22 January, 2008

Domestic Happenings, Episode 4: What a dump!

[At rise: Al is making her way to the bus stop, ready to head to the gym. She even has a skip in her step. Little does she know, the kind of skip her step truly possesses. And low, the 67 approaches.]

Al: S#%*. [She searches her huge bag for her Oystercard. At first calmly, and then frantically. ]
Bus Driver: ... C'mon.
Al: Just a sec... please, [More frantic searching] ...one sec.
Bus Driver: [Obvious deep loud sigh]
Other Polite North London Passengers: Move it! C'mon hurry up! What's taking so long?!!
Al: Sorry. [Al exits the bus, feeling diminished, embarrassed and frustrated. Not only is her neighborhood veeeeerrrrryy well spoken and understanding, but more importantly Where could the Oyster be?!!]

[Al returns home, and ransacks the flat. The Oystercard is not to be found. She sighs:]

Al: *Sigh...*

[And it occurs to her. Like a doom-filled dawn. She took out the rubbish before heading to the bus stop, and in her enthusiasm, thrust the Oystercard in to the community garbage tip. Yes. She can see it now. A flash of light month-pass-blue flinging through the air in to the huge, collective garbage dumpster for her little corner of the ghetto. She speaks aloud to herself:]

Al: So... note to self: do not dump Oystercard with rubbish. Just like we learned in 2005 about not recycling one's passport. This is just like that... but less expensive... and dirtier... ARGH!

[She approaches the dumpster. It smells like rotting. There are over a dozen industrial size bags of garbage. And her Oystercard is somewhere in here... She has to get in. She winces, covers her nose and mouth with her scarf and pushes herself up onto the edge with her arms, and unceremoniously tumbles in to the tip FACE DOWN.]


[She takes a moment to contemplate her situation whilst face down in the dump: "This is silly. Like, stupid-silly. Like, thump-your-forehead-with-the-palm-of-your-hand-silly. Like, I’m-going-to-throw-the-Oystercard-that-inspired-this-adventure-in-the-Thames-and-I-just-might-go-with-it-silly." And just as she begins digging, the mobile phone in her pocket rings:]

Al: Hello?
Al's Agent: Hi there Alexandra, it's Amanda here.
Al: Uh... oh hi! Hi there.
Agent: Is this a good time?
Al: [It's as good a time as any] Well... it's funny you see... I--
Agent: Where are you? You sound really echoey.
Al: Well... well, Amanda if you must know.... I... am... in a tip. [PAUSE.] A dumpster. Outside my house... My dumpster.
Agent: Right. Well... would you like to ring me back at a... more convenient time...?
Al: Um, no. Now is fine, I mean, I'm in here so... might as well have a brief chat I guess. What is, uh, up?
Agent: Uh-huh... well....

[Agent proceeds to give Al professional updates and casting information, she wishes Al the best, and hastily hangs up.]

Agent: Take care, then,
Al: You too. Bye bye.

[And then she sees it. At the bottom. Covered in dumpster sludge. She digs through to the bottom and retrieves it. Grimacing, she slides out. Success. And now to the shower... ]


  1. You poor thing. I'm sure you handled the rest of the day with incredible poise.

  2. you... did...NOT....


  3. I'm still seeing those flies with their little curly paths outlined in the air. Ah, Pigpen, we love you... x

  4. ...You brightened up my morning! Kudos for diving in there - I would run away I reckon! I'm seeing the book of your life in London already in print. Start writing to editors.

  5. I'm seconding the whole "book of your life" thing.

    Domestic Happenings could be BIG!



  6. that was wonderful

  7. You're a bloody wonder! Half of me wants you to continue your bad luck so we can get more amazing stories. The other half wishes you never have to go through anything like the dumpster again. Ever.

  8. I see a mythological aspect to it - was it not an alleghory for a sublime adventure, in which the silver shaman heard the call and dove into the underworld, after negotiating perils along the way such as the ignorant ire of lost souls on public transport, so that she could rummage through the demonic debris and retrieve the one single treasure that would restore balance to the world???

    Once again, you're a hero.

  9. I miss sitting in your mom's kitchen watching you act out stories like this as we try to compress months of our lives into a few hours. I can see it now... a small trash can, a few well chosen expressions, and tons of laughter. much love

    And now I must ask what happened to episode 3?



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