27 January 2010



Hitting 29 can induce one of at least half a dozen states of mind, ranging from relief to mindless panic. Nick went through the whole gamut of emotions here (as she does everyday). To say life with Nick is a fast, emotional roller-coaster, would be an understatement. Temperamental and (always) demanding, yet fun filled and (always) rewarding, she is one of a rare breed of women who lives and loves life to the full, is well educated and travelled, loves people and all the myriad forms of social interaction that they produce (the more diverse the better), has a fucking wicked sense of humour. She just rushes over you like a train; her energy sucks in everyone who meets her.Anyway, to celebrate all this a 'small gathering' is declared for b-day night. A gang of motley associates arrive early for the buffet of 'Food for Thought' chilli (quite honestly the best chilli recipe you are ever likey to taste), roast potatoes and nibbles of various olives, jalepeno peppers, Mexican refried beans (mushy peas), and a wide assortment of eclectic drinkeepoos brought by the guests.With that little lot dispatched, as well as a few cards of Doom 2, and other things, the posse had an aperitif at the Labour Club, after first calling into Jenny's new shop to wish her luck on the opening day (The Cave, Oxford Street, Whitstable. Sells candles, clothes, joss-sticks etc) . Even CJ managed to sink a few bevs without writing an article on poor, depressed people being mad and annoying him. So far so small.Little to our knowledge, or should I say mine, the whole of Whitsable knew of this 'small gathering', so, once back at HQ hundreds of very drunk people appeared from pubes and proceeded to eat, drink, smoke and trash everything in sight. It was, it turned out, a great party, with the Dover posse crapping all over the tVC 'party' peeps by staying awake all night and day and still managing to remain witty and interesting. Mia, ducked out and had a long sleep in the car, only to emerge full of beans in the morning."Just look what Steve's done to me", pipes Nick, appearing suddenly in front of me. The centre of her face is smeared in fruit pulp (I hope). "Why did he do that?". "Because I put a plum down his trousers."Fanny; Steve having the sweats and practising deep breathing exercises, sitting on the toilet, coz he'd lost it badly on Terr's cake. I think we all lost it rather severely on Terry's fungi surprise. "It was fucking unbelievable that cake" in tone of whispered awe. I didn't manage to get to 'bed' till 4pm, was up at 7pm for Blind Date, some nosh, a smoke before jumping in the car and blatting off up town to play Jump. By 4am I was well and truly scuppered and sneaked off home to have some sleep. Burning the candle at both ends, can sometimes have terrific rewards, but this weekend it just tired me right out. It's that fucking cake of Terri's, man, I'm still having serious flashbacks now, and that's 3 days later.
The party was made for me by Terri's cake, Oz's set, and that kind old boy in the Labour Club who bought me a Port and made me puke all over the loos (for the first time in years). In fact once I started puking I couldn't stop, and thought at one stage I would have to go home and crash out! But once I stopped throwing up alcohol there was always liquid cake to throw up instead.The drinking that went on before we even reached the Labia Club involved sinking as much piss, of whatever variety, as quickly as possible, just like in the good old days, which isn't surprising when you're in a room of resting/practising alcoholics. The Labia followed along in that rich, rewarding vein, and the party started to look as if it would surely follow, when Terri, heroine of the party, produced a small, square, brown cakey object, which everyone fell upon like a pack of malnourished clubbers, devouring mindlessly, heedless as to the consequences later on .....Yum yum. And later on, things that caught the eye; Louie me loochie cavorting throbbingly on top of the speaker stack, beating his chest apet-astically, Dawn dancing in her rightful place, yes, you've guessed it, back where she belongs, in the bosom of her chums astride the speaker, Now Ey giggling uncontrollably and (shock horror) actually taking off one of his many tops, surely for the first time ever! Martyn said to Steve "you know that fucking 'orrible rag you call a shirt?" "Yeah, our kid" says Steve. "It was a birthday present from me brother". "Well ah binned it", S & M snogging away passionately, Cath snogging away with a certain individual, Austin on tipp topp form (finally managing to batter down Louie's resistance and talk him in to allowing him to move in with him, although Louie now seems to think he's going to be involved in some weird sex practices involving animals the size of a donkey, well he hopes he is, that's if he's already not), the stallion conversation (and I had a dream about a stallion last night you bastards and he was the most beautiful example of male I've ever.....), Jasper playing our old records, very well too, timo performing admirably and all his mad bastard cohorts wearing us out yet again, ie Aaron sharing his plums with us, Pam shimmying away all night despite having a bad attack of indigestion, Pen managing to get absolutely slaughtered despite leaving the necessary "on the dashboard" of someone's car, I do not jest (see Austin's 10 commandments no.2) and he was actually quite amusing too and we only fell for 20 of his blags, thanks to Sara and her spag bol cake, and everyone else who helped make it a snorter of a party that at times almost had me crying in sheer ecstasy.

19 January 2010



Well, no drape hanging tonight, hurrah, no sweaty armpits before the dancing even starts, as the Jump Boys were bringing their own drapes. Allegedly that is. Once Louie and I realised it was 8.45 and still no sign of them, we decided we better put his very capable hands to use and stick some up pronto before the punters started coming (just as well really because they turned up way after people started entering the club). However, not letting a small matter like none of the DJs turning up worry us (Oz excitedly said he'd play all night if necessary), we merely got down to the serious stuff, like ripping the piss remorselessly out of each other and sinking some serious piss at the same time (well Steve and Martyn did anyway). Lumpy had a brain wave and managed to re-arrange the speaker stack, and it did make a vast improvement, and then the peeps started drifting in, just as Tim O sauntered through the door. Louie, by this time was already reaching nirvana, strutting his stuff as only he knows how on the dancefloor. The room was warming up nicely, with the arrival of those mad bastards from Dover and Folkestone who shall remain nameless, but let's just say that Aaron gave Louie a run for his Money on the floor, whilst Toby magnificently avoided the teeny-boppers that were standing 3 rows deep at the front of the floor. At 10ish the Jump boyos were spotted, and we relaxed even more than we already had been relaxing. The Whitstable posse were out in force tonight, which set the show nicely on the road to mayhem and debauched lunacy. In fact everyone was out in force. Spotted; Katee and Mikee making a grand rear entrance, hurrah, he's fanny, Cath for the first time in ages (you know what it's like when you get a new lover), Sue fresh from the vigours of driving a Roller around the previously quiet Kent country bends, Walt and Mrs Bates his new beau, Michael having a few hours off, Steve the artist for the first time in ages, and Pete the other artist, Anna in a floozy dress, Pammy Poos and Jonjily, and lots of bug eyed, red faced, sweaty handed individuals that we are lucky enough to have had the pleasure of sharing a nights entertainment with.The music was spot on, unlike the last proffering, although spot of the night must go to Sonar (who has now changed his name to Jes) who with his consummate mixing skills and topp tunes had everyone going for it quite severely. Grub was seen to have a little strop later when there was a minor disagreement over money, but nothing could detract from such a good night. After it was off to a certain house in Chavsham because a certain person was away, and you know what they say about whilst the cat's away, well, it's true. What went on here is really too debauched to put in these pages, but it was very alcohol inspired, if that's an excuse, and involved, for some, the using of a lot of energy. Cath taught us a few lip movements as we all watched her, through the door whilst giggling uncontrollably, Steve and S had a long, meaningful talk, I farted in Louies face, blowing his moustache off and stopping his snoring at the same time, Bungalow got jealous and hung over, Walter pretended to be crashed out so he could hear us slagging him off and trying to undo his fly, and Sandals danced all night. I missed work the next day, and in a gin sodden haze decided I should be honest about why I was away, so was, and then regretted it. Luckily we went home before the real debauchery took place 12 hours and 6 gallons of malt whisky later...

14 January 2010



Tejens 21st was a right larf. Although b-day shenanegans and high consumption of various pick n' mix stimulants and depressives were no excuse for what happened (I'll tell you later), we did enjoy ourselves. Somewhat.If I may be permitted to use an oxymoron, the posh Hackney house the party was in could not have been more ideally suited. An attendant garage, hastily draped with laid back consumerism, served as the Pen's-making-an-arse-of-himself-again-room, or chill area for short. A nice wooden dance floor and a cut-away balcony, complete with voyeurs, served the party peeeps very well for the specific purposes that they had envisaged. Other rooms to talk bullshit in included a kitchen, complete with table and chairs (I told you it was posh) and outside balcony (where Pen and Tejen kept disappearing from(!?)). What with such a famous next door neighbour as Christopher Biggins, who, incidentally did not come and spin a few tunes as we hoped he would, the scenario was complete. The stage was set. Cue lights and ..... action.First DJ to arrive (from the pub) was Oz who was unceremoniously slapped on the decks from 10.30 till 1.30 (just a short set, this one then?) At least it kept him and his big mouth out of trouble for a while, much to everybodies relief.Next on Tejen, who stayed on all night, till about 5, then when the floor was well and truly devoid and most people had gone home he let Jasper on, before Mark Sayer toughened it a tad. Sue politely informed him to 'Fuck off' which he did. Fluff forward in a non sexist way, of course to 12.It was an alcohol fuelled debauchery full of drunken yaks, flailing egos and an overwhelming sense of 'my god, it's just like someone's 21st birthday', etching itself in the air. Down the pub at 12 for a top up, only helped increase the sense of surreal bizarreness.
And I only have one word to say "Chuddas!!"
untrammelled energy

7 January 2010



We love Afi and Philip. They embody and epitomise all that's right about the underground London party promoters. They love their friends, their DJ's, their music, their art and, ahem, other things. It all came out in this party.As Woolwich Eau Zone (formerly the Tramshed) regulars, never have we seen the room look so good. Naguals UV 3D mindscapes spring to life. A large, movable 12' tall puppet, which sporadically came to life, illuminated the stage, along with the skinny, tripped out papier mache 4' face mask. A lizard hung from the ceiling and various other wierdnesses scattered round the room caught the eye and entertained immensely, complimenting the wiggy left field pumping antics of The Housedoctor, off to Aussie to take a job. He's a, er, Dr, believe it or not and his leaving was the reason for the party. No flyers, just a wee letter to the mail list, reduced entrance fee (a very nice touch), and all the buzz of an impromptu, last minute gathering brought out an eclectic FLY crowd. And I tell you what, we all went for it. What a brilliant night it was. Dare I be so bold as to say, the best of the FLY parties we've been to, to date. DJ of the night? Don't know his name. but he played early in the big room around 12ish. More please.

Having already decided early Saturday morning that I wasn't going to go out that night, I watched in despair as everyone arranged their lifts and I realised that even if I decided to go I would not have a lift.(Yes you guessed it, the tVC mobile was playing up again!! The old tVB mobile having been stolen over the Christmas hols by some dodgy individual who proceeded to dump it, strangely enough, outside the Chaversham swimming baths. Suffice to say, we have our suspicions.) However, after stropping round the room, feeling close to tears as I envisaged a long, long, lonely night, alone, on my own, with no chums to take the piss out of and nothing to watch on TV, realising that everyone else was going to have an excellent night out, especially as I wasn't to be there, and that no one was bothered if I came or not, I volunteered to drive, having borrowed Sally's AA card previously. Feeling slightly better, now I knew I was no longer missing out on anything, I allowed myself to start to enter into the spirit of things, especially when I saw who was to be coming in our car (oo er). Now Ey, and Mr and Mrs had all been propping the bar up all night and looked suitably lubricated, when we managed to prise them away, and pour them into the car. Quick check of our fluid levels and we were off, wa hey. Despite a few arguments with the back seat driver occupying the front seat (guess who?), who still hasn't passed his driving test (I always get that one out), although you would never have gathered by the authoritative way in which he tried to take control of the situation, a strenuous gritting of the teeth prevented major bloodshed combined with a feigning of deafness.Thank fuck we arrived before I began to regret coming. So being a sad, ignorant twat with absolutely no consideration or willing to give a millimetre to anyone, anytime, especially that fucker that I live with, we arrived. I dumped the sad fucker immediately and proceeded to make a complete arse of myself and all my so called friends, embarrassing everyone within earshot as my foul mouth was swung into gear. Now I don't know about you but what I find most effective is simply to drink 10 pints of lager, pop a few pills and, bobs yer uncle, foul mouthed. Thank fuck I'm reasonably goodlooking enough to just get away with it. Anyone else would have had a damn good slappin' by now. The charmed life of a not bad looking short-arsed big mouth. Toodle pip.Despite initial misgivings, with Paul saying that if we didn't fancy it we could go at 3, we found that the numbers of us sitting timidly on the nether regions of the dance floor, rapidly began to disperse, as Paul was the first on the floor (which he never left all night), swiftly followed by the rest of us. Mike secured the stage (a move Dawn would have proud of, although if she had have been there I don't think she would have allowed Mike the unlimited access to it that he enjoyed) and Katee his beloved and Nick proceeded to wave at him whilst doing silly dances. Paul started his' lets wave a lighted fag around and pretend it's a torch' dance very early in the evening. Nick danced so ferociously she had to stagger out to the toilets, where on looking in the mirror she was horrified to see a purple faced, swollen, steaming thing looking back at her. Half an hour later, it still hadn't died down, and she was much quieter on her return to the dancefloor. (Remember she had already been dripping with sweat in the car, before she even hit the club. That's why she regards Stevie Sea with jealous disbelieve, as he can dance all night (and other things we hear!), wearing at least 2 thick tops, without his top lip even breaking out in a sweat. Bastard.) There was one person who sweated more, but that's another story. Anyway Afi and Philip, we really had a jolly good time, the music staying just the nice side of hard all night, the crowd was well chummy, and the club nicely cosyfied with the hangings. Quick exit to car, once ended (not before seeing Martyn nearly pull down his whole amp rack, as a speaker wheel got caught on a lead, whoops) quickest drive back to Kent yet, with no arguing at all, Mikee gurning becomingly in the back seat while everyone laughed at him sniggeringly, momentary feeling of mind numbing fear, as we realised that yet again we had 4 and a half hours to wait till the pubs opened, aargh, only to be saved by aforementioned Mike who gave us a bottle of plonk (which Now Ey wouldn't drink coz it was 'too bitter' (I kid ye not!!) (what do they drink in Scouseland ?)), which Nick managed to consume, even though she wasn't going to drink, quick drive over to Fav once the pubs opened to rescue TVB (which had been stolen 3 weeks previously and mysteriously turned up outside the *&$@*?+£!) only to find it's inside had been totally stripped out!, so back to Whitstabubble and got totally rat-arsed, again. And so the sun sets on another excellent weekend.

6 January 2010



Off into the night we wandered, wondering? Was it true that our favourite DiY DJ's were playing somewhere near tonight? Every effort was made, but this remained an unsubstantiated rumour, so after an embarrassing attempt to get into the club, that hopefully none saw (it has been an arduous festive season that has taken its toll on the synapses) we committed ourselves to the cavernous interior of Atomics.What a cold night, and where were the people? Warmed by the vibrant colours around us and the chummy nature of the few people that were there, we persevered, and well! When you least expect it, a good party happens. Whoever it was that played from 12 till 2, cheers mate, you lifted our spirits up to the usual housey heights, and for 2 hours we blissfully stomped and gurned away, our pleasure only marred by a few overly persistent males who ought to have known better. At 2am our spirits were treated to the brightly illuminated, muddy, bottle strewn floor - why does this keep happening? We need to party all night. An hours of 'where's the next party' ineptitude and bungling dispensed with and we found ourselves on the doorstep of Vogue. Welcome back to Kent Bonny, nice to see your smiling face again (cheers for letting us in for free). However, the rumbling erratic beats of Jungle failed to please us the way it obviously pleased the people around us, so the house whores made a speedy exit just in time to avoid being nicked for illegal parking and just in time to save the night with the sweet tunes of our most recently acquired tape and a blazing fire to consume us. Out again tonight, girls?!

5 January 2010



Not the best night we've ever had to be honest. In fact most probably the worst. Don't know if it was a case of "oh no, not another party" fatigue or sheer exhaustion or over stimulation frazzling our brains. Maybe a bit of all and a few more. Personally I couldn't wait to get home to bed.Matt Wools was too hard for these overtly fragile ears and Rob Phelps wasn't on top form.They can't all be "there" ya know. Can they? ALL THE TIME?WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING....?

3 January 2010



At last, after a year of waiting, the annual 'let's scramble anything there is left to scramble' sesh had arrived, in the opulent confines of a very comfy, country hotel. Filled with various leftovers and wrecks from the previous week, nay years partying, all who managed to get there proceeded to get disgustingly drunk, loved up and happy and began to party in the most arms in the air, arms round each other, arms down each others keks sort of way. All formal niceties and social conventions having been swiftly done away with due to the already fragile state of the assembled peeps, it was a swift lets get down to business sort of bash, the business being each other and just how much fun it was possible to have in as many different positions as possible; and there's a lot!Nicky opened proceedings (yes, yet again) with a seamlessly mixed blend of electrifying new imports straight off the plane (well they were last year, 93 I mean), and managing to get a few toes tapping, almost in time. She was still quite quiet and lucid at this point, i.e. she hadn't managed to drink all of her's and Pauls secret beer stash, yet, and Paul made the most of it. However, it must be admitted, by the end of her set, she was swearing more profusely, in a much louder voice, as the secret stash of beers reduced greatly in number (luckily unnoticed by Paul, who remained oblivious to the depleted state of the stash all night). Followed by Tejen who got everyone moving in a workmanlike manner, whatever that is, things hotted up perceptible and the room filled nicely (probably as everyone tried to escape Maurice's awful Big Country's Greatest Hits CD playing in the bar. I kid you not!) It was at this stage that a profusion of smiles started to break out on everyones faces and sweaty embraces started to be exchanged along with even sweatier intimacies. For those who couldn't take the hectic pace of the throbbing, seretonin drenched dancefloor, there were a variety of sumptuous boudoirs to take advantage of, where, you guessed it, smiles broke out, sweatier embraces were exchanged and extremely sweaty intimacies exchanged in the splendour of magnificentfour poster beds. Indeed, so comfortable were some in the prone position the party was over by the time they awoke from their reverie. Parties within a party, within a party.And the night continued in that great big throbbing vein, with love drenched party peeps hugging into the late hours of the next day. Peeps spotted entering into the spirit of things ; M & M, sound mechanics of the Faversham variety, especially Maurice who was looking extremely frazzled by the time morning drew near and he realised that he had to go up to London accompanied by his trusty humper to clear up their mess from New Years eve; Mikee who minus his dancing princess was very quiet and subdued (well until later that is Kate!); the totally mad Dover and Folkestone posse who wore everyone out, again, and they certainly know who they are, no-one from Whitstable, what-so-ever, probably too partied out after the excesses of the New Year to struggle a few miles down the road; Nick D cleaning the toilets (blocked) the next morning wearing fetching pink, shit stained gloves; Sal and Sara, Sal extremely LF factor no.10 it must be said;Stevie Sea diddlin just fine putting Jodie back into a coma as soon as she managed to regain a modicum of consciousness, Pamee Poos and Jon bouncing and stumbling away happily until the early /late hours and Jon amusing everyone later on that morning exhibiting his boy racer tendancies to the amused bewilderment of the assembled peeps, Gazzer in his tarty pink top slinking around and rubbing himself on Ed's fixtures stroke equipment, Sue barely recovered from her smelly swellings that had ruined her Chrimbo celebs tripping about, Oz and his bouncetastic set, Kier and Tom getting deep and dirty just the way we like them, Ed handling everyone with aplomb (oo er) as his mum had slipped over that afternoon and broken her ankle so was unable to help, but Ed performed very well, even cooking those dodgy sound men their steak and chips, Warren and Justine shaking a leg and everyone who could be at all bothered to get up off their arses and make the effort. It was worth it, lets hope the rest ot the year goes as well, and we love you all, forever!

Well, the annual gathering of the Kent Fluffcore was everything we expected and of course a little more (the best ones always are.)Luxurious opulence is a long way from grass covered sites tucked out of sight. Toilet facilities with tiles on the walls, mirrors and, gasp, hot water are a fuck of long way from crouching behind a bush,over a hole with a look of paranoia on the old gish, and a dock leaf in your hand. Plus no gennys to keep full of fuel or marquees to erect. But still plenty of humping gear. Somethings never change.With the four poster room designated the, er, relaxation area and the large dining room the dance arena (not area, arena), the bar served the useful purpose of a bar (as opposed to a chill out zone). A suitable sound track of extremely crap muzak sufficed the suffering suppers but only for as long as it took to get a drink and piss off somewhere else. What where those dodgy sound and light merchants, in cahoots with our management playing at? Still, that's the only complaint and even that isn't complaining too heavily. All we done was take the piss out of it, ad nauseam. Gosh, it was a jolly jape. The F...* word is never mentioned in fucking public now.After a hot meal and a hot something else (s.a.) and a few bevs a leisurely set up was followed by a few more beers and a few more hours relaxation giving praise to Jah before the 'work' began. If you call standing in reception area greeting wave after wave of gorgeously beautiful, smilingly lovely party peeps. Work? Friends all. Ain't that nice.The DiY international jet set junkies, had a pressing engagement in the city of sin where we hear all went well. Including Simon "Who are you?" DK losing his contact lens' and the crew drinking 4 grands worth of the hotels mini bar stock, and not paying. Tut tut. See Deadleg Reese for more details. Expected for the morning set, they couldn't make it to Kent, coz they didn't get back to Blighty till later that same day. Oh well, maybe next year.What can we say of our DJ's that hasn't already been said a 1000 times? (They weren't crap?) How many ways are there of describing a room full of lushed up people dancing and hugging themselves into a europhic crimplene torpor? How do you get 100's of gratuitous drug and fucking references into an article without actually mentioning it? Is there not a different way to say 'from 4am till 10am was fucking superb'? Or 'why did Ed get rat-arsed? The answer to these, and other, questions of moral conduct can be heard whispered in the corners of night clubs and living rooms across the land all through 1995's glorious summer of laugh. Nick no doubt right in the centre of it.

1 January 2010

You Were Perfectly Fine

by Dorothy Parker

The pale young man eased himself carefully into the low chair, and rolled his head to the side, so that the cool chintz comforted his cheek and temple.

"Oh, dear," he said. "Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear. Oh."

The clear-eyed girl, sitting light and erect on the couch, smiled brightly at him.

"Not feeling so well today?" she said.

"Oh, I'm great," he said. "Corking, I am. Know what time I got up? Four o'clock this afternoon, sharp. I kept trying to make it, and every time I took my head off the pillow, it would roll under the bed. This isn't my head I've got on now. I think this is something that used to belong to Walt Whitman. Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear."

"Do you think maybe a drink would make you feel better?" she said.

"The hair of the mastiff that bit me?" he said. "Oh, no, thank you. Please never speak of anything like that again. I'm through. I'm all, all through. Look at that hand; steady as a hummingbird. Tell me, was I very terrible last night?"

"Oh, goodness," she said, "everybody was feeling pretty high. You were all right."

"Yeah," he said. "I must have been dandy. Is everybody sore at me?"

"Good heavens, no," she said. "Everyone thought you were terribly funny. Of course, Jim Pierson was a little stuffy, there for a minute at dinner. But people sort of held him back in his chair, and got him calmed down. I don't think anybody at the other tables noticed at all. Hardly anybody."

"He was going to sock me?" he said. "Oh, Lord. What did I do to him?"

"Why, you didn't do a thing," she said. "You were perfectly fine. But you know how silly Jim gets when he thinks anybody is making too much fuss over Elinor."

"Was I making a pass at Elinor?" he said. "Did I do that?"

"Of course you didn't," she said. "You were only fooling, that's all. She thought you were awfully amusing. She was having a marvelous time. She only got a little tiny bit annoyed just once, when you poured the clam juice down her back."

"My God," he said. "Clam juice down that back. And every vertebra a little Cabot. What'll I ever do?"

"Oh, she'll be all right," she said. "Just send her some flowers or something. Don't worry about it. It isn't anything."

"No, I won't worry," he said. "I haven't got a care in the world. I'm sitting pretty. Oh, dear, oh, dear. Did I do any other fascinating tricks at dinner?"

"You were fine," she said. "Don't be so foolish about it. Everybody was crazy about you. The owner was a little worried because you wouldn't stop singing, but he really didn't mind. All he said was, he was afraid they'd close the place again, if there was so much noise. But he didn't care a bit, himself. I think he loved seeing you have such a good time. Oh, you were just singing away there, for about an hour. It wasn't so terribly loud, at all."

"So I sang," he said. "That must have been a treat. I sang."

"Don't you remember?" she said. "You sang one song after another. Everybody in the place was listening. They loved it. Only you kept insisting that you wanted to sing some song about some kind of fusiliers or other, and everybody kept shushing you, and you'd keep trying to start it again. You were wonderful. We were all trying to make you stop singing for a minute, and eat something, but you wouldn't hear of it. My, you were funny."

"Didn't I eat any dinner?" he said.

"Oh, not a thing," she said. "Every time the waiter would offer you something, you'd give it right back to him because you said that he was your long-lost brother, changed in the cradle by a gypsy band, and that anything you had was his. You had him simply roaring at you."

"I bet I did," he said. "I bet I was comical. Society's Pet, I must have been. And what happened then, after my overwhelming success with the waiter?"

"Why, nothing much," she said. "You took a sort of dislike to some old man with white hair, sitting across the room, because you didn't like his necktie, and you wanted to tell him about it. But we got you out before he got really mad."

"Oh, we got out," he said. "Did I walk?"

"Walk! Of course you did," she said. "You were absolutely all right. There was that nasty stretch of ice on the sidewalk, and you did sit down awfully hard, you poor dear. But good heavens, that might have happened to anybody."

"Oh, sure," he said. "Louisa Alcott or anybody. So I fell down on the sidewalk. That would explain what's the matter with my -- Yes, I see. And then what, if you don't mind?"

"Ah, now, Peter!" she said. "You can't sit there and say you don't remember what happened after that! I did think that maybe you were just a little tight at dinner -- Oh, you were perfectly all right, and all that, but I did know you were feeling pretty gay. But you were so serious, from the time that you fell down -- I never knew you to be that way. Don't you know, how you told me I had never seen your real self before? Oh, Peter, I just couldn't bear it, if you didn't remember that lovely long ride we took together in the taxi! Please, you do remember that, don't you? I think it would simply kill me, if you didn't."

"Oh, yes," he said. "Riding in the taxi. Oh, yes, sure. Pretty long ride, hmm?"

"Round and round the park," she said. "Oh and the trees were shining so in the moonlight. And you said you never knew before that you really had a soul."

"Yes," he said. "I said that. That was me."

"You said such lovely things," she said. "And I'd never known, all this time, how you had been feeling about me, and I'd never dared to let you see how I felt about you. And then last night -- oh, Peter dear, I think that taxi ride was the most important thing that ever happened to us in our lives."

"Yes," he said. "I guess it must have been."

"And we're going to be so happy," she said. "Oh, I just want to tell everybody! But I don't know -- I think maybe it would be sweeter to keep it all to ourselves."

"I think it would be," he said.

"Isn't it lovely?" she said.

"Yes," he said. "Great."

"Lovely!" she said.

"Look here," he said. "Do you mind if I have a drink? I mean, just medicinally, you know. I'm off the stuff for life, so help me. But I think I feel a collapse coming on."

"Oh, I think it would do you good," she said. "You poor boy. It's a shame you feel so awful. I'll go make you a whiskey and soda."

"Honestly," he said. "I don't see how you could ever want to speak to me again, after I made such a fool of myself last night. I think I'd better go join a monastery in Tibet."

"You crazy idiot!" she said. "As if I could ever let you go away now! Stop talking like that. You were perfectly fine!"

She jumped up from the couch, kissed him quickly on the forehead, and ran out of the room.

The pale young man looked after her and shook his head long and slowly, then dropped it in his damp and trembling hands.

"Oh, dear," he said. "Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear."


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