Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 1 June 2012
Yankee go home
I am not having a very good day so far. I've got a bit of a hangover from last night, which turned out to be a bit of a party after we ran into friends and relatives whilst smoking outside a mediocre Sardinian restaurant here.
The place had been recommended by a friend, but as soon as we got into the restaurant, I remembered that my friend was never known for his taste in culinary matters. I didn't eat much, but drank quite a lot of Sardinian rose, which didn't help.
Seated by the window were an American gay couple, and when a waiter opened the door which lead to the corridor which lead to the main entrance some distance away, the old queen of the couple insisted that he closed it again, just in case someone in the city of Bath happened to be smoking a cigarette, and a molecule of smoke became caught on the breeze to find it's way to his super-sensitive nostrils.
His exact words were, "We have a right to clean air!" I ignored him for the time being, but it was stuffy in the room, and we all could have done with a bit of fresh air, clean or otherwise.
The old queen's boyfriend was a hugely tall, somewhat younger man who looked like a cross between Lou Reed and Frankenstein's monster. I guessed him to be about 45 years old, and they both pecked away at the food as the old boy wittered on about God knows what.
Eventually, I payed the bill and we left the place and that is where we ran into H.I.'s daughter, her fiance and another couple who were out on the town. I had lit a cigarette whilst outside, and looked around to see the old queen frantically waving his hand in front of his face, trying to tell me to put the cigarette out or move at least a mile away from him. Bear in mind that there was a closed window between me and him, and I was on the exterior side of it.
All six of us were smoking at the time, so I called the other five over and got them to stand next to me and ostentatiously blow smoke skyward next the closed window, which was about 15 feet away on the other side of some basement railings.
The old queen suddenly became very abusive, and started to make hand gestures which suggested that I was giving the other two men a blow-job, so I threw down the cigarette and went back into the restaurant.
I went over to the two gay's table and asked them where they came from. 'California', they said. I replied that I guessed as much, since it was the Americans who introduced vast quantities of tobacco into Britain, and it was the Californians who were the first to ban smoking anywhere in public. I mentioned that they had got their way in restaurants and pubs in this country, but suggested that if they wanted smoke-free streets as well, then they should just fuck off back to California where they belonged. Those were my very words, including the swearing, and the last few of them were said in rather a loud voice.
The younger of the two then stood up and started toward me saying, "Ok mister - time to go". I was really looking forward to seeing if he actually could physically get me out of the door, but before he could try, an Italian waiter came over and got hold of him, pushing him back in his seat and saying that he would deal with the situation. Damn. I would have liked to have floored him.
With a broad smile on his face, the waiter asked me if I wouldn't mind leaving now and I politely agreed to do so. We walked to the street outside, and the waiter apologised to me for the gay couple's blatant rudeness and arrogance and we spent a few minutes laughing and chatting about how absolutely horrible some American tourists were. It's the same in Israel, apparently - the obnoxious Jewish ones swank around the place as if they owned it, but I suppose in their little minds they do.
It is people like this that really test me when it comes to anti-Americanism and homophobia. I went to bed last night with a fair amount of both coursing through my system, and there is still a trace of it left in me today. I hate losing my sense of humour.