Date : 09/05/95 9:21am
From: C.De Feo
To : M.Choo
Text : OK, Mike Ill indulge
The Roo Barbie was a successwell, at least to me it seemed that way: as I dont quite know how everyone else saw it, Ill tell the tale from my perspective.
It was a hazy, hot Saturday in London I woke up to see a gray/orange sunrise out of my window and I could already feel sweat dripping off of meat 7:30AM.
I went out for my run, as usual, came back, got showered, dressed, put my Paul McCartney tapes in an athletic bag along with some clothes and rushed out.
Train to Birmingham was OK: Intercity is pretty fast I left at around 10, I was in Brum at 1. The hotel was right by the airport: nothing special, but at least the rooms were clean. They had stuck me in the basement, near the fire escape which leads out to the parking lot.
After an afternoon kip, I went down to the lobby to meet up with Ian and his girlfriend Anna, and Kevin Back. As we all arrived early, we decided to go have an early drink.
In order to prevent playing the Who the Hell is That? game, I wore a psychadelic Beatles vest. Could be no doubts after seeng that. Anyway, we met up, then Gareth Kelsey showed up and we went hunting for a pub.
Problem is, that the location (which was Angies recommendation) was close to a whole lot of nowhere. We walked down one way and only found a Honda dealership. He said the nearest pub was 2 miles. We then walked back to the hotel and asked the girl at reception, where is the nearest pub. She pointed in another direction, said it was less than a mile. Just then, Gazza was registering at the desk with his wife. Ian was standing directly behind him and shouting Where is the nearest pub, Christian?
He looked at me: Youre Christian? I nodded. Shook his and his wifes hand. He had to go get cleaned up, so he wasnt ready to go on our pub crawl.
So the rest of us walked again, found the pub (more like a mile and a half) and it was closed.
Then we hitched a cab back and had a few Labatts Ice beers in the hotel pub. A good pub actually it was complete with stroppy bartender.
Isabel then showed up: she made probably the best entrance. She saw us all sitting around drinking and talking. She found an empty chair, sat down and said Im Isabel.
Gazza then showed up, as did Kevin Graham, Angie (and her boyfriend Rob), and Phil (with his fiancée Lindsay). Mary Restell had to cancel, unfortunately. Ash showed up with his girlfriend Libby.
And so the gang was all there. And we took cabs into the city to go to the Tong Lee Chinese restaurant on Bromsgrove Street.
The restaurant was goodonly really one peculiar thing happened. I ordered Won Ton soup. I forgot to make sure it didnt have prawns (Im allergic to prawns) so they, of course, gave me prawn won ton soup. As soon as I found out I tried to get it replaced. The waitress has having me on, telling how the chef would kill her and so forth.
I was a little drunk by this time so I accidentally turned around and slammed me elbow into the soup, thus creating a mess. I ran off to the loo to wash it off. Two young waitresses joined me to help me dry off me shirt. I then went out, and found a correct bowl of soup waiting. I sat down and said If you want to get anything done in this country, you have to complain until youre blue in the mouth.
The waitress came back and asked me if I was OK and my new bowl of soup was right. I said it was fine. She left and I said The things one has to do to get female attention these days.I swear
After dinner we crossed the street and went to a pub called the Australian. Please let me know if I should continue the tale.
Best Regs, CDF
Date : 09/05/95 9:49am
From: C.De Feo
To : M.Choo
Text : I type around 100 WPM, Mike.
Anyway, so we went down to the pub. And we got smashed. People were fiddling with the jukebox. We had some Iron Maiden (Ash put it on) and someone (I dunno who) put on Johnny Cash. I put on some Beatles (of course) and Gazza and I both sang to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. It was a wonderful time, just talking, guzzling Irish stout, and then finishing up with a Jack Daniels on the rocks (I was out of me head by that point).
In any case, the bartender flashed the lights to indicate last orders. Time to be going back to the hotel. So, I rang up for a cab, having cleverly obtained the card of the taxi service we used the first time.
They couldnt help us but gave us the number of another firm. So I rang that one. They promised four mini cabs. We got three. People were so drunk they forgot to wait until the cabs were full. Seven people (including me) were left behind.
I called up the first cab company to beg, plead and whine in order to get a cab. I got a lady dispatcher and she asked Are you from Canada?
No, Im an American.
Well you sound Canadian. I have a pen friend in Canada.
Desperate by this time, I said Well, this is not the best time, but would you like another?
She laughed and promised to send the cabs. The didnt arrive. Se we found a cab company around the corner and got back.
Gazza and his Missus wanted to go for a walk along a canal (scenic, actually) the next day and invited me to come along. So I just had one beer back at the hotel, played a little billiards (nailed a beauty of a shot into the side pocket) and then went to bed.
At 3:30 AM, the fire alarm went off in the hotel. Lying there, as utterly intoxicated as I was, I thought it was someones car alarm, and stuck me head under the pillow. Then some bastard knocked on the door. I shouted WHAT?!?! and opened the door and all I could see was some git running down the corridorQUICKLY, leaving only vapour trails behind him.
So I got up. And I was mad too. I put on me pants and jacket and went out. After all, if it was a real fire I wasnt too worried: I had my wallet and my tickets home and my Beatles CDs were safely locked up in my room. I went out there and found the rest of us, dazed and confused.
Some girl read out the roll call of names in the hotel. She only used last names, but she missed several of us: Kevin Beck, for example, slept soundly through the whole thing! I guess they thought that is was an acceptable amount of losses. Weirder still, the girl would call out only last namesso there were about 4 Mr. Smiths. I wonders how many were temporary aliases, for the purposes of a dirty weekend.
After freezing to death for about 20 minutes they let us back in. The cause of the alarm was an electrical fault in the system itself, apparently. Either that or it had something to do with a potted plant that crashed on the stairway I wasnt sure: Im not the brightest person at 3:30 AM.
Woke up the next morning, had breakfast with Gareth and Isabel. Then Gareth, Gazza, Missus Gazza and I went down to the canals, had a walkabout in the spring sunshine. Beautiful day.
We then we to the pub that Angie was absolutely positively sure had Caffreys ale (the reason why we were on Coventry Road in the first place). Guess what, they had none. Angie and her boyfriend looked awfully sheepish when they showed up for a farewell drink. The thought of more alcohol was too dreadful: I had a Pepsi, as did Garent and Kevin Graham, who showed up too.
The Gazza dropped Gareth and I off at Birmingham Sation, I bid Gareth farewell, and went home.
And then my Dad and I got smashed on some Fosters.
And yesterday was VE Day, so I havent been sober for very long.
Still, a good weekend. Im thinking about arranging a similar bash in Paris I have a friend who can get me cheap hotel rooms (GBP25 a night) there: well call it the Tadpole BBQ and have in January.
Best Regs, CDF