Juliet and her new bangs almost got into fisticuffs whilst parking, but no one needed have worried as the flat bread was still flat upon arrival, and the chicken shish hadn’t turned into lamb. We welcomed Kuba, whose inaugural speech about A.A. Gill, “He’s a cunt,” made him feel like he’d always been part of the crew. “I’m so glad you said that,” said Mary, who had struggled to read the memoir: Pour Me: A Life, so convinced was she pre-reading that she’d be faced with a class A ballsack. Mercifully, I had pestered her in the previous week to persevere as I felt she’d be able to suck juicy nuggets from this compulsion chronicle, whether it be the description of his years in boarding school, his love of cooking, his Soho drinking days or merely just the luscious language, as to me all of it was at once exquisite and exasperating due to the effortlessness loquaciousness.
Ben, who upon being told he was eating chicken was still worried it might contain goats cheese, told us, after placing his tenner back into his pocket, which then proceeded to remain there until his exit, that Gill had once slated a programme of his, which he agreed had actually been shite, and he was happy to be called out on it. Perhaps it was this recollection, which made everything taste a bit sour like the churned lactation of a ruminating mammal? But Ben agreed and felt, the world needed honest critics, who weren’t afraid to call an entire nation “loquacious, dissemblers, immoral liars, stunted, bigoted, dark, ugly, pugnacious little trolls” in the name of satire and then be taken up by the Commission for Racial Equality.
Bru, who was back from a 10-week stint of lolloping on Brooklyn beermats did intermittent linguistic spot-test with us as he simply couldn’t believe some of us hadn’t created a Gilltionary of collected A.A. words. “Logorrhea. Easy…” I said, “From the Ancient Greek “logos”, meaning word and ῥέω rheo meaning "to flow".
The Design Museum, which recently reopened in Kensington, was next up on the dissection table. Ben, who had failed to clock that segment of the exercise, continued pushing chicken around his plate like Rain Man counting matchsticks. It didn’t matter much though, as our other newbie Kuba had read the entire back catalogue of “other suggestions made” so he had plenty to say on all sorts of books and topics, making up for the awkward silences from the shish corner.
Bru had been inspired by New Old, to the same degree that I had been terrified by Mimus, a new motion-sensory robot in the Fear and Love exhibition, who jagged her head out to observe, follow and bear robot witness to my every move.
Kuba felt that at £65 a year membership was truly worth it. And Juliet pointed out that it was a great thing that in this era of cutbacks the city had invested millions into the new guise of the museum, as it helped people see to what degree design was significant in our daily lives.
I think it’s safe to say we all felt rather smug upon leaving Juliet’s as we had managed, without even trying, to bring chat back down to earth no later than the sticky baklava had emerged. I believe the words “labia” may have been in the same breath as “laters”, but quite why I can’t remember. You had to be there.
* Romanian straw hat from the Maramureș region