I stink of shit! That was the opening line of a God awful play I was forced to watch this evening. Mags has joined a local amateur dramatics group and this is their current production. Now as it's Mags, you know that this won't just be a "normal" theatre group, nope, it's a SLaG group (Straight, Lesbian and Gay). Now, call me strange but doesn't that pretty much cover everyone? Anyway, she's joined because Johann was going on and on and on and on and on about it. He said that their latest product dove so deeply into the essential divide that separates present day neo-neanderthal man from cro-magnificent woman. Magic, can't wait to see it. I tried the usual excuses but she just got really stroppy and stormed around the house slamming and banging things until I gave in.
Imagine the horror of being stuck, sat in the middle of the middle row, surrounded on all sides with no means of escape, forced to sit there and waste precious minutes of your life whilst some jumped up wooden actors prance and pronce about the stage.
The interval came and I was hoping we could just slope sneakily away. Surely no one in their right mind could have found THAT entertaining. I looked forward to getting home and having a cheeky beer and see what I've missed on TV. I put the perfectly valid proposition to her ladyship but she just looks at me in horror, shakes her head slowly, tuts a couple of times and sends me to the bar. Okay, it's not all bad, I can see how many beers I can down before curtain up, perhaps that will dull the pain!
I was heading back through the crowd with the drinks when I heard Mags and her cronies discussing the play. I hung back and listened.
"So you think the central underlying message is one of women being held accountable for men's aggression?", said a rotund bespectacled cardigan wearing crone called Gwen.
"Men are so stupid!", exclaimed Johann. Still, he should know. Then Mags piped up and this was worth listening to.
"You'd think evolution would have solved this problem for us girls by now. Why is it that they can't hang up a god damned towel on the bathroom radiator?", they all agreed. Anyway, I always hang up the towel correctly, cheeky cow.
" How is it that as soon as you move in together they revert back to child and you end up clearing up after them as if they are a dribbling 4 year old?", said Gwen. Now, here it comes. Mags' contribution to human knowledge and universal understanding.
"I blame robots!", she said. I'm not lying, she said it, "You may laugh but just think about it for a minute......" They stood pondering and nodding. Johann was making an annoying Mmmm noise.
"Robots! They make men feel uncomfortable, worry even - if a robot can crash test a car then what else can it do?", said continued.
"Men are increasingly finding themselves compared to women in the work place, perhaps they also wonder how things would be if a robot took their place?", added Gwen.
"It's so true, Gwen", said Johann.
"Would their girlfriends, or boyfriends, notice - or would they just be pleased that the towel is hung correctly that morning?", said Mags.
I couldn't stand the philosphising any more and came back with the drinks. They looked at me as if I had just bitten the head off a chimp. They snatched their drinks, which I had foolishly bought them and without so much as a nod of the head in thanks.
"So, what meanings did act one evoke in you Robert?", asked Gwen. Wow, she's speaking to me! I felt honoured.
"To be honest, I didn't get it.", I replied.
"I told you he wouldn't", said Mags.
"Men like him so often don't. No offence Robert", said Gwen.
"Perhaps you could explain a couple of things for me then?", I asked.
"Well, firstly what was the symbolic meaning of the bald man who kept saying 'Prompt' and 'Line, whats my line'?", I asked.
She scowled at me.
"I wasn't sure if he was drawing our attention to the way men forget where towels go", I said.
Mags gave me a dig with her elbow and was about to attempt a high volume discussion when we were called in for the much awaited act two.
I did well. I endured the second act and even shouted "Encore" and whistled loudly at the end. Again, I confess that the only thing that got me through the second act was the occasional glance at the clevage of the woman in row c. Absolutely fabulous.
When we got home Mags was in a strop and wouldn't speak to me. So, all's well that ends well.