Actor, writer and exiled co-founder of First Draft, Sonia Jalaly, pens our next guest blog on the theme ‘Collections’, to further whet your whistles for our VAULTS event tomorrow…
I love a good anecdote. Stealing, banking and re-telling someone else’s anecdote in the pub in an attempt to trick people into thinking I’m incredibly witty, wise and worldly is something I do quite a bit of. I collect them. My own anecdotes and those I have stolen from people who have more interesting lives than I do. (Please note I always credit the owner of the anecdote. Friends, do not read this and think ‘Sonia is a plagiarist and a fraud and has probably stolen my identity at least twice’.)
One of my favourite things is hearing a story of a close friend or relative that I’ve never heard before, throwing my hands up in the air and shouting something along the lines of ‘that’s amazing, how did I not know you had mad passionate sex with Terry Wogan in the Taj Mahal on Halloween?!’ I will then commit this story to my memory and make them tell it again and again every time I see them.
I don’t just collect stories so I can re-tell them in the pub. I store them in a playlist in my head so I can request them whenever I see the author in the same way I would request Beyonce at a wedding reception: drunkenly, aggressively and if you give me Rihanna instead I will kick off. Yes, a half arsed re-telling of a story will not do it for me. A friend likes to call this my ‘TELL IT HOW I LIKE IT’ moment.
Tell me about the time your Grandma screamed ‘Son of a fuck’ down the highway.
Tell me about the time you had diarrhea in a treehouse.
Tell me about the time you set your face on fire with a flaming sambucca.
Tell me about the time a stranger tried to urinate in your car.
Tell me about the time you drank from your hamsters water bottle in a moment of desperation on a megabus.
AND TELL IT HOW I LIKE IT.
This is the main reason I love the pub. Well, one of the main reasons. Beer is nice and I won’t eat scampi anywhere else. But more importantly the pub, to a hoarder like myself, is a car boot sale of stories, anecdotes, and in some cases long, verbal memoirs from the drunk man who sits at the bar and smells like cheese and onion.
But as I get older I find I can’t remember stories as well as I used to. Someone will say something like ‘aren’t ski seasons the perfect time for lemon meringue pies?’ and I’ll know I have a hilarious lemon-meringue-pie-ski-season related memory somewhere in the back catalogue but I can’t remember it. And I don’t even know if this memory belongs to me or someone else. Have I ever been on a ski season? When was the last time I had lemon meringue pie? I don’t know. The collection has merged and become one big epic tale of Terry Wogan urinating on a hamster in a treehouse.
Join us TOMORROW (19 March) for our special VAULTS event at The John Rylands Library
Read the other blogs on this theme here
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