"He has more friends than me," my mother would breeze, rubbing it in all the more that I actually knew no-one close. I challenged this often and the response was always, "Well, you know more people than me."
"The way to handle the nonsense about my having all these friends is to listen to the incessant ringing of the phone and the jostling of vulgar pals, my invisible nights out and non-stop socialising ..."
This gave the impression that I was privy to the phone conversation and when I included my mother with a
"Yes, I was just saying about the way to nip my boasting in the bud about my wild social life and bulging address book of friends is to count the phone calls and never-ending mob of 'friends' charging thru the house.",
thus giving the impression that the pal had confided in me.Endless japes in this direction, quoting direct and seamlessly inserting my eavesdroppings into conversation as if we were one big sharing family ~ 'as you know, my mother prefers my brother's medical advice and diagnoses, but all it takes is lip-service in that direction and holding steadfast to mine and Yiorgas' plan.'
A vital ingredient of simpering is to agree and many actually did hold critical opinions which they'd even lower their voice en phone to deliver. These I'd recyle with the breeziest smile, as if recalling that day's weather forecast.
It really is a most excellent device, no tape to run out or rewind. The only trouble is that I haven't worked out a filing system by which I can mark where conversations and content start and finish. I'm told that with my Tascam music gizmo I'm able to insert a single note at a precise place in a bar.
Speaking of music, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite have a new album out ... a well-timed birthday.
Found another lover - story of my life.
Erratum ~ fair do - I was wrong about Takis but the Bistro had outer lights blazing. Didnt see inside but it seemed to be open.
Anyway, drop it. She's usually right and I have no intention of giving her satisfaction of being right here. Pretend I was thinking of Harry's, or suggest Famiglia.
Anyway, Dido has a new album out so I was playing her and Grafton Street is a cute little numero. Wonder what the story behind that is.
When I went back to Hong Kong around '95 I was asked to write english lyrics to a local band's cantonese lines so i just went a bit wild and wrote over-soppy mysterious little stories to the tunes. They seemed to fit so I banked the cheques and thought no more.
The band got locally famous and I was told the lead chanteur wove a whole history round them to the point where the music press were actually trying to track down the women in the song. In two cases the chicks owned up, 'yes it was me' and their lives fitted the lines which was weird.
I also wrote fortunes for each Chinese New Year (Feb 10, this year, Water Snake, name day of my pals Hara and Zinonos.)
I was so fed up with churning out the same old roobish that, for the Ramada Inn Wanchai, I decided to get detailed: "You are foolish to be away from your desk [very oriental, resonates from CEO to pupil], hasten home where family and business need your strong guidance. Fie on the mini-bar! But you will never learn, will you? Even bullish partners are not to be trusted. Remember what made you the success you are and retrieve that strength." Blah blah.
Eh bien, seems that a certain money-bags Mr Abe was staying, wrasslin' with alcoholism (minibar) and so out of touch with his own business that a palace coup was in place during his 5-day absence. Abe-san cut short his visit, returned in time to catch his trusted partner (Year of the Ox) fiddling the books, heart to heart talk with wifey, routed lover, and saved the day.
Made lifetime booking with Ramada, donated moolah for new decor of the Wanchai and built another hotel ... declared their fortune teller a genius.
My boss was pleased and said that a room in the new hostelry would be named to my choice, so I chose Stephanie which translates badly into See-tai-fun-lay, of which the Fun Lay amused us until they stopped being fun.
Little things like that. I believe there's still a Stephanie room, 6/F, harbour view.