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Cheap Talk & Finger Buffet ( Draft 2 ).

by  Bobo

Posted: Monday, September 22, 2003
Word Count: 909
Summary: Edited version of a short I posted a while ago. Comments welcomed.

I don't want to be here, not really. Parties grind me down. All that having to make small-talk, trying to keep a smile on your face when a stony grimace would be more the stuff of truth. Money...gardens... holidays...relationships... children...nothing's sacred; all of it's shared with people only one-up from strangers. When did folk get to be so brazen?

On top of all that there's the appalling dress-sense of some people to contend with; so much mutton in the guise of lamb, but is one allowed to be honest - oh no, praise is very much the done thing, even if the words almost stick in your throat and choke you. Skirts above the knee when you're in your sixties, or even beyond judging by some of the crows' feet on display here, simply isn't the done thing; so vulgar. And some of the colours - well, 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 do learn, continuing 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, far 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, they should've thought of that; 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's all so predictable.

Ah, right on queue, here comes the music. Not bad; a nice folk singer, just him and his guitar - gentle music, music that makes your soul want to sing-along. Thank God they've not brought in one of those disco's - the noise from those things really is enough to wake the dead! At least the party's not a total farce - they got this bit right; it appeals to young and old alike, this - everybody's happy. I wish people would dance, I've always enjoyed a bit of a knees-up, 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?! Freddy's seeming to want a bit of shush. Poor chap on the guitar hadn't even finished that last tune. Always was a ride bugger, that Fred. Oh no, 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.