Cue Twilight Zone music, because at the time of episode 2 filming, I definitely felt like I was in some sort of a different dimension.
After the travesty that was Nicole’s welcome home party, culminating in Victoria Bitter (VB) flinging Athena’s cape in to the harbour, I wasn’t relishing the prospect of catching up with this dysfunctional group again.
Despite praying to God to deliver me from evil, an invitation duly arrived from VB to attend a lunch at Ormeggio at The Spit (my side of the harbour, so God didn’t entirely fail me) A follow up email just before the event suggested all attendees dress in white. Is it just me, or does that seem a little cultish ? I’ll keep up with the Jones’ but not Jonestown !
The appointed day clashed with the departure of two of my very important Chinese investors returning to Beijing. Naively I thought I could get the deal signed, investors dispatched to the airport and back over the harbour in time for lunch.
What do they say about the best laid plans ? Basically it went to hell in a handbasket. By 10am that morning it was clear that the deal wasn’t going to be inked and more reassurance from me and due diligence by the investors was required. Knowing I was going to be late, I frantically sent a text (from an airport bathroom) to VB apologising for my likely tardiness and encouraged her to start without me.
By the time I arrived at the Spit, lunch was well under way. Sydney had put on glorious weather and with the sun shimmering on the ocean, the girls were all assembled around a beautifully bedecked table looking like a coven of vestal virgins.
Oh shit, I was still wearing my black suit ! Nevermind I thought, Krissy (you might know her as Chewbacca)having lived in Shanghai for a number of years would understand that wearing white to a meeting with Chinese clients was a faux-pas. For the uninitiated, white in Chinese culture is associated with mourning and death and obviously should be avoided when trying to close a business deal.
Aside from the audible gasps and the dropping of jaws on tables when I entered the restaurant, you could have heard a pin drop. Apparently these ladies take their dress codes very seriously. To ameliorate my immediate discomfort at my reception, I made a joke about it looking like a KKK gathering. Bad move. Seems these ladies don’t do humour.
Explaining I’d had a 5am start and the aforementioned cultural sensitivities for my dress code lapse did not cut the mustard. I looked to Krissy to concur with my predicament. Nope, Krissy, who had lived in Shanghai for three years insisted the Chinese “loooooove white” – given her lack of cultural sensitivity towards Athena X and the entire Greek community at Nicole’s welcome home party, I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Pleasantly, Victoria was a very gracious host. She welcomed me with a hug and a beautiful gift basket of assorted goodies. She seemed a little nonplussed with the diamonds I was wearing, apparently you are supposed to “wear pearls for lunch and diamonds for dinner” God knows what she made of Krissy wearing an array of tacky costume jewellery (Shhhhh Secrets anyone ?)
A sip or two in to my Champagne and a noticed poor Krissy seemed to be having somewhat of an internal conniption. Concerned she may suffer a stroke, I asked her what was wrong. I’ll paraphrase as best I can here, admittedly I am not fluent in Wookie or Moron. It seems Krissy had taken GREAT OFFENCE at a comment I had posted to social media commemorating the passing off the drug-addled chanteuse Amy Winehouse.
I did my best to explain to Krissy that humour comes in all shapes and genres and is not limited to the double entendres and smutty jokes for which Krissy is famous. But no, my attempt at “humour noir” at least in Krissy’s eyes was a crime against the sisterhood, my family and indeed the whole of humanity. The ranting and raving, the forelock tugging continued.
The only way I could get Chewbacca to cease and desist was to pull out a bright pink dildo (unloved, it was intended as a gift for our lonely hostess Victoria) and toss it at her with the polite suggestion that she “literally and metaphorically go fuck herself”
After quickly googling the meaning of “metaphorical” Chewbacca was incandescent with rage (it really is a sight to behold) and I was delighted that I had achieved the intended reaction.
The rest of the day was a bit of a Champagne induced haze. Matty and Athena were pissed at each other and I have a vague recollection of Victoria pashing Athena in the car park.
As my mate Melissa says “Just another day in Sydney really”
Bring on Round 3.