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Sunday, January 04, 2009

It's me at the AA Convention!

Beauty & the Beast
I can't tell you who that is on the right because it's anonymous. But needless to say she was a lot better dressed than I was. Which is what happens when you throw out half your clothes and then realise you don't have a single shirt which fits you.

Anyhoo, if there's one thing I've always said, it's that ninety percent of people on buses are nutters. The other ten percent are me and Lisa. So what better way to travel to the Hilton Metropole than by catching the 1A to Churchill Square. It gives you the chance to meet all sorts of interesting people. I particularly liked the bloke who tried to chat Lisa up while I was sitting right next to her, and the mother who'd accessorised her baby with a pair of glasses, but for sheer entertainment value, you couldn't beat the woman who'd dyed her dog pink. It was like candy floss on a lead. I was going to tell everyone about it when we got to the convention, but I was afraid they'd think I'd been drinking.

We made it there in one piece though, and settled down in the Oxford Room to hear a variety of speakers. Or we would have done if the PA system had been turned up a bit louder and they hadn't all had foreign accents. I'm not even sure one of them was speaking a known language. But fortunately I could hear the chairman loud and clear, which meant I caught every word of his heartfelt tribute to one of the speakers...

We'd just enjoyed the testimony of a American lady, who sat back down to hear these words of gratitude from the master of ceremonies: "Thank you *****. Typical alcoholic - loves the sound of her own voice". Judging by the collective intake of breath from around the room, I'd say that joke didn't so much fall flat on its face, as get steamrollered into the tarmac. Frankly we all needed a stiff drink after that.

So we headed for the tea and coffee room, and began to browse the merchandise stall. At which point Lisa nudged me in the ribs, and I looked to the left to see that I was standing right next to one of my musical heroes. Let's face it, when you've spent good money on concert tickets and travelled all the way to London just to hear someone sing, you don't expect to find yourself in a Brighton hotel, fighting them for an AA bookmark. But such is life. I was going to start a conversation, but I was worried he might ask me when I stopped drinking. So I played it cool and pretended I was more interested in the button badges.

The Lottery of LifeAs for the evening's entertainment, we boogeyed the night away to the sounds of Abba and Cyndi Lauper, before the raffle was drawn at 10pm. I'd invested large sums of money in ticket numbers 00156, 00157, 00158, 00159 and 00160 in the hope of winning four hundred quid's worth of Currys Digital vouchers, so when the MC drew the winning ticket for the star prize, and said "Zero... zero... one... five..." before pausing for dramatic effect, I could practically taste that Blu-ray player and home cinema system.

When he finished with "... two", I felt like heading straight for the bar. The twelve steps might be fine for Lisa, but I'd rather take the lift.