Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Michael Robertson is Unwell

By which I mean I have a heavy cold but not the flu I'm pretty sure.

My symptoms are mild, though after I walked down to the shops on Lakeshore to buy my Trader Joe's pizza for my supper, I had to lie down. Still, anyone with the nerve and verve to walk down to Trader Joe's for one of their pizzas has clearly not been clapped with a serious case of anything.

By the way, the hed for this post comes from the play "Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell," which I claim for my own because E. and I saw it performed in London in 1989 during our first trip to England with my late cousin Joan. It was a one-man show, starring Peter O'Toole, who looked a bit unwell himself, and this was 20 years ago.

The premise was that the eponymous character had just awakened to discover that he was in his favorite bar and that he had been locked in for the night. It was a rather neat frame and an improvement on the "well, hey there" convention of most one-man shows. A person locked in a bar might ramble to himself to while away the hours.

My cousin decided we should sit in a box. The view was exceptional. O'Toole did not seem to be feigning the dilapidation one associates with too great an intimacy with alcohol.

The title of the play referred to the not infrequent explanation in the Spectator for Bernard's absence. Apparently, it meant he was too drunk to write. I, on the other hand, am too sick to drink. Thus, I am rehabilitating the euphemism.

I really am unwell here on New Year's Eve, sick and alone if you want to be vulgar about it. I am incapable of accepting any and all invitations to come celebrate the new year with you.

But you already had heard I was ill. That is why you did not add to my discomfort by actually tendering an invitation, was it not?

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