Saturday, 30 April 2011
The beer was strong and Kim was upset when I poured a jug of it over her head
We spent the day driving to Chesapeake Bay where we took the ferry across. I tried to interest those around me in the exploits of British troops who having sailed up the Chesapeake in the war of 1812, went on to burn the Capitol and large parts of Washington. They were polite but were clearly more interested in oysters and the promise of strong beer, and I don’t say I blame them.
We spent the evening in a ‘Colonial Tavern’ and here my diary goes awry. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the tavern, and though I retain a very vivid picture of it in my mind, I can’t for love or money find it on Google. The mind is a wonderful and complex thing but it cannot, as yet, transfer an image through cyberspace. So you’ll have to imagine us sitting at trestles on the Tavern’s green, drinking strong ale and being entertained by jugglers, wigs and fine dresses, and jaunty Colonial airs.
I’m told there are asteroids that pursue long and peculiar trajectories through space, appearing once every ten thousand years or more and then disappearing again. Neurons are pretty much the same. That evening a random neuron ripped through my brain and caused me to do something I still puzzle over all these years later. I poured a jug of beer over Kim Haslinger’s head.
It wasn’t in malice or anger. I think I must have thought it funny at the time. Kim was more puzzled than angry and I sat there, not drunk, but bemused. My only defence was that such behaviour was par for the course on that long, long journey across America, where shaving foam-fights were a nightly routine. And perhaps I was sad…at the burning of Washington…at the fact that my journey across America was coming to an end. It was like the worst ‘frat-pack’ movie gone wrong, and I didn’t have Owen Wilson’s charming smile to make everything right. Worse, it was a waste of good beer. I think Kim and I remained friends…but I haven’t seen her since.
The neuron has yet to make a comeback but I’m afraid it’s probably long over due.