Friday, 1 January 2016

Exchanging Scenes.

I just watched a bit of the film Pal Joey and it reminded me of the night I met Sheona McCormack (The story is among the fiction at the other blog.)

Seeing that she was in no fit state to walk the two miles back to her home on the other side of the city centre, and it being around 4.15 in the morning, I persuaded her to spend what was left of the night on my sofa. Having drunk half the mug of black coffee I’d given her, she lay down and I covered her with a blanket. Then I went to bed.

I was up before her and calling the station for train times because she'd told me she had an interview in Liverpool that day. When she woke up she looked a little wan, and asked:

‘Did anything happen last night?’

‘What sort of anything?’

‘Well… you know… did we… did you…’

‘Oh, that. Wouldn’t you like to know?’

‘I’m serious!’

‘Heavens! You are a wan,’ I replied.

(That line is a complete fabrication. It’s just that I can’t resist weak jokes based on homophones. I remember a favourite story I read once, about a young man who finds a dismembered foot in the tea urn at work, and takes it to give as a gift to the girl who has everything except a dismembered foot. 'What's afoot, Rich?' she asks. I never got over it.)

‘Of course nothing happened,’ is what I actually replied. ‘What do you take me for, the sort of man who would take advantage of a drunken woman?’ (I actually said that, too.) ‘You even came close to punching me on the nose when I tried to loosen your shoe laces to make you more comfortable. (That actually happened.) I’ve been onto the station and got the train times for Liverpool.’

‘Right. Thanks.’

Now, Frank Sinatra had a much better line in an identical scene with Kim Novak in Pal Joey:

‘Did anything happen last night?’ she asks.

‘Yes. You kissed me.’

See? Better. But then she replies:

‘Oh. I wasn’t feeling myself last night.’

If only Sheona had said that to me. She would have got a funnier response than the one they put in Frank's script.

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