Posted by: joha5 | May 9, 2010

Alice & The Famous Grouse

I woke up on Saturday morning at 8:30am brutally hung over after playing a game of poker with my friend’s into the early hours of the morning.  My head ached.  My mouth was dry.  It was time for a shower.  As I let the warm water wash over my body and the scent of Dove shower gel waft into my nostrils I began to feel invigorated.  I began to feel invigorated because today I was going to England.  I was going to France.  I was going to Iceland.  I was going to Sweden. 

You may be wondering how I could possibly accomplish all of this by the early afternoon.  Well wonder no longer.  Today was the European Union Open House day in Washington, D.C.  Every single country in the EU were showcasing their wares to the American public and I was determined to be one of the first in line.  I have been trying to get a job at the British Embassy for the past few months and have not had much luck getting anybody to talk to me, let alone allow me to enter the grounds to solicit advice from employees.  However, today was my opportunity.  Today was my Trojan Horse day.  I stepped onto the 40,000 square foot piece of property in downtown Washington, D.C. and I knew that now was my time to strike. 

On the grounds of my dream job!

 I walked through gardens.  I passed by cardboard cutouts of David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and Gordon Brown.  I saw a police officer standing outside a replica of 10 Downing Street with a truncheon taking pictures with shameless members of the public.  There was even a fake London telephone booth on the grounds as well for simpletons who are amused by things like that.  And then, off in the distance, I saw what I had come here: The British Culture Tent.  What’s more is that it was located directly next to the food and beverage tent complete with cheap food and free Famous Grouse Whisky.  Job or whisky?  Whisky or job? 

One Famous Grouse won’t hurt me before I go to the job tent.

I stopped by and they quickly gave me one.  I sat down and began preparing myself for who I was going to meet, what I was going to say, and how I was going to say it.  As I was going over some literature I had already snapped up on the walk around the grounds, an old and wrinkled 75 year-old asian lady sat down next to me. 

“Well, hi there son!  My name’s Alice.  It’s nice to meet you” she said in one of the thickest Texas accents I had ever heard in Washington, D.C. (I’ve heard thicker in Texas).  Obviously, I was taken aback.

“Hi Alice” I said as I cautiously extended my hand to shake her’s.  “My name is Jon.  Pleased to meet you”.  She smiled and accepted my salutation. 

Oh boy.  Here we go. 

We began our conversation and it started off great.  I told her part of my life story.  She told me about her.  I told her why I was here.  She told me why she was there.  After about 5 minutes I felt as though the conversation had reached its breaking point.  I had nothing more to say to her.  I hoped she had nothing more to say to me.  Conversation was not happening organically.  Most people at this point take a hint and just move on.  That or they shut up.  Alice did neither. 

We would wait two minutes in awkward silence staring straight ahead and she would say something boring and inane like ‘beautiful weather we’re having today’.

“Yup.  I love days like today”, I would say in a responsive yet distance manner.

“Sure is”, she’d reply.

I would scoot my seat about 6 inches away from her and turn my shoulder slightly to one side indicating that I was no longer interested in carrying out this conversation anymore.  I picked up some pamphlets to read through and began to prepare for my moment in the job tent while obviously demonstrating my belief that the conversation had reached its finale. 

“Mmmm Mmmm…that food sure does smell good.”

“Yes Alice.  Yes, it does.  Great food.”

I didn’t snap at her but I was getting bored of this awkward conversation and I needed to get myself pumped up for what I was about to do in the job tent.  I just tried to make it clear that I no longer wanted to speak with her.  I put my head down and began to read.

“…Jon?”

“What Alice?  What is it?”

“I like this Famous Grouse.  Do you like it?”

“Yes Alice.  It’s great.”

“Would you get me some more please when you go up again?”

“Look Alice.  I have some stuff I have to do today while I am here and I really need to focus on it.  if you want some Famous Grouse.  Fine.  I’ll get you some Famous Grouse.  But please, I really need to do some work afterwards.”

I stood up and made my way to the drink tent, picked up two glasses of Famous Grouse whisky and reluctantly returned to my seat next to this senseless woman. 

“Here Alice.  Famous Grouse.”

“Oh thanks, Jon.  That’s so sweet of you”. 

I took a deep swig of my whisky to put up with my deep frustration with Alice, took a deep breath, turned my chair almost all the way around, and began to read once again.  I lasted for no longer than 3 minutes before I heard this woman’s shrill accent again.

“Mmmm Mmmm…nice weather, isn’t it Jon?”

“Okay Alice.  I have to go now.  Enjoy your drink”

I stood up and walked away towards the job tent feeling rattled by this little old Texan lady. 

“Where are you going Jon?  Are you getting more Famous Grouse?” she said in a last-ditch effort for some attention and for some booze.  I ignored her and walked into the job tent ready to await my fate.  I walked in and made my way towards the British Council table.  As it entered my vision I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  All of the people who were standing behind the table had peach fuzz on their faces, training bras on their torso’s, and pimples emerging from their oily and unkempt teenage skin. 

“Hi guys,” I said as I approached the desk.  “I just wanted to talk to somebody at the British Council regarding employment and I was wondering if there was anybody that I could speak with?”

“Aww jeez mister.  We sure can’t help ya there!  We’re just here volunteering with our school.”

“Sooo…nobody is here that can help me?  I thought that was why this table was here in the first place.”

“Yeah, it is.  Just not this one.  Sorry mister.”

Defeated, angry, irritated, and now mildly buzzed thanks to Alice, I returned to the Famous Grouse table and asked for another one.  I turned around and made my way back to the first open seat I saw.  I set my stuff down on the ground next to it, reclined in the plastic chair, exhaled took another swig  of Famous Grouse, held my cup up to my neighbor and said “Cheers Alice.  Pleased to see you again.”

“Hi Jon!  You wouldn’t mind getting me another drink would you, Jon?”

“No Alice.  Anything for you.”

If you ever see a woman named Alice with a bottle of this in her hand...RUN.

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Responses

  1. For how terrible she is, I feel like Alice would have fit in with us in college.

  2. Oh my God. You would have pledged Alice so good.

  3. Given how colorful and animated he is as a rule, are you sure it was a cardboard cutout of Gordon Brown and not the real thing?

    • Haha! Hey W.K.! I doubt it was him but it had just about as much personality and substance as the real man though. I am sure you heard by now that he is resigning from leader of the Labour Party. Hopefully they will get somebody a bit more dynamic and interesting in there rather than somebody with the personality of soggy bark.


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