Friday, July 20, 2007

So tired, tired of London...

Today was a good day, despite getting up at 5am and crossing the park to discover (by the tube station) that the furthest away gate doesn't open till 8am, thus forcing me to walk all the way back then around the perimieter fence which, at 6am, is not funny.

But still, I work in the media and today was an excellent filming day which might have been a long, hard slog had it not been for the fact that one of the stars of stage, screen and, tee shirts, was a complete professional, a joy to work with and brimming over with good humour. Excellent.

As a consequence, I miss lunch with a Hero of Our Time but am lucky enough to meet for an evening drink. In the Grapes, Shepherd Market, a former prositute's hangout (see Jeffrey Archer vs Monica Coughlin) but now one of several pubs serving the posh clientele in Mayfair.

I meet The Hero with a friend who disappears into the bar. He returns with the drinks and a declaration that at the bar he had been called a "fucking Jew". The Grapes is packed with posh hoorays so I assume that some disaffected trader with too much beer swilling around was out of order. Until Mr Ginger appears.

Mr Ginger is about 40, thin and sharp, his pointed freckly nose rippling with - oh - anger and hatred. He steps out the bar and faces up to my - Jewish - friend, declaring that he couldn't possibly not like fucking Jews because he knew loads of fucking Jews and they had- ahem - persecuted him all his life, fucking Jews that they were, but he didn't not fucking like them, and nobody better say that. Right? His taut little face, weaselly and freckly, was less than two inches from my friend's. The Jew.

Then Ginger weasel's mate appears, another thug, a mixed race East Ender with a giant scar trailing down his face, and he too wants to make sure that no fucker wants to suggest that he didn't like fucking Jews because, well, he didn't not like fucking Jews.

A third one, wearing a red football strip, comes out too and walks around behind us. The Hero and I have savvy antenna which are upright. This is not good news.

The ginger weasel, a bristling, angry hard nut was demanding to know why my Jewish friend seemed to think he hated "fucking Jews" becuase if he suggested that he hated fucking Jews, well, we'd see.

Scarface also wanted to know - moving in - why someone could possibly think his reasonable mate could possibly hate fucking Jews because if anyone said that his mate hated fucking Jews, he'd fucking have them. If they were Jewish, presumeably.

I think you might be getting the picture by now. Even if you're not Jewish.

The Hero and I interject but our solicitations are unwelcome - what the fuck did it have to do with us - and for a second an ugly vision appears before me. We are in a crowded, posh pub surrounded by bankers and traders but we have managed to find the three extras from Layer Cake. We try a lot of smiling and "Hey we're just having a good night out" but I'm expecting at any moment to be decked, or much, much worse. These three are not amateurs. It all lasts for about a minute or so until they lose interest and pull each other away, hissing and swearing, leaving a foul stench behind them and we go off into he night to embrace cast members from EastEnders and awesomely beautiful people, but quite unable to shake off the thought that the night could quite easily have taken a very different turn.


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