Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Eddie Does Houston

Last evening I remembered why, considering all the traffic, Republicans, and pollution, I live so close to the fourth largest city in the U.S.

Two words: Eddie. Izzard.

I have only recently come around to his comedic stylings and I fell for him instantly. You see, he embodies several of the attributes I most cherish. He's erudite, profane, and gay (maybe not gay, but anyone who refers to himself as an "Executive Transvestite" is a least gayish). Oh, and British.

I was looking forward to seeing him swan onto the stage wearing something glittery and with eyeliner that could be seen even from the cheap seats. But, instead he appeared in jeans, coattails (or as I dream he would say, "a frock coat"), and what appeared to be boots.

If he was pandering to his audience with the boots, I'll give him a pass. But I'm going to have to take issue if he was trying to fit in. I reject this notion that people who live in Texas are these quaint caricatures who drive horses and wear cowboy hats. A place where all the men look like Kinky Friedman and all the women like Mary Kay.

Eddie riffed on Intelligent Design ("I have only two problems with the concept, the first is the 'intelligence' part. The second is the 'design' part"), summed up Darwin's theory of evolution ("Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, you!"), and said that if Obama is elected president, then Americans can stop pretending to be Canadian when vacationing in Europe.

My librarian heart beat wildly when, upon failing to recall the Nazi who coined the term dyslexia (because only a Nazi would be sadistic enough to spell the word as such), he reached into his back pocket for his new iPhone and began searching through Wikipedia. I couldn't tear my eyes off him as he made the act of answering a reference question - entertaining.

I would love to go paddle boating over martinis with Eddie, or let him talk me into getting bad highlights. Hell, I'd settle for fetching him cups of Earl Grey or steam ironing his gowns.

In any event, I'll see him the next time he comes to town. Until then- Cheers, mate.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vannies - 1, Upturned Collars - 0

While I am on the roller coaster ride that will deliver me soon enough to the big "3-0" I'm certainly not feeling old, but definitely am feeling the ever-widening gulf between me and the twenty-somethings set.

Case in point: as we pulled up to the first stoplight of our morning commute, Gap Lady gestures to the young man in the lane next to us and says, "Huh. We were next to this same guy yesterday."

All the vannies turned their heads to catch a glimpse of the whippersnapper. And there he was, in all his glory, stuffing his mouth with what looked to be a breakfast sandwich the size of a brick, a crooked baseball hat perched so high on his head that it looked like a Little House on the Prairie bonnet, and finally, a popped collar - standard issue worn by knobs the world over.

There was a moment of silence as we all took him in.

Then there was laughter. Laughter because he looked like a douchebag. Laughter at the stupidity of youth. Laughter that made us feel better than being some stupid kid getting laughed at by a van full of people who take a van to work. Just, laughter.

The light changed and he sped away from us, surely burning from being the obvious target of a group of middle aged working stiffs.

I would like to believe that we reached him, that we pulled him back from the abyss of fatty breakfast foods and pointless hat accessorizing and that maybe, just maybe, he'd put his goddamned collar down.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Epilogue: Cletus, Is That You?

While Cletus was seemingly becoming a fixture on the van, she abruptly stopped riding and I haven't seen her in at least a week.

I was not the only one to notice her absence (and the resulting merciful quiet). It seems that Generic White Guy was missing her, too. Well, maybe "missing" is too strong a word.

On the way home on Friday, the time when vannies are at their most relaxed and genial and looking forward to the weekend, Generic White Guy pipes up with:

Where's Cletus? Did you work her too hard? Har-har!

Innocent enough, yes? Only to be followed with:

Does she always talk like that?

[Insert sound of needle scraping across a record here.]

Everyone shrank a good two inches into their seats and the tension of a collective butt-clench could be felt through the van. All this caused by a thinly veiled insult to a dopey kid who talks way too much.

Sensing his gaffe, Generic White Guy started sputtering, "Uh, you know, maybe when she gets nervous...she, uh...talks people she doesn't know. So, ah, she seems like a lovely girl. Maybe, too, um, when she's in a small space she likes to talk. You know? Lovely girl, just lovely."

This put a much needed kink into an otherwise humdrum drive. But I'm sure Generic White Guy savored the taste of his foot for the duration of the ride home.