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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Weirdness That Binds

I just got off the phone with a man named "Bernie."

"Short for Beh-nehd, actually."

He's English, and the proprietor of a bed and breakfast in Lexington, Vermont, where my wife and I will be staying this weekend.

(If you're into fabric with frogs on it or antique typewriters, robbing our house might very well be on your agenda, then, this coming weekend. Please just try not to leave too much of a mess. And feed Finley.)

My conversation with Bernie lasted exactly 6 minutes and 26 seconds, but, two minutes into the conversation, we were fast friends-- united by our common association with another British hotelier, Basil Fawlty.

Ordinarily, I don't bring up 1970's-era British situation comedies like "Fawlty Towers" with bed and breakfast owners, but it just came up so naturally with Bernie, so organically. In truth, in faith, I just couldn't help it. It was so easy. So... right.

He was taking me through the list of rooms available.

"Well, there's the Pheasant Room, which, in my opinion, is the nicer of the two, but it's got two twin beds in it, and I don't know if that would suit your particular situation."

Instantly, my brain was flooded with images, dialogue, and memories of episode three of "Fawlty Towers," called "The Wedding Party" in which scandal erupts when an unmarried, lascivious couple try to rent a room with a double bed from the obsessively prudish and notoriously repressed Basil.

Basil: "It's against the law."

Guest: "What law?!"

Basil: "The law of England, nothing to do with me!"

Later in the scene, the guest temporarily relents, saying that he and his lady friend will take the room with the two twin beds, "if that's alright with the police."

I told Bernard that Mrs. Apron and I are, in fact, married, and that we'd take the room with the Queen-sized bed, "if that's alright with the police." Bernard howled with delight on the other end of the phone.

"Oh, God!" Bernie cried, "don't get me started on 'Fawlty Towers,' you'll have me going on all day. I've seen them all a thousand times! My favo(u)rite is the one with the Germans-- 'Don't mention the war! I mentioned it once and I think I got away with it alright!'" he quoted with precision. I couldn't help but chime in.

"A Prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering, and two Colditz salads!"

It was like talking to an old, um, gay friend. Not that Bernie's gay. He's just English. And I know they're basically synonyms. Basically. I didn't know that I was going to hit it off with the innkeeper at this place. I didn't even know he was an ex-pat. I swear to God. I didn't know.

I guess some people would be disappointed to know that their Southern-fried bed and breakfast isn't managed by some overalls-wearing good ol' boy named Hanky Lee, like they're somehow not getting the full, below-the-Mason-Dixon-Line experience, but I'm not disappointed. Not one jot. I'm elated. I am, however, a bit worried that they won't have any salad cream.


1 comment:

  1. i have a tribal tattoo on my dicknballs


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