Two nights ago, we finally got a slicing break in the thick, oppressive, smothering heat that has sat over the midwest like a fat man in an outhouse. The break came in the form of a black cloudline with torrential rain, and while it was welcome, it was also the night we had Plans. Plans that included outdoor seating at Starlight to see Singing in the Rain. Oh, don’t worry, the symbolism was not lost upon us. But wonderfully, the rain stopped by the time the show started (around 8:30 p.m.) and it was cool, entertaining, and we had great seats, thanks to my mother-in-law, MommaLinda. The whole family went – James’ brother, our nieces, MommaLinda. But we had another sort of show before we got to the park.
Right after work, we met MommaLinda at the Melting Pot, to enjoy their happy hour – half price cheese & chocolate fondue, along with half-price foo-foo drinks. Godiva martini with a chocolate-dipped rim. MMMmmmmm. And the restaurant is below street level, so it’s dark and cave-like and dimly lit and just a cozy little spot. Quiet, too. But that is what we call foreshadowing. It was not to be quiet that night. For, a couple sat behind me at the last open table, and the woman? The woman? She was the human equivalent of a record needle being dragged laboriously across the biggest record in the universe. SCREEEEEEEEECH.
First of all, every word she said was at the decibel level we could categorize as “Just Below Shouting”. So ignoring her really wasn’t an option. Second of all, she had one of those unattractive whiskey-n-cigarettes voices, and we knew it was cigarettes because (I’m not kidding) she smoked non-stop. Third, she spent the entire time we were there, and presumable the rest of her evening, berating her date. BE.RATING. And you could barely hear him, he was murmuring for the first half hour, really a Bill Milquetoast.
“Bill, you are so grouchy.” (oh, and in the interest of time, and both our sanity levels, I will not type each one out over & over again? But everything was said, OVER AND OVER again. A minimum of 20x.)
“Bill, that is gross. Who puts chocolate on the outside of the martini glass. That is gross.” (Later consults bartender to discover, indeed, the chocolate is there intentionally.)
“I guess I was wrong, but I thought it was gross. I wiped all that chocolate off with my napkin. It was gross.”
“Bill, you are so grouchy.” “Bill, I thought we’d have a good time, don’t you like the rain? But you are so grouchy.” “I will never have sex with you, Bill.”
(insert the sound of tires screeching to a stop)
OK, I almost fell out of my seat & I HAD to see this train wreck, since I was already being forced to listen to it. I had already tried once to turn around and look at this woman, alarming James, because he was certain that just my looking at the BetteDavisWannaBe would have her trying to fight me. So, I got resourceful: I used a mirror to put on some lipstick, and in perfect spy-fashion, maneuvered the mirror so I could see the woman who was half-entertainment/half-annoyance. Good golly, she was maybe in her 40’s? I had the voice pegged at a 57. But I digress. Let’s tune back in, right when she tells Bill that not only is he going to spend the night with one combative bitch, he ain’t gettin’ any, either.
“I’m never going to have sex again Bill. Ever.” [Bill: Murmur, murmur]
Insert 100 more “You are so Grouchies” here. Then she’s comin’ around the track, comin’ around again, but there’s a new point of irritation, a new target on Bill’s bald head she’s going to peck and peck and peck at until he’s covered in his own blood and blinded by it.
“Bill, you only react. You don’t ever experience things, you just REACT, Bill.” “I am out there, living. LIVING, Bill. You just sit back and REACT. I call you to come to dinner. You like the rain, don’t you? But you’re grouchy. You just REACT. You just sit there, you just SIT there.”
And then – then – the most bizarre, plum line of the night, was bellowed:
“BILL, YOU ARE NOT STANLEY KUBRICK. I AM STANLEY KUBRICK. YOU ARE NOT STANLEY KUBRICK.” over and over for ten minutes. I was in tears, laughing. Our waiter came over (Kevin, awesome guy, excellent service & wicked sense of humor to boot) & informed us quietly that HE was actually Stanley Kubrick. So of course, we tipped him accordingly, I mean, my god, Stanley Kubrick! Director of The Shining, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange! Right here in Kansas City!
Well, the “You just REACT”s and the “YOU ARE NOT STANLEY KUBRICK”s were flying all around my ears, and Bill was trying to defend himself, but never at a volume level I could quite understand. Except I did finally hear him say her name (Chris), so now James & I have reference names for when one of us might think the other’s getting out of hand, there’s a new tickmark on the measurement scale: Well, you think this is bad, I’m no CHRIS!
Or Stanley Kubrick, for that matter.