There is a stupid game that I play from Facebonk called Criminal Case. In it, you are taken to various “Crime Scenes” and basically have to find certain objects within a limited time. It’s absolute bollocks, but I’ve always liked silly games. Before the advent of social media, I used to spend hours playing Minesweeper and to anyone in the know, well you can’t beat my best time on Expert level. I’ve been playing MAHJONG since that very first 2000 word assignment had to be handed in the next day in 1994 at the Australian National University in Canberra. I don’t like my games fancy, (and I never spend money), just easily obsessive. Anyhow, back to Criminal Case. So I’m playing it the other day back in London, and suddenly, with ‘NYPD’ music and lights it says… “TO THE CRIME SCENE! Heading to the mini market….!”
I thought there was only one mini market in the world. Mine. I’m aware the term “mini market” is pretty international, but no one in my mind should take the name in vain.
It’s Summer 2014.
It’s a holiday.
I find myself sat in the corner around the LIPTON ICE TEA plastic table down at the mini market the morning after arrival. I look over to a door. There, in my own handwriting from 2012, is a scruffy piece of A4 paper that says “OPEN”.
I would have been disappointed had the first words from my dear old MIL not been “Aah, Looby. THIS is your colour! Aah, look at you, so many kilos!”.
I was not let down.
“So much more to love, Maria. So very much more.”
This familiarity was later backed up by Yannis playing a CD of himself singing and playing Bazouki blasted out across the restaurant in the evening as he talked to some ‘cousins’ from Athens. As the twitch in my left eye started to set in much like Inspector Clusoe from the Pink Panther movies, I reminded myself to relax. It’s just a holiday.
Apparently, and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this previously, but nearly every Greek customer who walks in is some kind of cousin from Athens. Although I’m aware that Greeks have big families, I’m not sure that they understand the normal usage of the word “cousin”. What it does mean is the son or daughter of a directly related aunt or uncle. Surely it doesn’t include “a friend of the second son of the aunt who was once married to my first cousin forty years ago after returning from Guatemala.” These cousins, and there are continuously new ones, enter the restaurant nightly. Twas always thus. Last night, some cousins came from Athens. I’ve not met them before, never heard them mentioned before, but lo and behold… “Looby, please meet my cousins…”. “More…?”
I have no problem with this. Welcome one and welcome all. Call good friends or old friends Aunts/Uncles/cousins/furniture, what you will. What I have a problem with is that fact that this gives Yanni the opportunity to put the CD on. Honestly. he sings flat. So do I often, but I would not subject anyone to some of my theatrical performances on DVD on a loop and call it ‘entertainment’. “Come to mine, we can play old videos of me doing Shakespeare. You’ll LOVE it!”.
There is a new waiter in the restaurant. Before the cousins arrived, after introducing myself, my ears attuned themselves to the previously playing CD blasted out over the restaurant.
“Is she still playing that bloody ABBA Mamma Mia CD I gave her five years ago?”.
He practically grabbed me.
“How long are you here for?”
“Please, Louisa, it’s so nice to meet you, but when you leave, please take that fucking CD back with you… When it’s not Yanni on bazouki, it’s bloody fucking ABBA. Twelve hours a day.”
IF YOU CHANGE YOU’RE MIND I’M THE FIRST IN LINE
HONEY I’M STILL FREE TAKE A CHANCE ON ME….
In pool when you’e not playing the game anymore but you want to take one shot for fun, it’s called a celebrity shot.
I’m back. Celebrity shot.