I am having dinner with two of my friends, and one of them is telling us a story. It’s rather a good story actually, full of eligible men and late nights at speakeasys. I wonder briefly if my friend is borrowing her story from Bugsy Malone. ‘And then we ended up in Home House,’ she tells me. ‘And I sent back my vodka.’
‘I’m sorry?’ I ask, incredulously. ‘You sent back your vodka?’ ‘Yes. I was unconvinced that they had given me what I’d ordered. It wasn’t spicy enough.’ I look imploringly at our other friend, but she is smiling nicely as though it is perfectly reasonable to send vodka back at private members clubs. I wonder briefly what life would be like if I were as polite and accommodating as my smiling friend. ‘It wasn’t spicy enough?’ I yell at my other friend. ‘Who are you? What has happened to you? Are you OK?’ ‘Well, I’ve got quite into vodka recently,’ she began to explain. ‘Everyone’s into vodka,’ I tell her. ‘I’ve been into vodka since I was 14, after that magnificent summer spent drinking Archers and Lemonade, which, I know you will be shocked to hear, tastes remarkably like an over-sugared fizzy drink, and nothing at all like something which would see you throwing up on the beach at 4.30am.’
‘What a nice and not at all irrelevant story,’ my other friend politely interjects. ‘So you were saying?’ My friend continues her story. ‘Yes, I sent back my vodka, and then the barman came out with the bottle- isn’t that so funny? Just as if I had sent back some wine.’ ‘You send back wine?’ I shout, aghast. ‘Delicious, friendly wine? Why would you do that?’ Both of my friends stare at me for a second, before my friend continues her story. ‘The barman was really sweet,’ she says, ‘And gave us a free shot of another type of vodka to compare.’ My friend is an evil genius.
I know my friend has taken Tallulah, but I can’t help spending the rest of dinner thinking about which character from Bugsy Malone I should cast myself as.