Wednesday, November 01, 2006

halloween pub crawl

004. if only alfredo deKruiff were immune to organized pub crawls – and they are available aplenty in aberystwyth: enough pubs and enough people crawling home afterhours too. for the better part of a week, a number of e-mails arrived to your deKruiff’s inbox from all sorts of university societies, inviting for ‘a great night getting drunk’, ‘vampire-night-wear-your-best-outfit’, ‘pub crawl till dawn’, ‘spooky party and a few pints’, ‘halloween with the children of mature students’.

deKruiff hates halloween.

last year, in a somewhat obscure neighbourhood of the great american plains in the true canadian north, your blogger was persuaded and did set up a rather ellaborated trick-or-treating scenario for kiddos on the beg. for older girls and young women, the favourite outfit of the year seemed to be slutty-with-a-suffix – i.e., ‘slutty witch’, ‘slutty nurse’, ‘slutty librarian’, ‘slutty prostitute’, ‘slutty mermaid’. that was then, and that was there. in aber, miniskirts are often so slutty anyway (even in low temps), that it would just be overrated. the hit-disguise of this year was the male/female pirate – yes, the pirate, the bucanneer, the corsary, the filibuster. the local store, your blogger heard, was soon depleted of accessories, which posed a problem to scores of party-goers needing to be in disguise in order to pay lower entrance fees. a sober deKruiff crawled from packed pub to packed pub with undisguised pubsters, and eventually drank one pint too many. on the way home, pirates were vomiting in every corner, wooden legs aside. a batch of guys walked down penglais road late in the night, possibly for some long gone party. they wore ripped t-shirts reading:

‘I am a pirate, Er!’

it would have been funny, if only there weren’t ten of them.

how corny.

Monday, October 30, 2006

lettuce green cardigan

003. your blogger’s flatmate, a jewish andorran postgrad named ofra haza (yes, like the singer), got home excited a couple of nights ago.

ofra: ‘I heard there’s a crafts market in the arts centre!!’
alfredo: ‘yes, indeed’
ofra: ‘have you been? how is it?’
alfredo: ‘yes I’ve been, it’s pretty interesting.’
ofra: ‘I must go there tomorrow.’
alfredo: ‘yeah.’

the following day, meeting up for coffee and an overly expensive mushroom fricassée at a crowded arts centre café at lunchtime, your blogger chats away with sedaka and a couple others.

other #1: ‘the christmas market this year is rather sad…’
sedaka: ‘why would you say that? have you no christmas spirit whatsoever?’
other #1: ‘well, just look at what’s on show!’
alfredo: ‘actually I think there are some nifty things here… the refuse wood pieces for instance…”
other #2 (ironic): ‘… the cardigans…!’ (smiles)
sedaka: ‘Omg – those cardigans are sooo-o-o awful!’
[everyone laughs stupid, people in neighbouring table staring curiously]

yours truly got home that night, when ofra was having a coffee with her icelandic friend, ashley.

ofra: ‘so, I stopped by the arts centre today…’
ashley (who does not attend aber uni): ‘what’s up there?’
alfredo: ‘it’s a christmas market of sorts. quite opportunistic actually.’
ashley: ‘but it’s not even halloween yet…’
alfredo: ‘bullseye!’
ofra: ‘anyway, I got myself a nice cardigan’ (distressed) but then when I came home and looked myself in the mirror, I noticed the shoulders were lifted…’
ashley: ‘was there not a mirror there?’
ofra: ‘no’
alfredo: ‘let’s see it, c’mon…!’

ofra runs up the stairs and stomps back down 30 seconds later. the vision was one of hades’ underworld. the lettuce green cardigan – or luminescent green, really! – covered her all the way down to the knees, had lifted shoulders, and could easily fit two ofras inside.

ofra: ‘so, what do you think?’
alfredo: ‘oh-my-god!’
ashley: ‘hmm… very nice.’
ofra: ‘no, really, what do you think?’
alfredo: ‘take that out, please take that out it’s hurting my eyes.’
ashley: ‘ofra, that’s so ugly!’
ofra: ‘you think?’
ashley+alfredo: ‘yes!’

later that night, your deKruiff wrote an e-mail to sedaka and mentioned that one of the arts centre’s cardigans had made its way to the house, via ofra’s hand. his laconic reply was:

‘well somebody must buy them – and now we know who!’

ofra returned the cardigan the following day, and it will probably go back to the town of cardigan, another welsh middle-of-nowhere in ceredigion county.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

poppy flower concerto

002. oh what with those aberystwyth music club’s matinée concerts… your storyteller trotted up the penglais hill rather late for a magnificent concert in the great hall of the aberystwyth arts centre, certainly it would be a memorable event. uh… no! despite the hedious pain in his calves, in the foyer not even 50 – mostly female – old rags gathered around the opportunistic christmas market, their combined ages certainly close to 3350 years. your cunning anti-hero got there just in time to line up behind all those shrunk ladies, pay his 50p for the programme to a chubby old man with a funny augusto pinochet mustache and walk into a full hall. uh… no! just under 50 older rags were already sitting inside the enormous room, their combined ages probably closer to 4000 years… some of the men actually looked like first world war veterans. ok, to be fair, there were a few young lads and lassies around the age of yours truly. looking around, your alfredo spotted some strange patterns in the diminute crowd. could it be that one of those boomerang fashion styles was back? nine ancient ladies were wearing black turtle necks and sharp red coats. albeit close-observing, this blogger could not gather beyond any doubt if they were disguised as rememberance-day-poppy-flowers or if they were indeed poppy flowers disguised as old ladies. among the sea of pish posh cardigans, a few white martha stewart ponchos (probably fake) and plenty of ugly tweed, these red-black beacons stood out like purple sheep in a green munro. in come jeremy young, a handsome and passionate finnish-looking pianist in blacks, violinist adi brett in purple-y ballerina thingies and nicholas trygstad in his cello outfit. your blogger focused on their warm welcome, despite performing to an almost empty room. clapped when all clapped, slowly and stylishly. the music, announced as haydn and brahms, was by far less exciting than their hans werner henze and frank bridge miniatures, little pearls of sneeky musical pleasure… if only yours trully hadn’t been constantly distracted by the poppy flower ladies all over the audience and this obnoxious lady-with-a-flowery-blouse on the front row, timing the pieces. timing the pieces...!! as if she was preparing the next d-day invasion. how joyfull it all must have been for her. hmpff.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

the re-birth of alfredo deKruiff

001. the table top clock rang at 7.30 sharp. this smallish man raised his head in fermented torpor and the ceiling looked orange or green or maybe purple. he shoved the covers away, rotated on his hips and hit the dog's nose with his heel. this blogger can tell you, it promised to be another horrible damp day. stumbling on nothing on his way to the kitchen, deKruiff streched in five different directions in a show of contortionist extravanza. the dog followed, stretched behind him, and collapsed in a corner for a second nap. beyond the rooftops, the early sky looked argentinian blue, one lone string of cumulonimbuses spanning up north over the tree canopies. a sphere of several hundred starlings startled this yet sleepy man, the incongruous black swarm flying toward the kitchen's window, then knotting an impossible 90 degrees up and warping out of sight above the house. this put a sure smile of wonder in his grumpy face, while the odour of brewing coffee swiffed around the house screaming at Monday morning. well, tuesday. at 7.33 the cellular phone blooped with an incoming text. sedaka was the first. 'happy birthday you. do you feel older already?'. how weasaly, or really, how wombaty! at 7.36, when this storyteller was pouring himself some coffee in a pink-green mug, the phone rang. amis this time: 'i'm just walking to the office. well, just getting in. just going up the stairs right now. anyway, merry christmas - ha ha i mean, happy- birthday-talk-to-you-later-bye-bye'. all too fast for that coffee that had still to run in your deKruiff's veins. when he was going up his own flight of stairs with the orange-blue mug in his hand, the phone rang a second time. your blogger – of course – cursed and continued up, ignoring the yelping device. your truly prepared himself a bath with cypress salts and then bathed, shaved, brushed his teeth and drank the black coffee all more or less at the same time, although not necessarily in this order. Lighting a cigarrette outside the front door, your writer was 31 years old for the first time in his life.