Friday, September 23, 2005

More laundry

London was fun. Not sure what's going to happen from various meetings, but I got to look at impressive bits of CGI and say 'ooh' quite a lot. And I meant it too. Spent most of the journey back on the train wishing I'd gone into animation instead of stupid stupid writing, but cheered up when I remembered that I'd looked at animation courses back in year nineteen umpty-three, and they'd all looked like quite hard work.

On the other hand, you get to turn up to people from television channels, pop a silvery disc in a slot, let them watch brightly coloured things move, and then say 'cash please, if you want to see more where that came from, unmarked notes, we'll send the lads round as usual.' As opposed to sending in a script, which relies on people taking a chance, using their imagination, or as mostly happens in my case NEVER GETTING BACK TO ME EVER. In the words of that bloke from that film - 'Fuck y'all'.

Not you though. You're okay.

Crumpled shirt issues at the hotel (I own about seven linen shirts, and it occured to me the other day that instead of just buying different colours, I should maybe think about, you know, wearing them occasionally), which lead to this fab conversation with Yuri and the attractive Eastern European girl on the reception desk. I know it may seem as if I exaggerate sometimes for dramatic effect, but I promise, in this case, not.

INT. HOTEL RECEPTION - DAY

ME: Is there anywhere here I can iron a shirt?

YURI looks at me as if I'm mad, for at least ten seconds, which doesn't sound like much, but try it. It's a long time.

ME: (weakly) No?

YURI: There is the laundry room.

ME: Can I iron my shirt in there?

YURI: We have an ironing board.

ME: (because I've talked to Yuri before) Is there an iron in there as well?

ANOTHER LONG PAUSE

YURI: No.

AEEGOR: We had one.

YURI: We did have one. But we no longer have one.

AEEGOR: Because of the fire.

YURI: Yes. there was a fire.

In the end, I go two doors down to another hotel I occasionally stay in, which I am convinced is also run by the Russian mafia, which I know has an ironing board and iron set up in a downstairs hallway.

ME: Hello. I occasionally stay in your fine hotel. Tonight I am not staying in your fine hotel, but I wish to use your ironing facilities. I will use them briefly, and then I will be gone.

PIETR: Are you staying here tonight?

ME: No, but I'd like to use your iron anyway.

PIETR: Fine.

I iron my shirt, and on the way out, tip Pietr a two-pound coin. I enjoy this, because both the act of tipping and the heaviness of the coin make me feel like a victorian man in a book.

I return to my other hotel, bear in mind less than two minutes later, with a freshly-ironed shirt over one arm, and I confess, a certain bounce in my step, as (to move my metaphor on by at least one king) Bertie Wooster would have upon the defeat of a particularly virulent aunt.

YURI and ATTRACTIVE EASTERN EUROPEAN GIRL ON RECEPTION are quite literally agog. Here is a man who left their establishment with a crumpled shirt and returned moments later with an ironed shirt. I suspect this has never happened before.

And this is my favourite bit, because it's true.

YURI: Sir, where are you from?

ME: (slightly carelessly) Cornwall. And yourself?

YURI: Sir, I am a Greek Cypriot.

ME: (to ATTRACTIVE EASTERN EUROPEAN GIRL ON RECEPTION): What about you?

AEEGOR: I am Spanish.

ME: Oh.



I need to travel more. Or maybe less.

25 comments:

Elfgirl said...

I scanned that quickly and was left thinking, who is this Aeegor person?? Read it properly now...

Years ago I stayed in a nasty hotel (think of The Shining) that actually had irons in the rooms. Irons. But no ironing boards. There were also funny stains on the wall but I try not to think about that.

Anonymous said...

comment squad - assemble!

patroclus said...

Igor is quite a good Victorian name, particularly for a hideously deformed creature in a Gothic novel. Not so great for an attractive Eastern European senorita, though. Poor love.

james henry said...

I never should have taken that order of red herrings, fresh off the boat.

Spanish people should carry maracas, and do tarantellas and eat piellas. Otherwise, how are we to tell?

cello said...

I've read AEEGOR's blog where she talks about the side-splitting times she and YURI have, convincing people they are from east of the Danube when they are really Mediterranean through and through.

sumday said...

i'm just starting a 3d animation degree. Hard work? not yet. but next year and the year after will be.

james henry said...

Good luck to you! Not that you'll need it. After all the hard bits are done, you'll be eating caviar from the cleavages of commissioning editors (should you want to) and inventing new kinds of CGI fur.

And cello yes, I read it. There's this tall Welsh bloke who keeps turning up and being sort of vaguely flirty, to no great effect. He reminds me of someone....

Marsha Klein said...

I always thought it was a shame Darth Vader wasn't a tall Welsh bloke - just to have had the pleasure of hearing him say "I am your father, look you"

BiScUiTs said...

Ah it's impossible to actually get into animation. Actually don't take much notice of me because that comment is coming from someone who can't get into *anything*.

What was that whole thing about the bloke who was Darth Vader having a westcountry accent? They should have left that in just to see if the westcountry accent became synonymous with intergalactic type evil!

irony in motion said...

Oh yes, I think I heard about that. He was really tall and bulky so he looked good in the costume but they decided his voice wouldn't have the necessary authority.

It would have been really good though.

surly girl said...

oi'm yer faaaaarther, luke.

marvellous.

Jack Spanners said...

Wasn't Darth Vader also the Green Cross Code Man?

Pashmina said...

The great Dave Prowse was indeed both the Green Cross Code man and Darth Vader. What a guy.

Trufact: I was in the NEC Hilton bar one night last year, and, as a result of various conventions taking place, there were four members of the England '66 World Cup winning football team a few tables to my right, and Dave Prowse, Chewbacca, C3PO and R2D2 (in mufti) two tables to my left. There were quite a few men in the room on the verge of imploding with excitement.

james henry said...

I like the idea that Pamela Anderson could have walked in at that moment, and got absolutely no attention whatsoever.

There's a series of sketches in that probably, but I can't be arsed frankly. I tried to watch some new comedy shows over the weekend and felt like I was watching a bunch of chimps wanking in the face of an elderly aunt. And then getting six commissions.

May have detoured into personal anger and loathing for a second there.

BiScUiTs said...

Good to see I'm not the only one who does that then!
Dave Prowse seems to have been in an awful lot of Frankenstien films, playing 'the monster'. I wonder if he used his accent in that?

cello said...

James, you are far too good a writer to think of yourself just as someone who writes comedy sketches. You care about things like plots and characters and ideas and culture and history and romance. You could be the next David Renwick or Mike Bullen. So how about a drama, albeit a romcomy one?

Stef the engineer said...

Biscuits: am a bit puzzled over which of James's observations you also do. (Chimps, elderly aunts etc.) Very worried.

West Country accents do always scare me, but that comes from having lived in the area. When I hear it I always wonder whether there should be some malformed little child playing a banjo (or blowing on cider jugs perhaps) somewhere nearby. Brrr.

Comedy sketches, plots, ideas, culture, history, romance. Romcom drama? Old hat. Romcom reality: bunch of writers in a room, doing scenes for projected rocom shows, performed by rubbish "one character" actors. (e.g. H*** G****) (Or get the chimps to do it, give their wrists a rest.) We get to vote out one per week, winner gets to be head of channel 4.

james henry said...

Well that's definitely where I want to head, but weirdly enough, it might prove more realistic to write great 80 million dollar film scripts than small simple funny dramas to go on telly. It's an odd thing.

In a few years I think it'll be possible to bypass the big channels altogether and go straight to the production companies, who'll cut out the middle man and put stuff straight out for download. I'm counting the days, and trying not to get too annoyed with executive-type people by reminding myself that they are metaphorically the equivalents of those dinosaurs that picked their teeth and farted while that bright light in the sky grew ever brighter....

lauren said...

and on the moomin news front - apparently there are moomin mugs available in john lewis

does that make up for all the discontent over jobs-worths?

james henry said...

Yes, thank you. I want a Groke coffee mug, which unstantly freezes any beverage placed in it, and induces existential dread in anyone who comes near.

If they make them.

belladona said...

Heh. I am drunk and love everyone. You all make me very happy. Even occasionally when I haven't drunk a bottle of wine selected purely for the virtue of being in the fridge section of the co-op.

There IS a Groke mug (who looks suitably lurky, if there is such a word), though I'm not so sure about its frosty / scary abilities.

I read 'Who will comfort Toffle' the other week and nearly cried in the shop. Which would have been embarrassing. Unlike this post, obviously.

james henry said...

I can't believe there's a Groke Mug. This might be the most exciting thing ever to have happened in the history of the world.

Steve Dix said...

There's a Groke mug?!

Wow...

patroclus said...

Feast your eyes on this lot.

This probably isn't the right time or place to admit that until very recently, I was using my nice purple Hemulen mug as an ashtray...

belladona said...

But where is the Groke mug? I have seen it somewhere in Islington, I know I did.