I have a good friend that I take great delight in winding up. It’s for his own good. That’s what friends do. I like to challenge him a bit because he has picked up some bad habits from his colleagues. He works as a foreman and occasionally spouts views which most of us would find a bit “old fashioned”; having heard many conversations with these guys I am sure that they are the source. I’m not sure he even realises he is being slightly racist or slightly homophobic and I have never seen him direct any genuine malice towards anyone except Everton supporters, but (and this is important) the osmosis of casual bigotry should never be underestimated………
“Urgh I HATE all this Twilight vampire shit!”
We are in a dark and friendly pub and there is a band playing. What they lack in musical finesse they attempt to make up for in volume, hair and eyeliner. In homage to the Gods of Rock’n’Roll they are all taking macho boozy swigs as they play. I can’t help but think this would be more Rock’n’Roll if they weren’t drinking Bacardi Breezers. Still, you can’t have everything.
In the darkest corner, two androgynous Goths are doing their own version of a French Kiss. It looks a bit like an illegal dog fight, only less romantic. In another corner an older couple drink their drinks without talking, he is looking at his phone and she is looking at him like she hates him. The way she looks at him tells me they are married, that she’s fed up of having his skidmarks stare back at her from the laundry basket every morning like the eye of Sauron, fed up of having to listen to his “morning wee” and that sad little clown’s fart he always does at the end. Fed up of the way he always has to “breathe”. Someone is speaking to me.
“I said I HATE all this Twilight vampire shit!”
He’s using the same tone that most people reserve for cancer or Tony Blair (But not the one they’d use if Tony Blair ever got cancer).
“The Twilight Films? I’ve never seen them.”
“I watched the latest one the other day, it’s sooo gay”.
“Isn’t it just Vampires-who-do-karate against Werewolves-that-do-karate with a heterosexual love story woven in?”
“Basically, yeah” he raises his pint at my succinct and inaccurate description of a global phenomenon.
“Well,” I say “Minus the heterosexual love story it sounds a bit like your favourite film – Blade”
He looks shocked, like I have shoved a big pink stake through his heart. He is so easy to wind up.
“IT IS NOTHING LIKE BLADE!”
“Well isn’t that about a black vampire who knows karate?”
“Yes but it’s not gay in any way. It’s Wesley Snipes man!”
“A muscular black man dressed head to toe in black leather who beats up slightly effeminate caucasian vampires with a combination of his superior “karate” and his big shiny sword. Or he shoves his great big stake into them in slow motion? And don’t all those sexy caucasian vampires, the ones he hasn’t “impaled”, want to suck on him to gain some of his power? Don’t they want a bit of what he’s got inside them?”
“What? It’s not GAY!” He looks bewildered, like he’s just lost his virginity in a remand centre.
“No, of course not.” I pat his hand, “Of course not. But would it matter if it was?”
“No, of course not!” He downs his pint “Can I get you another?”
“Just a shandy please mate”
“Always the funny fucker aren’t you?”
I blow him a kiss and phone my wife.