I delete the message without listening to it.
I go back to pondering what real coffee tastes like again, while staring at an empty shelf. Again, my phone rings. This time, I pick it up. Whoever it is clearly knows that the more they call me back, the more likely I am to pick up the phone to tell them to shut the fuck up and leave me alone. And I was right – Loudboys unnaturally chirpy voice comes down the line, berating me for being a lazy fucker and to get out of bed. I point out that I’ve been up for hours, so he can stop being a lazy fucker, which leads us down a conversational path we really don’t want to discuss today. It involves online dating, a good dose of porn, and ‘asian girls’. As I struggle to drag the conversation back to a PG rating, it becomes clear that Loudboy is propositioning something or other, in his own special way.
The theatre, you say? I said. He responds to the affirmative, and I think that while I really couldn’t give a fuck about theatre, it would be getting out of the house, and Vomit Girl quite likes this sort of thing. Plus I’d be able to get drunk and tease arts wankers. I look forward to the day I can write off booze on my tax as a necessary element of my ongoing research – call it a life ambition, if you will. So, I ask Loudboy as to what this theatre might be… I tune out as he craps on about Greek mythology, puppets and fuck knows what else, and agree to go to shut him up. It works, and Vomit Girl is enthralled when I pass on the news that we’re going to the theatre that night, in assistance of Loudboys ongoing attempts to club himself a wife to drag back to the Loud Cave.
By the time he arrives at the house, I am of course rather stoned. Again – research purposes. Unfortunately, Loudboy is true to form and running spectacularly late, meaning that we would now have no time for dinner prior to said performance. We speed off in the hope that the venue will have some form of snackages, or at least booze, and find ourselves to be right on one count. Alcohol – Check. Food – not a chance. Vomit Girl, well she wisely suggests that we take it easy on the booze and plan for some post-theatre yakitori. A fine suggestion – except that I’m stoned, and onto my second or third glass of cheap piss in a plastic cup, and Loudboy is known for his enormous appetite and bad taste. Off we went to the Sev, Vomit Girl protesting, as Loudboy picks up armfuls of snacks such as bags of chips, cheese, biscuits, salami…and possibly a pie. VG –again wisely- points out that there’s no way we’re going to be able to eat all this before getting in. Loudboy agrees and strips her of her jacket, ‘hiding’ the two supermarket bags full of tasty beneath it in an attempt to fool theatre staff by looking gentlemanly.
Of course, by the time we arrive back at the venue and pour ourselves another drink or two, Loudboy is attempting to flirt with the staff who have all but told him to fuck off… an impressive look it was, too; There he stood, jeans and t-shirt in a room full of dresses and semi-formal attire – plastic bag half-wrapped in a womans jacket slung over his shoulder, loudly guffawing as he drank red wine from a plastic cup. Which was the moment Vomit Girl chose to inform him he was actually standing in the entrance to the mens toilets.
Embarrassedly moving away a quite a click, Loudboy then found a new perch of a stairwell – a rather echoey, amplifying stairwell... from which he passed judgement on every person in the room, declaring ‘all the women are gay, but not as gay as all the gay men, but what do you expect, it’s the theatre. But if gay men are going to go to the theatre, they should be better dressed than this… what is gay Melbourne coming to, anyway?’ Safe to say, our rag tag little group was now completely isolated from the idle chatter filling the foyer.
And that’s when they let us in.
And that’s when they let us in.
I decided that I should get a refill on booze before entering, because, well, you know how long these artsy things can go for. So, after purchasing a beer, I find I’m not allowed to take glass in…just plastic cups. For your future information, one bottle of becks equals approx three little plastic cups. Feeling like a right pilic walking into the theatre drunkenly carrying several little plastic cups, I soon realise that I’m being well and truly overshadowed by Loudboy and had absolutely nothing to worry about. By this point, he was no longer attempting to conceal his contraband snacks, and was randomly stepping on people in an effort to get to our seats, whilst commenting loudly on each person he has subsequently passed. ‘God, wonder what Baldy’s problem is!’ What Baldy didn’t realise was that things were about to get a whole lot worse for him before the night was out.
Upon finding a group of seats up the back of the stand in what could now be described as a miniature-theatre, with a 50 person odd capacity, the lights were dimmed. People hushed. There was a slide show going on on the back wall of the stage, an actor standing out the front trying to look uber-future-cool or something, wearing sunglasses and all. Loudboy chose this moment to stand up, move forward a row to a vacant seat, sit in it, and proceded to strech loudly. Baldy turned around, furious, and glared, ‘shhhh’-ing Loudboy. He finished up his stretch, and came back to our block of seating. VomitGirl looked incredulous. The show went on. It mostly involved a lot of crap music, a prop that would’ve suited Katamari Damacy, and an impenetrable storyline involving ‘the void’ *cue spooky music*. It was very, very quiet. Which was when we heard the first sounds of rustling from Loudboys’ direction. Soon, I was handed an unwrapped stick of salami. I tried to give some to VG, who was clearly having some sort of internal moral dilemma as to wether this was funny, or infuriating. I think she settled for some sort of compromise between the two, as she reluctantly started eating the contraband salami.
Then, then there was more salami. Which while certainly audible, was a relatively silent snack. In comparison to the cheese on crackers that we were soon presented with after a long session of fishing about in a plastic bag, again from Loudboys direction. There were now a couple of rows of people staring at us intermittently, Baldy doing his best to try and catch Loudboy in the act, but always turning around just a split second too late – post chomp, post unpackage, post kicking a while pile of shit over accidentally. Again, VG looked incredulous, urging me to stop him in his tracks. But I had the Katamari Damacy soundtrack playing in my head, this really was the perfect set of physical actions to be accompanying it. I grinned and continued my silent, internal giggling.
And that’s when I was handed a bag of pork crackling, accompanied by a bag of potato chips. I did everything I possibly could do to withhold my laughter, and waited, silently, for the eating to begin. As the first *CRUNCH! Crunch! crunch crunch* began, I bowed my head, hiding my laughter from the now furious VG, and the swivel-headed patrons of ‘The Void’. On it went, throughout the rest of the show, VG cringing at every loud crunch and rustle. Baldy now had a team of spotters, attempting to catch us in the act. They never succeeded in their quest, but it was fair to say that Loudboy was more than a little caught out at the end of the show, where he found himself surrounded in food wrappings, plastic bags, and covered from head to toe in crumbs. But he didn’t care – by this point he was loudly proclaiming the crapicity of the show more generally, in particular, the use of a spaceman in an ill fated attempt to demonstrate something that I’m pretty sure is wank.
And I guess that’s the charm of Loudboy. I don’t know if he even begins to realise how loud he really is. Or how inappropriate his actions are at any given point. But in situations like this, he’s guaranteed to be the train wreck you don’t want to be implicated in, but do want to be close enough to see in every gristly little detail. Is it gallantry in its truest form? This provision of entertainment without question, without expectation of participation, or is it buffoonery at its lowest point? Again, maybe it’s somewhere between the two. My advice is that everyone should have a loudboy waiting in the wings. It’s guaranteed to be a good laugh, and you won’t be the one being beaten up by a squad of badly dressed, yet impressively angry theatre queers at the end of the night.
PS – He later sat on Kipper that night. It was hilarious.
“But he’s not a cat!” she proclaimed.