hit me and I knew I needed to go to the bathroom and that maybe I was going to throw up. Like a lady, I rose gracefully from the table on the patio and began to walk towards the door. I didn't get far before the world began to swallow me up as blackness drowned me in a faint. Amazingly I landed in a sitting up position and came too rubbing my temples desperately trying to work out where I was and what had happened. I couldn't open my eyes and I couldn't respond to my friends who were becoming extremely worried.

I sat there for a few moments rubbing my temples and then knew I was likely to throw up. Within milliseconds I contemplated taking off the cardigan I was wearing and being sick in that but as it was my friend's then that was not a great idea. The patio I sat on had fine grooves and I could imagine the mess so I finally requested a bucket. Within seconds one appeared and in the dark candlelight I swiftly emptied my guts. All still ladylike. The British flag flew above my head and I couldn't help think what a typical British tourist I was. At this point I actually felt alright and wasn't in the least bit dizzy and even managed to crack a joke "Same procedure next year, James?" in a mock posh English accent. Thankfully my friends saw the funny side and are still talking to me.

The Dinner for One is something one either loves or hates and it seems it appeals to the Germanic sense of humour. Interestingly, they demand only the original English version and re-makes in German are despised. What a curious bunch our German neighbours are. No wonder they speak second languages with such ease that they have such traditions that involve a different language.

Original Comments:

Ally said...
Doris! I now have a completely different image of you than previously! :).

I am off to watch the film ...
Saturday, August 19, 2006 10:14:00 PM
Curly K said...
Doris, know for a fact that us typically Irish tourists could've kept up with your drunken escapades! No surprise that it's three am and I'm writing this reply far from sober but love the fact you've lived it large outside home ;-)
Sunday, August 20, 2006 3:07:00 AM
Chandira said...

Awesome Doris, I too, have an utterly different image of you now, and love you all the more.
How many times have I felt that rising feeling of 'oh my god, where's the toilet??'. Haven't done it in quite a while, but it's been, uh, 'known to happen'.

Must've been the cigar. Not the drink, of course. ;-)

Friends that you've thrown up in front of are friends for life. At least, that's true of all my old school/drinking friends that I'm still in touch with.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 4:59:00 PM
MrsDoF said...
It must be the cigar. There are a couple brands I get queasy when around, and I don't even smoke!

Oh, yeah, good friends who produce a bucket upon request are good friends forevermore.
Thursday, August 24, 2006 9:11:00 PM

No comments: