The grimness of November is depressing me already. I do not mind the cold if the sky is bright, but this relentless greyness is getting right on my vestibules.
Some time ago I related the story of the woman who stole my cigarette when I gave it to her to light her own. She ran off laughing into the Hammersmith evening.
On my way home tonight I was outside Hammersmith Tube listening to Deep Purple’s ‘Machine Head’ album.
During a lull in the rock, I heard a voice behind me say ‘Excuse me!’ and turned round to discover the very woman who had stolen my cigarette.
‘Have you got a spare cigarette, please?’ she asked.
‘No!’ I snapped, and gave her my basilisk glare of death.
‘That’s a bit rude.’ she said.
‘You may not remember,’ I said, shouting a little as Deep Purple had revved up again, ‘and looking at you, I don’t suppose you do, but last time I met you, you stole my cigarette and ran off with it. So no, I’m not going to give you a cigarette. You can Piss Off!’
I can recommend Deep Purple as a backdrop to a rousing bit of invective. It works a treat.
‘You’re just rude, you.’ she said, as if my speech had not registered at all. ‘All I asked for was some smokes..’
She then turned her attention to another man, smoking nearby.
‘Have you got any fags?’ she demanded.
‘No!’ he said.
At this, she lost all sense of composure and began to harangue me, although fortunately Deep Purple had got their wind back properly by now and she was drowned out by falsetto vocals and a keyboard solo.
‘Can you hear me?!!!!’ she screeched, clenching her fists.
‘Not well,’ I said. ‘You’ll have to screech up!’ at which the other smoking man laughed.
‘I don’t care!’ she said, ‘I don’t like either of you!’ and stormed off into the Hammersmith night.
I felt quietly avenged and would like to thank Deep Purple publicly for their supportive role.