Doing battle with daily dragons

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why, Why Why....Derirah?

Taking advantage of Orange Wednesday at the local Odeons has been a midweek tradition for the Rock Star and me for some time now. We usually frequent the cinema in the town of Aylesbury (which was apparently, to the townspeople’s chagrin, was recently compared with Kabul and Baghdad in a film review in The Mirror. The reviewer later admitted to having only “driven though” on his way somewhere else. If he’d stayed, he would have surely been forced to conclude that he’d rather spend the evening in the Green Zone with the Iraqi security forces for drinking buddies.) but as the film we wanted to take in wasn’t playing there, we were forced to spend the evening in Hemel. (Let’s hope that the film reviewer never makes THERE.)

After taking in Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” (which was beautifully done) we drove down to the town centre (notorious for it’s Friday evening stabbings) and went to a Chinese buffet that I used to frequent when I worked at a bookshop in the Marlowes several years ago.

A lot of restaurants (not particularly high class ones, mind) have television screens so you can avoid all that tedious talking- to- your- dining- companions malarkey. They’re usually tuned to something innocuous like CNN or SKY; the volume just enough to distract you from what your boyfriend or girlfriend is saying about “commitment”. Well, no droning 24 hour news network for the Golden Dragon patrons; we got karaoke videos. Without the karaoke.

The videos are obviously from the mid-80’s, filmed in Australia, subtitled by a non-native English speaker and therefore 10 times more distracting than any coverage of first division football that you can muster. There were two main points of distraction.

1) The lyrics- For the most part, correct, but victim to stereotypical “Asian” spelling and grammatical mistakes. “Browing in the Wind” was my particular favourite.

2) The visuals- The production value of the videos was really just a gnat’s whisker above home movies. The Rock Star commented that most of it looked like a porn film before it starting getting good. Girls in bikinis seemed to be the main theme for just about every piece of music from “Hard Day’s Night” to “Delilah”. The latter, to make a point, had a woman in a bikini with big hair driving around in a golf cart and playing with a putter, which, in my eyes, had very little to do with the theme of the song. (although you can almost get there if you stretch the metaphor a bit.) Our joint favourite was “California Girls” which came up from a fade onto a herd of cattle.

So, if anyone ever finds themselves in the centre of Hemel, besides being lost, you have an excellent opportunity for some tasty Chinese food and a little bit of bad entertainment on the side.