Functions are places where for the sin of writing a solitary book, I get to answer the same questions, over and over. And over. Again. I also tend to get drunk and abuse people for being wankers. Although the consensus is that I’m drunk and being a wanker. I hate consensus. Or consensi. One of those.
A couple of weeks back I found myself at a charity auction for something I don’t remember. Mostly because I got drunk. My girlfriend got angry and dragged me to a cab. I’m always find myself doing what I’m told by women. Last night I had another. It was the launch of the programme for WORD, the Christchurch Writers' Festival.
Ordinarily a function that's only purpose is to signal a later function would be enough to raise my ire to levels that would have me screaming with outrage into my pillow from the warm comfort of my bed. Yet this one was organised by author Rachel King who one can only love on meeting and this gave me an ugly and irrepressible sense of obligation.
I scanned the room on my late arrival and saw nobody I knew. I asked the nearest person where the bar was, typical of writers it was surrounded by people and I couldn’t see it from the door. Wankers! I thought. They had my spot. I politely elbowed my way through the crowd. Give me wine. The bottle? Yes, the bottle. There was a pause. Ha ha, only joking, a glass of red please. I wasn’t joking, of course. I just wasn’t drunk enough to tell her to pull her severely hairstyled head in. I mooched away with a mere 150 mils of what I needed.
Before I could quaff it the speeches started. Speeches. The pinnacle of hell at any function. Nobody dares refresh their glass for fear of looking like they’re not listening to some bollocks not worth listening to as people introduce other people who introduce sponsors who introduce other people who nobody cares about. No problem to me, I see an opportunity to take my place at the bar.
I raise a knowing finger and a matching eyebrow. She sees it for what it is. Another one, thank you. Keep the bottle close.
Then something strange happened. I found myself compelled by Joanna Norris, some woman I didn’t know, and Rachael King who were giving what were undeniably speeches. Damn them, I thought. The programme was interesting. I was compelled to listen. I got another drink, of course. But I listened.
I was transfixed. Arguably enchanted. At a certain point it was said that we must tell our friends. Use social media. Promote the event. Instead of throwing abuse, I wrote this blog.
I always find myself doing what I’m told by women.