My friend, Barbara, sent an SOS early one morning. She had been to a function at her husband’s office on Saturday night and the upshot of it all was that she woke with a fearful hangover and a missing brassiere. None of her family would speak to her and she needed to escape in order to give them time to forgive her. As My Husband refuses to allow her into our home, we agreed to meet in Rosebank.
Barbara arrived forty five minutes late, looking for all the world like the Tempest Car Hire man in drag; cartwheel hat, animal print coat and enormous sunglasses. I’d looked forward to lunching in the sun, but people were staring so I pushed her into one of the darker restaurants. I had a very nice steak and Barbs had seven martinis, whereafter we went to the cinema to see a dreary, plodding picture called – inappropriately – Awake. Barbara fell asleep five minutes into the film.
When the lights came up and I managed to wake the mad cow, she begged for more of my time and we stopped off at Zoo Lake for a glass of Merlot (me) and Scotch (Barbs, lots). Quite soon, Barbs began to use her outside-voice inside the venue and it was clear that the management were considering throwing her out. I did an unforgivable, treacherous thing. Pretending to go to the lavatory, I rung her husband and asked him to come and get her, sneaked out of a side door and fled.
I doubt very much that she will remember, but – just to be safe – Ididn’t take any phone calls that day.