Posts Tagged ‘Bugsy Malone’

I called Lily earlier today.

“Hey Lily, it’s me.”

“Hi. Arthur. What’s wrong?”

Only women do that. Seriously. You look at them strangely and they immediately assume something’s wrong. Either that or it’s just this instinctive reaction. I once caught a girl I was going out with doing it, and she just shrugged and said she didn’t even really think about it. It was like saying “What’s up?”. I tried to point out the vast linguistic differences between asking “what’s up?” and asking “what’s wrong?” but she just laughed it off. But it’s frustrating – even if there ISN’T anything wrong, somehow asking “what’s wrong?” creates a problem.

“Nothing. Why would anything be wrong?”

“I was just asking.”

“I mean, I did have this really weird week, but – no, that’s not why I was calling.”

“I expect to hear about this week anyway, you realise.”

My sister is almost certainly the most interrogative person I have ever met in my life. I don’t know why I don’t just carry a video camera around with me to save me the time of recounting every detail of my life to her. I could just mail the footage to her periodically and save the phone calls for actual news and such

It took me over half an hour to explain the whole Eva incident, and Abigail’s illness still not being diagnosed, and even the old man in the waiting room. By the time I’d finished I’d almost completely forgotten why I called in the first place.

“So I assume you were originally calling about next week?”

That was it. Jamie’s play.

“Yeah. I was wondering which day would be best for you guys. Obviously Thursday or Wednesday would be better, but I can ask Joanie or the night off work if Friday suits.”

“Thursday is fine. Jamie will be glad to see you, he’s been absolutely thrilled about this performance. I swear though, I will be glad when I never have to hear another rendition of You Give a Little Love.” Jamie’s playing the title role in Bugsy Malone. “And it sounds as though you could use a rest from the city anyway.”

I could certainly use some space to clear my head of Lloyd. He was as bad as ever on Friday night, still on with that ridiculous name game. You’d think he was about four years old.

“Artie. Artie. You haven’t guessed yet.”

I resisted the urge to find out whether watching someone choke on a bottle lid would really be so unbearable. “Lloyd. My name is not Artie.”

“And my name’s not Lloyd. Guess what it is, Artie.”

“I am not going to play a guessing game with you.”

“Gonna keep calling you Artie until you guess my name, Aaaartiiiiie.”

I sighed. “Caliban. Trinculo.”

“Nope and nope.”

“Frank. Dave. Bob. Jerry.”

“You’re not even trying now, Artie.”

“Lloyd… LLOYD, watch what you’re doing!” Distracted in his irritation, Lloyd had managed to pour 30mls of lemonade into 180mls of vodka, and was in the process of handing it over the counter. I decided that what he needed was a refresher course in measures for standard drinks and proceeded to deliver it in withering tones.

As usual, he simply bounced back. “Artie, I think you should know, I’m not giving back your iPod until you guess my name.”

I nearly exploded. “WHAT!?” I glanced around the bar sheepishly, hoping not too many people had heard me. I lowered my voice to a glowering hiss. “What the fuck have you done, Lloyd?”

“Well, I knew you weren’t going to take this seriously, as you really should, Artie, so I’m keeping your iPod until you guess my name.”

“How the hell did you get into my locker?” I could not believe this.

In answer, Lloyd held up a twisted bobby pin. Who the hell picks locks these days? I considered going to Joanie, but realised she probably didn’t need this at the moment. Then I considered throttling him. Again, Joanie probably didn’t really need the stress of simultaneously losing two of her workers, one to death and the other to imprisonment for homicide.

What I would like to do to Lloyd

Punch; verb: What I would like to do to Lloyd

Not to be confused with this delicious beverage

Not to be confused with this delicious beverage

I rubbed the bridge of my nose. “Lloyd. Give it back, or I will cause you serious bodily harm.” It was a hollow threat; the pub was its usual bustling Friday night self.

Calling the police seemed ridiculously irrational at this point. It felt more like a squabble. I resolved just to play along until I could figure out a better way of getting it back.

My teeth gritted. “Sebastian. Thaddeus. Jareth. Jasper.”

“No-ee Artie, keep guessing.”

Like I said, people like Lloyd are sent to try us. By whom, I’m not sure, but I’d sure like to have a serious talk to them.


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