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Cheap talk and finger buffet

by Bobo 

Posted: 29 August 2003
Word Count: 860
Summary: I've just rattled this one off - not even read it back to myself at this stage as am a bit sick of sitting here now...would love any feedback.

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I don't want to be here, not really. Parties really grind me down. All that having to make small-talk, trying to keep a smile on your face when a grimace would be more the stuff of truth. Work...money...gardens...holidays...relationships... children...nothing is sacred, all is to be shared with people only one-up from strangers. So many people, so much hot air.

And on top of all that there's the appalling dress-sense of some people to contend with; so much mutton in the guise of lambs, but is one allowed to be honest - oh no, praise is very much the done thing, even if the words almost choke you. Skirts above the knee when you're in your fifties, or even sixties judging by some of the crows' feet on display here, simply is not the done thing; so tasteless. And some of the colours - ghastly, to say the very least. Why is it that so few have the ability to co-ordinate?! A bold dog-tooth next to an equally dramatic paisley - such shocking error of judgement. It's really not that difficult to avoid looking like a dog's dinner, but so many just never learn, continue through life as a continual bloody eyesore!

Party food is another gripe. Over-priced bits and pieces that wouldn't fill you up however much you ate! Most of it doesn't even look like food - certainly nothing much to get the appetite going, that's for sure. Too twee, too pretty for consumption. What have we on offer here, I wonder? Much as you'd expect - no surprises; the obligatory silver tray crammed with soggy vol-au-vents ( filled with some kind of bright pink goo that looks a tad too much like mulched-up lipstick to tempt the taste-buds ); quiche which has that shop-bought look about it; celery sticks and dips which no-one will be able to manage...celery really does play havoc with dentures; and various curly sandwiches which are enough to make anyone wish they'd eaten before thay came. To be honest, I don't think I'll bother with it, not that hungry any more. The young ones'll eat it, sure enough, though probably they'd prefer one of those McDonalds, and the old will stick to tea and biscuits, maybe braving a solitary dried-out cucumber sandwich...it's all so predictable.

Ah, right on queue, here comes the music. At least they've not brought in one of those disco's - the noise from those things really is enough to wake the dead! A nice folk singer on accoustic guitar - gentle music, music that makes your soul want to sing-along. So, I suppose the party's not a total farce - they got this bit right; it appeals to young and old alike - everybody's happy. I wish people would dance, but they seem to want to just stand around, still talking, gossiping, picking at the bird-food. It spoils the song, does all this chatter.

What now?! Dear God, please...not speeches, I don't think I can stand this any more if they insist on speeches. I daresay I'm not the only one; the looks on quite a few faces are that of 'oh no'. Outside of weddings there's no need for speeches ( and even then there's no need for there to be so many, so long, so dull... ). The mind always wanders, so it does, the eyes invariably glaze over, and after ten minutes or so the heart sinks to new depths. The applause or 'here here's that follow are for the fact the speaker has shut up, at last, certainly not for the content.

'For she's a jolly good fellow...For she's a jolly good fellow...For she's a jolly good fellow...And so say all of us...'... They're all at it now; everyone likes a bit of a sing-song, I guess. Pity they're all tone-deaf, but bless 'em for trying.

What really gets my goat, makes my blood boil, is the fact that I don't remember half these people. The odd hanger-on you come to expect at these things - free food, free sherry, etc - but so many?! So much freeloading. Anybody'd think we were still on rations! The whole of the Ramsfleet W.I., for heaven's sake...I only went a couple of times when Beattie wanted some company. Bored rigid, i was; what did I want with Origami at my time of life?! I'll have to keep my eye on them; they're not above sneaking some of the bouquets out under their mac's, that lot...

Not long now. Should all soon be over, and then they can let me rest in peace. Ah yes, sweet tranquility, I can hardly wait; all this malarkey's proving too much, it really is. So draining. I'd much prefer to be on my own, left with my thoughts, my memories, my reality, not this drama. I never was very tolerant of anything dramatic, don't suppose that'll ever change; 'in death as in life', isn't that what they say? Something like that...

I never did like funerals much - thought this one might be the exception, though. Hoped it'd be that bit special. Ah well, never mind; it's not as though I'll attend any more.

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Comments by other Members

Fearless at 17:08 on 29 August 2003  Report this post
Faces, spaces, vacuum of boredom. Party polemic?
Liked it.


olebut at 08:42 on 31 August 2003  Report this post

a nice twist a good perspective and a great honest view of all those social functions you feel obliged to go to but know in your heart you wish you could stay away from but I guess as usual the writer felt obliged to attend.

I think in view of what you said at the beginning you should print it out and read it through or get somebody else to read it and you may find the odd change which will tighten it up

still an enjoyable piece thank you


Lisa at 17:40 on 31 August 2003  Report this post
Hi, Lisa.

Love the voice in this, casual and conversational. I particularly liked the phrasing: "It spoils the song, does all this chatter". That would be a great style of speech to pursue with this character - a catchphrase almost. Quirky and amusing, but very real.


Have you read my installments of "Two One Act Plays Linked By A Mango"? It's a monologue at a party and you find out part way through that it's actually a funeral! Spooky!

Bobo at 17:42 on 31 August 2003  Report this post
Thanks namesake!

I haven't read Two One Act... yet bit I'll make a point of doing so! Indeed, spooky!

Lisa x

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