Sunday, November 27, 2005

You render the sun uncomely.

A friend and I dropped by The Only Cafe for a drink tonight. As I told the story of how I was bodychecked into a wall in Broadview station last night, drawn into an impromptu foot hockey game with a smashed-flat beer can, and awarded a penalty shot owing to my being "the honorary guy", an older man wandered in, sat down beside us, and ordered a Glenlivet on the rocks. The Only didn't have have Glenlivet, our charming waitress told him. Would he like anything else? "Glenfiddich!" he exclaimed with emphasis.

He received his whisky and began mumbling to himself after a while, first quietly, then steadily building in volume. Eventually, he was gesticulating, rending his clothes, and making scuttling motions across the table with his hand at the same time he was saying something about a crab. He was drunkenly reciting bits of monologues, weaving together a rich tapestry of references to various dramas from film and the stage and very probably interspersing it with some freestyled original material. It was like spending an evening with John Barrymore. This one-man stage show lasted at least a half hour, and was only briefly interrupted as he beat out a bongo solo on the table in accompaniment of Love's "A House Is Not a Motel", which was playing in the background. The man was a living graduate thesis in English literature, as mad and Shakepearean as King Lear himself. We were clearly in the presence of a literary genius and master thespian.* But oh, what a rogue and peasant slave was he.

"He isn't bothering you, is he?" the waitress asked us. Just then, he seemed to become aware of the people around him for the first time since receiving his Glenfiddich.

"You render the sun uncomely!" he intoned sonorously in her direction with a flourish of his hand.

"What?" she said, wrinkling her nose in confusion.

"He says you're pretty," I translated.

"Oh," she said, disappearing.

"You render the sun uncomely." I can't decide if that line is really slick or just really crazy. I guess it depends on whether you're drunk off your ass and wearing Adidas warmup pants with leather tasseled loafers when you say it.

*Coincidentally, an old Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Jon Lovitz's "Master Thespian" character is airing as I write this. Acting! Brilliant! Thank you!


Blogger The Girl Who said...

It's slick.. I wouldn't be opposed to a fellow telling me I render the sun uncomely. And it requires a tad more more thought than, 'you're hot'. Of course, that also implies the sun, doesn't it?

11/27/2005 08:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Riley said...

Or a branding iron.

11/28/2005 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

I like it. But mostly because, if you say it just so, it sounds like an insult. I imagine a scenario where the woman is first taken aback, thinking at first, that you've just insulted her. Then, upon mulling over the words realize it's not at all an insult and quite the compliment. It's like slapping her around a bit, then buying her something nice.

11/28/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous NX Pete said...

But she did infact make the sun uncomely. And if he was just a little less crazy it might have worked for him.

12/07/2005 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

I doubt it. She seemed pretty sharp, but she clearly had no idea what the hell he meant.

12/08/2005 12:30:00 AM  

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