Sunday, August 15, 2004

Curse my metal body

Well, that’ll learn me. After my tirade against boredom, fate intervened to smack me upside the head with a flurry of non-stop activity as my world shifted almost imperceptibly on its axis with changes, magic, celebration and adventure. This is a long one, so grab yourself a drink and find a comfy chair. Here’s what happened next:

Thursday

Even though my last day at work was Friday, I was wished farewell the afternoon before, so that the MD could tell me how great I was. I don’t blame her. I understood her overwhelming urge to foist a stream of platitudes upon me. And, of course, I am great. False modesty be damned.

Pleasantries were exchanged, and then she handed over my leaving gift. The Starsky & Hutch Season 1 DVD box set! It was just what I wanted! It was easy for them to get me just what I wanted, seeing as Beckett, Coupland and I had sneaked on over to the HMV Trocadero a couple of hours earlier, where I got to pick it out myself.

After I’d bagged my booty, I hustled my ass on over to the Metropolitan Bar on Baker Street to OD on lime-tinged beer. Five hours of drinking, bullshitting and spitballing ideas back and forth across the table in the company of my brothers.

I have an innate inability to get to sleep when Mrs. AKA isn’t at home, so I finally bedded down at 2.30am, catching four hours sleep before rousing at 6.30am for my last day.

Friday

Obviously, I was late for work. Not much they could do about it at that point. Wolfed down two sausage and egg McMuffins to settle my rebellious stomach. It wasn’t so much a hangover, as the queasy instability I usually feel when I haven’t had nearly enough sleep.

I compounded my culinary errors at lunchtime by forcing down a foot long Italian B.M.T with all the trimmings. ALL the trimmings. It sat in my stomach like a vicious meat demon kicking away for the rest of the afternoon, whilst I tried to distract my evil gut with a CD of Nigerian funk. Beckett & I spent the remainder of my last working day throwing bottles of mineral water down our throats in preparation for the evening’s festivities.

Which kicked off shortly after 5pm at the Glasshouse Stores. Far more people than I had expected to attend were there. No doubt due to the fact that word got out that the company credit card would also be making an appearance. And the boozing commenced, as I sat there with a beer in my hand and a bad case of the meat sweats.

As the booze flowed fast and furious, the artificial barriers of office politics melted away in the corrosive face of beer fumes, and home truths were spat out with humour and vitriol. It was awesome, watching people sliced and diced with the odd well-chosen putdown. I just sat back and enjoyed the show, with the Big Brother final lurking in the background on a muted TV screen.

Much later on, when we had all lost the ability to talk about anything coherently, I noted with as much detached coolness and nonchalance as someone as drunk as I was could muster up, the following observation: “That dude over there is C-3PO”. This was met with a combined chorus of “Bollocks!”, “Who?”and “So what?”. As usual, those who doubted my mutant ability to identify anyone remotely significant in the celluloid world would tremble at the truth of my words.

Anthony Daniels (for it was he) was a gracious, kind and erudite guest at our epic bacchanalian debauch, and we had to keep reminding ourselves that this man was the iconic Lucasfilm gaybot beloved by generations of Star Wars gazers.

He sat and drank with us for an hour (despite the best attempts of his Fox PR bodyguards to wrest him away from us), and regaled us with tales of galaxies far, far away. He was professional enough not to spill any plot details of Episode III, and we were smart enough not to ask. I like to think that we didn’t come across as a bunch of sweaty geeks. He may think differently.

At the end of the evening, he wished me good luck with my new job, and handed over a glossy picture of one of cinema’s most famous robots, emblazoned with the legend: “To AKA, with Force! Anthony Daniels.” It was a perfect end to a perfect evening.

Saturday

Normally, Saturdays are synonymous with lie-ins. Not then, though. For her birthday, I had purchased a maternity massage as a joint gift for Mrs. AKA and our soon-to-be bouncing bubba, so we had to get down to Marylebone High Street for midday.

Whilst Mrs. AKA was being pleasurably rubbed down by a pro, I bought a couple of second hand Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels, and then went and sat in the blazing dry heat outside a pub, with the previous night’s excesses oozing from my pores, gently sipping a Coke. (It was 32 degrees that day, for those of you with goldfish memories).

Following a phenomenally hearty lunch at Giraffe with my newly kneaded lifemate, we pounded the pavements shopping. Well, Mrs. AKA shopped. I carried the fruits of her spending.

As the sun set, we ended the day with Fahrenheit 9/11 and a curry. So far, I was batting three for three on the eve of my break between jobs.

But with the highest highs, sometimes follows the lowest lows. But I’ll save that for next time….

By the way, this blog posting is dedicated to the memory of his royal badness, the superfreak and underrated funkateer, Rick James. Long may he continue Bustin’ Out.

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