Being the next installment of ‘From North America Notebooks’
- Friday evening, Midtown, New York, and a rainstorm earlier than forecast. Incoming at the bar are soak-shocked and, once seated, softly steaming. In a group of friends one woman makes with a face-fanning hand, then progresses to a beermat. Next she reaches for the Happy Hour menu and she fans her face with that. Then comes the full menu, laminated, A3, and operated with both hands. In the sketch in my head she goes on to pull a branded mirror from the wall. Then she uses the table. And the building itself. She takes Manhattan…
- Breakfasting neighbours in Vancouver. Two young guys talking; one with an aggressive line in conversation – his questions coming over like attacks. Which could be a coping for something, of course. To the waitress loudly: ‘I’ll have orange juice and pineapple juice in the same glass.” Then he adds as the waitress is leaving: ‘I call it Oji-Poji.’ This is announced with such unabashed confidence that it makes for a double-whammy goldmine of content and delivery. Coffee splutters. The waitress is kind: ‘I like that!’, she smiles. For the remainder of the day we say Oji-Poji a lot. Exaggerated deepness in our intonation; gravity heaped onto the declaration. And obviously it’s not so much about him, The Oji-Poji Guy, as it’s about our relationship with the world.