My friend invites us to a cocktail master class as part of London Cocktail Week. ‘The tickets are £15, but you get £10 off anything you buy that evening,’ she explains. ‘I can’t believe Selfridges are giving us money!’ I say, thrilled. I’m going to buy one of those enormous Grey Goose Vodka bottles you get in nightclubs, and pretend it’s normal size and that I’m a tiny person. I think this will work better as a surprise, so I don’t tell my friends. (Also I do not want them to steal my idea). As we enter the Selfridges Wonder Room I notice they have only 2 enormous bottles of Grey Goose Vodka.
I congratulate myself on my discretion, and go to buy our tickets. ‘That’s £5 each then please,’ the lady tells me. ‘Oh yes,’ my friend explains. ‘We’ve changed it. The tickets are cheaper.’ ‘That’s brilliant!’ I say. My enormous bottle of Grey Goose vodka will basically be free. I am so responsible these days. I decide to call my Grandfather after the master class and let him know. He will be so proud that I have managed to get the world’s largest vodka bottle for free. I am also pretty sure he will find my tiny person act absolutely charming. For the sake of realism, I plan on speaking only in the highest pitch squeak, which is what I imagine a tiny person would sound like to a normal sized person. I quietly practice. ‘Are you alright?’ the ticket lady asks me worriedly. ‘Yes,’ I squeak back at her. I take our tickets, and hand them to my friends. We pass through the barrier, and are offered a cocktail. I enjoy it, but am aware that if it were enormous, and therefore I could pretend to be tiny, I would enjoy it more. I don’t want to be churlish, so I graciously thank the cocktail lady for my ‘reasonably sized cocktail’. ‘I think I’m going to buy something,’ my friend tells me. ‘It’s annoying that we don’t get the £10 off anymore, isn’t it?’ ‘What?’ I say in dismay. ‘Yes, that’s why the tickets were only £5,’ my friend explains patiently. I stomp off to sulk by the wall. On my way there, I notice that in the wall are several miniature bottles of alcohol.
‘I could get those and pretend they were normal sized and that I’m a giant person!’ I think delightedly. I congratulate myself on my adaptability in the face of adversity. I practice my gruffest growl. I notice the ticket lady looking at me, and quietly walk away from the wall. ‘It’s because I’m normal sized,’ I grumble to my friend. ‘No more cocktails for you,’ my friend replies nervously. I think about explaining, but the constant change in register has wrecked my voice. I stand and quietly watch the master class, and wonder how on earth I’d speak if I’d bought both the tiny and enormous bottles of vodka.