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Tea party gone wrong

As you probably read, I had a tea party last Sunday to which I’d invited Toby, Fiona and Amendaria. Amendaria arrived an hour earlier than expected. He looked horrible, like he hadn’t eaten or slept in weeks because he was too busy crying… When I asked him how he was he said “I’m fine, just a bit tired”. I didn’t believe he was actually fine but I got the feeling he didn’t want to talk about it.

After an hour filled with conversations about the weather and awkward silences Toby and Fiona arrived. It felt so good to see them again! It felt like ages since we talked! Toby was very happy to see me, he hugged me so hard that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. After we’ drunk some fantasy flavoured tea and had all eaten a slice of my homemade rainbow cake it all went wrong… Toby liked my cake so much he wanted to take a second slice, but Fiona forbade him! When I asked her why Toby wasn’t allowed to take a second slice she bluntly said: “Oh c’mon C.G., look at him! He’s fat enough as it is! He looks DISGUSTING…” Toby reacted: “I’m sick of you criticising me all the time! All you’ve told me the past week is how ugly and fat I am… If I’m so disgusting, why don’t you dump me?!” Fiona looked baffled… As if she was surprised Toby didn’t like being criticised by her all the time. I turned to Fiona and said: “You know, I don’t think Toby is that fat. He gained a little weight, you’re right about that. But he looks better than he did before.” Fiona angrily reacted: “Sure, defend him! Like you always do! Sometimes I wonder whether you’re in love with Toby! The way you always praise him and stand up for him! Well, I’ve got bad news for you MISSY, he’s mine!” I quickly replied: “Fiona, I’m not trying to steal your man, if that’s what you’re insinuating. I’m sorry if I ever gave you the impression I’m interested in Toby in that way… I just thought it was rude of you to say he’s fat in front of his friends and…” Fiona started laughing at that point and said: “Friends? Don’t make me laugh! That depressed unicorn isn’t his FRIEND. We don’t even KNOW him! Why did you invite him anyway? To bring down the mood?” All of the sudden Amendaria stood up and shouted: “Stop yelling, you stupid cow… I mean, panda! What have I done to you to deserve being dissed?! If anyone’s bringing the mood down it’s you! And I’ll tell you something else: if anyone here’s fat, it’s you! Before you start dissing other people, take a good look in the mirror!” After he’d said all this he ran away. I turned to Fiona and said:”I hope you’re happy now! I invited him because he’s been through a lot this week and I thought he could use some cheering up… But congratulations Fiona, you’ve made it all worse! I’d like to request you to go home now. You can come back when you’ve realised what you’ve done and said wrong today…”

After this Toby and Fiona left. Toby sent me a text five minutes after they’d walked out of my house in which he apologised for his girlfriend’s behaviour. I replied that Fiona was the one who had to apologise, not he.



Willy the Wailing Whale from Wales

It was Toby’s birthday last Friday. To celebrate Toby, Fiona and I went to a pub. Toby wanted to go to the Hoarse Horse because he wanted to see one of his old school mates: Willy the Wailing Whale from Wales, who was performing at the Hoarse Horse.

The Hoarse Horse is a very small pub which is known for their good fantasy flavoured cocktails. After we’d found a place to sit we each ordered one of those famous fantasy flavoured cocktails (virgin ones for Fiona and Toby!) and an extra large portion of tortilla chips with rainbow dip, which is made of tiny bits of the rainbow and the tears of a unicorn.

After waiting for an hour the pub was so full that you could barely breathe and Willy had to start performing. Since Toby had told me Willy is one of the best musicians he knew I had high expectations. He’d even compared him to one of my favourite artists, Jack White. The moment he started playing the piano I knew Toby couldn’t have been more wrong. It sounded like a 3-year old playing the piano for the very first time, just punching keys. When I thought it couldn’t get worse, he started singing. I felt like I was trapped in a box filled with chaos, anger, sadness and Japanese noise… His lyrics weren’t very good either, he just cried out random words. It was so horrible that even Rebecca Black could teach him a thing or two about writing lyrics. After each song more and more people started booing and left the pub. I felt like following their example but I didn’t want to hurt Toby’s feelings, so I stayed.

After two more hours of pure torture Willy was finished and joined our table. He asked us what we thought about his performance. I didn’t know what to say: I didn’t want to hurt him, but I didn’t want to lie either. Before I could think of a proper answer Fiona asked him what he thought of his performance to which he smugly replied: “This was the best gig I’ve ever given, but clearly the world is not ready for my music.” At this point Toby interrupted him and loudly asked him: “What do you mean? I thought it was great!” To this Wally replied: “I know it was, my dear friend. But we seem to be the only ones. The pub was full before I started and look at it now, it’s nearly empty.” Toby turned to Fiona and me, and asked us what we thought. To avoid problems I simply replied: “It wasn’t my cup of tea.” I hoped this would be enough, that they’d leave me alone with my thoughts but then Wally fired questions me: “And may I ask why not?! What was wrong with my music?! Is it not good enough for your human ears?! Do you think you could do better?!” I didn’t like his condescending attitude and the superior tone in his voice when he asked me those questions. The smug smile he wore on his face a few minutes earlier had been replaced by an agitated and threatening look. Before I knew it I was giving him my full and honest opinion: “Yes, I think I could do better. As a matter of fact, I think anyone could do better… Listening to your music felt like being stabbed in the ear with a machete. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s caused more brain damages over the years than Justin Bieber’s music. I can honestly say that I’d rather listen to an album by Coldplay  than listening to your music, and you should know that I hate Coldplay with all my heart…” After this I sat back and crossed my legs. Fiona was looking at me in awe. Wally stood up and said goodbye to Toby without even glancing at me. I had destroyed him completely, which on the one hand made me feel so good but on the other hand it made me feel a bit guilty.  When Wally had left the pub Toby turned to me and said: “How could you? That’s one of my best mates, and you’ve offended him. You could have tried  being respectful! Was that really necessary” Before I could apologise Fiona said: “Toby, didn’t you hear his music? It was absolutely horrible! And he clearly can’t cope with people having an opinion about his music, unless if it’s a good one. Didn’t you hear how he talked to her when she said that she didn’t like his music? He wasn’t very respectful either, was he? He needed to be put down and that’s what she did.” I added to this: “Toby has a point though: I did go too far. But he wanted my honest opinion, I gave him what he asked. I know I was harsh but he didn’t ask me in a polite way either, did he?” Toby didn’t reply to this. After he had been quiet for more than 5 minutes I told him I was sorry about what I’d done. To this he said: “I know you are and I understand why you felt the urge to break him down, I really do. I am not saying that you shouldn’t have given him your opinion, I’m just saying that you didn’t have to be rude. You really hurt his feelings… I think you should apologise to Wally for the way you reacted.” When he’d said this he gave me Wally’s phone number.

I walked outside and phoned Wally when he picked up the phone I apologised. I told him that I meant what I said but that I should have been more respectful and considerate of his feelings when saying it. Wally interrupted me and said: “No need to apologise, hun. You were right: my music is terrible. I’ve been living in a dream world, telling myself that my music didn’t sell because people weren’t ready for it. But the truth is people will never be ready for it because it’s horrible. You’ve woken me up and made me realise this. I want to thank you for this.” I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t expect he’d accept my apology, let alone that he’d thank me for being cruel to him. I told him that he was welcome and wished him all the best luck in the future. After this I hung up and went back inside. I told Toby and Fiona about what had just happened. They were just as shocked as I was, but they were happy that he wasn’t angry with me. To celebrate we drank one more cocktail and ate the rest of our tortilla chips. After this we went home.

Toby the Penguin and Fiona the foxy Panda

About a year ago I went to Hawaii. I stayed in this luxurious hotel by the beach, with a bar that served the best lightning flavoured cocktails. Each evening I went to the bar for my daily cocktail.

On my third evening I thought I’d try out something new. I ordered a music flavoured cocktail. It wasn’t very good though: it tasted like Miley Cyrus Ft. Kings Of Leon… Horrible! Because I didn’t want the bartender to feel offended I drank it anyway.

When I was trying to finish my cocktail I heard someone snivelling. I looked around to find out that it was a penguin sitting on the other side of the bar, sobbing. I asked Julio (the bartender) what was wrong with the penguin and he replied: “I don’t know. He arrived half an hour ago and asked for a glass of heartbreak. Once he had two of them, he started wailing.”

After an hour or two Julio was getting testy. The penguin hadn’t ordered any new drinks and he was driving the other customers away with his crying and mumbling. I decided to find out why he was so sad. I sat down next to the penguin and asked him what his name was. He shortly replied “Toby”. When I asked Toby why he was crying he tried to get rid of me by saying: “Leave me alone! I don’t want to talk to anybody.” But I didn’t give up and replied: “Listen, I’m not Anybody. Anybody is sitting by the beach with his wife, Somebody.” He stared at me with his big sad eyes. To break the awkward silence I asked him whether he fancied another drink. In a shaky voice he replied: “No thanks, I still have some…” Soon I noticed that Toby was catching his tears in his glass and was drinking these. After a minute of complete silence Toby started talking…

“I used to have it all. I was a rich business penguin, I had a wife Cindy and three beautiful children: Alf, Ralf and Calf. After being married for 4 years Cindy left me and the kids for a new life in Bollywood. This was the saddest day of my life, this is also when I started drinking. I usually drink three heartbreaks. Once I’ve finished those, I become so emotional that the homemade heartbreaks start pouring out.” At this point he started crying again. I gave him a few pats on the back and said to him: “There, there… Toby, drinking is not the solution. What about your children?”

Toby looked at his glass and continued: “My children hate me, they’d probably rather see me dead… Two years ago I still was a successful businessman. I couldn’t quit my job to take care of the children, we needed the money! So I hired a nanny to take care of them. The children hated her and hated me for leaving them alone with the nanny all day. They described her as an ugly, overweight version of Julie Andrews (you know, from the films “The Sound Of Music” and “Mary Poppins”). One day I came home and found her in the living room, singing very badly to my children. They were dressed in clothes made of curtains and looked at me in horror. After seeing this, I fired her. I think that’s the last good choice I made for my children. When I started talking about getting a new nanny the children begged me not to. I hired one anyway: a hot, I mean, nice bird from Italy. From then on everything went downhill again: my drinking habit grew stronger, I lost my precious job after arriving at work drunk…” Toby shook his head dismissively and continued: “After being unemployed for a year my children tried to confront me with my drinking habit I denied that I had a problem. At some point they told me to choose between them and my bottle of heartbreak. I chose the bottle…”  He drank another shot of heartbreak that he had filled up with his tears and continued: “I took the first plane out of the country and ended up here, in Hawaii.”

After hearing this horrible story I promised Toby that I’d help him with his drinking problem. I told him I’d give him a place to stay if he returned with me to the Land by the Rainbow and if he stopped drinking. I told him he’d love it there: the houses are made of candy, everyone is always very friendly,… The day we arrived in the Land by the Rainbow I went to an AA-meeting with him. Just like all the new members, Toby got a chance to introduce himself and talk about his problems in front of the whole group. When he sat down next to me after sharing his history with the group, he let out a huge sigh. I think it’s safe to say that sharing his problems with the group did him good. At the end of the meeting all the new members got a buddy, someone who has been sober for a longer period and who can guide them through the whole process. Toby’s buddy was a beautiful female panda called Fiona. When Toby saw her for the first time a smile appeared on his face and he got this twinkle in his eyes. (This was the first time I saw him smiling!)

On our way to my house all Toby talked about was Fiona. He kept on saying how beautiful she is and how wonderful she smells. Because I thought he talked about her a lot I asked Toby whether he was in love with her. Toby didn’t reply to this question until a minute or two had past. Then he calmly replied: “I think I am… What should I do?” To which I replied: “Why don’t you text her? Ask her out for dinner… You can tell her that you want to talk about the programme, that you have some questions…” I didn’t think Toby would follow my advice, I thought he’d be too shy to text a woman he fancied. So you can imagine the surprise on my face when I saw that Toby did follow my advice. You should have seen the look on his face when Fiona replied that she’d love to go out with him! This was the start of a beautiful relationship between Toby and Fiona. This was the day Toby started feeling happy again…

(Thanks to @ichbinjon (Twitter) for helping me with find a more appropriate ending to this blog post.)