Tuesday, January 19, 2010


On new-years’ eve Savage Kitten fell asleep early. She usually does so – she’s not given to wild abandon. New years’ eve is our anniversary, and for most of the past twenty years she has been in dreamland by ten o’clock. Which means that on our anniversary I usually sneak out in time to hear Auld Lang Syne and have a couple of drinks.

By a stroke of amazing good luck I found a seat at my customary end of the bar.

Right next to D-Bob.


D-Bob is famous for two things: owning a dog that farts and being a conversational nightmare.

If I were to describe him as a walking disaster zone in whose presence all attempts at discussion shall collapse and shatter, go down in flames, die screaming, come a cropper, and even a Bermuda Triangle of discourse which will cause your social life and fellow-humanity to disappear, sink from sight, and be ingloriously forgotten, I could not possibly be accused of exaggeration.
He is indeed all that.
He is, furthermore, nearly unintelligible due to a casualness about enunciating properly.

Everything he says sounds like mumble mumble growl blurk.

I rather like D-Bob. Which is why I shall not tell you what the ‘D’ stands for.

He was already on his third or fourth Manhattan by the time I sat down next to him. The noise level in the bar was barely under jet-engine roar. D-Bob speaks in an unintelligible basso-profundo rumble. I am partially deaf.
A wiser man would have had second thoughts.
Mumble mumble growl blurk.


I had barely had my first sip before D-Bob started – "the singing is terrible".
I pretended I did not hear. It had sounded like "merging gooey hormone", which made NO sense, and for which the explanatory backstory might defy belief. In addition to mostly being mumble mumble growl blurk.
I decided that I really didn’t want to know.
So he repeated it. Several more times. Mumble mumble growl blurk.
I finally comprehended.

"The gurzazing giz ..... zzz ..... turrurrabrrrrrrrrrr!"

As a conversational gambit it was not stellar.
If he expected me to do anything about it, he was disappointed.
I will not sing. I do not go there for the music.

Several more times he made observations.
None of them were particularly worth noting, no discussion was necessary (or even possible), his comments were entirely apropos of nothing, and non-sequitorial entirely. Irrespective of my reaction (or lack thereof), he repeated himself several more times until I understood.
Mumble mumble growl blurk.

He punctuated mumble mumble growl blurk by frequently howling incomprehensible encouragement at the singers.
Each time he did so it startled other customers, who would drop their drinks or look in our direction with blanched faces.
They probably expected him to start growing fangs, and hair on his hands.
Mumble mumble growl blurk.

At quarter past eleven he began to make desperate sounds about champagne.
‘There was no champagne in evidence, the cheapskates that ran the bar would probably not provide champagne, he was pissed that there was no champagne, how dare they the bastards why wasn’t there any champagne he wanted champagne there should be champagne!!!’
Mumble mumble growl blurk.

After a long discussion, the agony of which it is impossible to describe, it became clear that he thought it was already twelve o’clock. Time for champagne.
I showed him my watch. Eleven fifteen.
Oh my who'da thunkit.
Mumble mumble growl blurk.

Less than five minutes later he was at it again - he had now convinced himself that my watch was wrong wrong wrong and I was covering for the owners.
The world was intent on cheating him out of free champagne.
Mumble mumble growl blurk.

"Why is there no champagne I want some champagne champagne is traditional these cheap bastards champagne I don’t see no champagne its time for champagne there should be champagne hey where’s the champagne it will soon be too late for champagne I gotta have champagne on new year always champagne every year champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne where is the champagne?"

Mumble mumble growl blurk.

He paused long enough to leave one dreading the next outburst, then reapplied himself to the complaint with greater vigour.
Forty solid minutes of mumble mumble growl blurk champagne blurk mumble champagne champagne growl champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne champagne.

Mumble mumble growl blurk.

At one point I indicated that I did not like champagne, and was therefore entirely uninterested in the issue – apparently this meant that I was a Grinch and a communist.

Mumble mumble growl blurk.

Champagne, dammit, champagne!

Mumble mumble growl blurk.

Then another terrifying yell of encouragement to a singer "yarr Heather zngngng baytchrrrrr yow!"
This made a small blonde girl nearby start weeping and hiccoughing. He had caused her to swallow her entire drink.

"Growzr champagne zurg gargle ztramperz cheapzguts champagne!"

At three minutes to twelve, the bar staff announced that champagne was served and to please go over to where the glasses were lined up to get some.
This sent D-Bob into a fury – the glasses were at the other end of the bar!
"Outrageous! The bastards! I’m seventy, I don’t have to walk! Go get me some champagne! I am NOT going over there, no how, they should bring it to me! Damn them! Why won’t you go get me some – bring TWO glasses, because you aren’t drinking it anyhow, I'll drink yours. Three! Go on, I ain't getting up, champagne, you get it."
Mumble mumble growl blurk.

Once more I elucidated my complete lack of interest in champagne (it gives me a headache).
He responded by explaining at very great length that I was the ogre who destroyed new years, it was utterly unforgiveable, I obviously did not have any friends, did I ever even have sex, hah, and why wasn’t I up there singing, how could I live with myself, the nerve of me denying an old man his free glass of champagne.
I was antisocial, lacked all the proper courtesies, and delighted in ruining everyone else’s celebration. I was the very bloodsucker of happiness.

Dammit, I was just awful. A horrible man.

Mumble mumble growl blurk.

I moved to the other side of the room and enjoyed the rest of the evening by myself.

From a distance, I could hear him going off on someone else.

It turns out that the champagne glasses were too small cheap bastards did you see how tiny those champagne glasses were idiots he had had to drink FOUR of them they should’ve had better more larger nicer bigger champagne he wished he'd had more champagne dry another glass so tiny he was incredibly disappointed sons of bitches there's still champagne over there damned if he would go and get it next year they should put him in charge of champagne.

Mumble mumble growl blurk.

Next year I hope he stays at home with his farting dog.

Mumble mumble growl blurk.


e-kvetcher said...

D-bob sounds like Milton from Office Space...

Anonymous said...

I bet that he looks forward to "Talk like a pirate day" every year!


Spiros said...

"But...that's my red stapler..."

I'm the bloody Pope, I am! said...

I may not know much about art, but I konw what I like!

Anonymous said...

It gives me a headache also.


solicitously amphibious said...

D-Bob gives you a headache?

horshackianly amphibious said...

OOOOHHH!!! OOOHHH!!! I know what the "D" in "D-Bob" stands for!!! OOOHHH!!! OOOHHHH!!!

Anonymous said...

No Horshack, the champagne gives me a headache plus it makes me chunder. I never had the pleasure of meeting D-Bob but I suspect that is a pain at the other end.


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