Monday, March 13, 2006

There's Nowt as Queer as Folk

On Monday morning I had a rather rude awakening; a totally unexpected (and I would say uncalled for) email from Scott L, saying how he hadn’t enjoyed the evening because of something Ping had said and going on to attack Ping’s character and finally also criticising our choice of friends.

Initially I was quite gobsmacked, as Scott hadn’t said anything during the evening, although he had left early after having been very quiet. Brett didn’t recall Ping saying anything that might cause offence either so I resolved to talk to him at Chorus in the evening.

Kevin had wanted to come along to watch us rehearse, so he spent the evening sitting at the front of the hall, listening when we sang, but mostly doing logic puzzles. He actually looked like he was taking notes and my fellow Choristers were quite curious about who he was and what he might be doing. (My evil streak came to the fore and I said nothing and let them sweat.)

I’d been a bit worried that he wouldn’t really get a sense of our sound, as tonight we were starting three new songs, but it turned out that we had done a couple of them before and lots of people remembered enough that we got into it fairly quickly. In the end he was quite complimentary about how we sounded.

Scott was rather standoffish during the tea break and even when I approached him his manner said that he didn’t want to be talking to me. Apparently Ping had brought up the openness of his relationship with his boyfriend in front of my sister and Andy (who spend plenty of time with our gay friends and really aren’t that easily shocked!) and (allegedly) implied he was a slut (for which the Chorus has actually given him an award!) and then went on to expand on his views of Ping’s character.

I have to say during the day, my feelings had shifted from the initial upset that one of our friends had been so unhappy as our guest, to one of bemusement at why Brett and I seemed to be taking the brunt of a tiff between Scott and Ping. I came away from the conversation disappointed, angry and even a touch hurt myself I think.

Any decision to put the incident out of my mind though couldn’t last as, after the rehearsal, Brett and I accompanied Kevin back to his hotel, meeting Chris and Ping at the tube station en route (they had been occupying themselves around town while we rehearsed) to have a drink together. We ordered (hugely overpriced) drinks and (very tasty) (and hugely overpriced) club sandwiches and chatted for a while in the bijou bar, done up to resemble someone’s vision of an English Country Squire’s place; lots of studded green leather, dark wood panelling and oil paintings of men with horses.

I don’t actually recall much of what we talked about – they made nice daiquiris (that for once didn’t come with strawberry syrup by default!) so I enjoyed those while waiting for my food. Kevin declared his Club Sandwich to be the best he’d ever had. When the Scott issue came up though, Ping was horrified that he had given offence and Kevin and Chris seemed equally as bemused by it as Brett and me. Totally bizarre. We touched on shows a little and the fact that Kevin has never been to Paris but Chris has and refuses to go back (I’d suggested Paris would make a nice day trip for them, but apparently not…)

At the end of it all, Kevin signed for the drinks and donated towards a taxi home for Brett and I, which was incredibly generous of him and made our return journey much faster and more comfortable. I do hope he doesn’t regret it when he remembers the Dollar/Sterling exchange rate though…

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