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unclassified - 23 09 2001 - 16:39 - katatonik

When in Rome

The jokes were abominable. Yes, they had really hired a professional comedian. The sort who pretends to be some ethnic person (Italian, Chinese), or pretends to be a woman, and then plays off on all stereotypes you can imagine. What? I’m a humourless paragon of political correctness? Well, listen to stupid stereotype jokes for half an hour, delivered without so much as a hint of self-irony, and then we’ll watch how your sense of humour flushes itself down the toilet. I’m disgusting? You bet.
Boogie piano, rock’n roll, some jazzy tunes. At some point I danced with the saxophone player. Seemed he wanted to impress me, swirling me around, you know. Well, it was him who ended up falling to the ground. Thanks, feet, good work. Our pleasure, you know, we take pride in our work. Nice guy, though. Am I boring you already? You bet.
I won’t tell you much about this professional entertainer who acted like a moderator for pretty much the whole evening. Lots of man-woman-jokes – after all, it was sort of a wedding party -, some to do with the Austrian province the two of them come from, many of them to do with sex, most of them to do with her, like whether or not she had been a virgin when they married. I mean, this is a successful business woman who had, until she got married to him, who already had a son, been an admirable single mother. Could someone please inform the party entertainment industry that this is the 21st century? Yes? What do you mean: noone picks up the phone?
It was a relief that the others from the old gang were there. Sitting around at social events and bitching about them is not the most original thing to do, nor the most pleasant pastime, but, as the saying goes, when in Rome, bitch about the Romans.
I didn’t much talk to her. She seemed stressed out. I tried to dance with her, but she wasn’t really with it. Time and again she would approach our table and introduce us to someone. Us, the single women, you know. That’s what she said. Perhaps she’s not of this century either, I slowly started to think.
She got many presents, amongst which an enlarged photograph of her, with her beautiful naked leg and blue lace. A very erotic, very personal photograph, I would say. In the background, someone had painted lots of swimming sperm. Could you please promise to shoot me if ever I am to give a wedding or similar party and have to listen to virginity jokes, and get silly presents that assume I’m an idiot? Yes, you will? Already loaded that gun? My, thanks. Just be careful, it’s not yet time to shoot.
Of course I ended up at the usual venue, slightly over-dressed with that short black velvety dress, but noone seemed to mind. Mind you, Saturday evening mindlessness in public places can be a blissful experience. Ended up talking to a woman I hadn’t known before, about Buddhism no less. How can you know a Strawberry without tasting it, she asked me. How can you know from experience that 2+2=4 is true, I asked her. No answers were served. Other people, other important issues. What would happen if you sent a letter addressed to Osama Bin Laden to the postal address of a TV station? Would a letter addressed to “Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan” actually arrive? Or perhaps just drop a letter “to those responsible for bombing the WTC, wherever they might be”, and wait for a reply. Postal services can be pretty efficient at locating people. I mean, even letters addressed to “Juliet, Verona” apparently arrive and are answered.
It was one of those nights where I would have loved ending up dancing with a stranger, in the middle of the road, at 6am, with no music to be heard anywhere. Well, at that time of the day I stood near a road, discussing the ideological virtues and vices of diverse sorts of vegetables with three strangers. Blaming all evil on the common carrot, singing the praise of the blissful beetroot.
It most certainly could have been much worse.

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