Single Status Update
I went with the TA to London the other night to do some 'waiting on' (or waitering) at an officer's mess. It was amazing. Everybody said that the officers were going to be 'complete and utter cunts' but they were great.
We arrived by bus. I with two other volunteers; one who likes to talk (too much) and the other who says what he thinks (too loudly), both born leaders and not ones to follow their equals.
I won't bore you with the setting of the cups and the openning of bottles. So we'll skip to the party. My orders were to wander around with a champagn bottle and top up everyone's drinks. The accents were amazing. Being what I am (a Right wing tool) I was drunk with the glamour and wished I was an officer just for the elocution. The officers themselves had style and were as civil as the devil, commenting frequently that I was a 'good man' or chap and some of the officers wives were stunners. I loved every second of it.
Then the Avid Talker spilled white wine on himself, so like the gent I was I completed the job he was doing while he dried himself. I was posted to the front door with a selection of wines on my tray to welcome officers, with another guy, a friendly chap from another squad, who held a tray laden with champagne. The wine tray was huge so it took many glasses so it was damned heavy, I thought my arms would fall off and my spine collapse. Nobody wanted the wine, damn them. Some just took the champagne, others lifted the wine, thought better of it and took the champagne instead. One group of people actually waited for my companion to return when he repeatedly ran out of champagne not giving me another look.
They were still polite though. I can remember my highlight of the night very well;
ME: Good evening sir, madame. Wine sir?
SIR: Good evening my man! (taking Red Wine) How the devil are you?
ME: (Bewildered silence - open mouthed)
SIR: ... are you well?
ME: (long pause) Er, very, well ... sir.
I probably said it admiringly, because he gave me an odd look. There is something about the phrase How the devil are you that caught me off guard. Probably the fact that I never believed people still talked Victorian or maybe it reminded me my of my favourite character, the coward Flashman. Looking back on that moment I curl up laughing, I probably looked lovestruck ... christ almighty.
When I finally managed to rid myself of that cursed wine. I tried to give my job to the Avid Talker and the Mind Speaker. But they flat out refused, damn them. So I contented myself with a smaller tray. Less wine, less weight. If I'd have known what was about to happen I'd have told the Avid Talker to go fuck himself with his wine stained penis.
I had just finished being refused again and wondered when I could attend to the guests inside, when the flat bottom of the tray popped up so it was converse. The circular bottoms of the wine glasses began to role about and with great concentration I steadied them. Then two of them, red and white, spilled on my white shirt. Bollocks. I jerked my wrists to stop their fall, spilling more white onto myself. Bugger. Then the rolling glasses knocked the rest of the red all over my shirt. Bastard. Finally the glasses rolled off my tray and smashed on the floor, creating an attention grabbing din. Fucking A.
After pausing enough to bring the panic to its peak. I began jabbering 'WhatdoIdo? WhatdoIdo?' And hastily cleaned the area. But now that I was stained I couldn't go back to serve. I had to remain in the kitchen and wash the dishes. I was mocked and blessed by the old biddies who were opening the bottles.
As I mopped food off the dishes I don't know why but I began to feel ashamed, like I let the team down. I felt pissed off that I couldn't do what I came here to do. Then I felt anger against the Talker. I felt hate for him so bad I could have cried. I don't know why, it was all my fault, but if he'd been more competant or compliant he could have saved me from that horrid moment. In that kitchen with the cooks laughing and joking, doing what they love the anger and shame were unbearable. The Adjudant saying I was 'top' and various Captains giving me 'bravo' did surprisingly little to destroy this anger, but at least they calmed it down to a simple grudge to be repaid, reciepted and filed.
After the party we got to hangout with the RSM and had a little night cap with remaining officers and helpers (I'll be damned if I wasn't drinking to put myself to sleep eternally). This was a fun bit. I had just finished asking career advice from a well mannered trooper when the Avid Talker decides to use one of my stories. I know he stole it because I told him it on the bus there. I probably would have exposed him for a liar but I decided to keep mum. Just as well because later the Mind Speaker began to talk about how much of a lying bastard Talker was to the officers. All that while he was within earshot. It was divine. The Talker just sat there and took it, he couldn't do a damned thing about it with all those officers around, he just sat and stewed like I did in the kitchen. After that he wouldn't let me be alone with Speaker, probably in case he told me he had stolen my stories. I had to go to the bathroom with him ffs.
Not a bad night, I got a bottle of Champ out of it.