Hotel Paridiso, A Play,
Characters. James, and Marnie. Married to each other.
Two large women also guests who have latched onto them. One called Fran, the other called Barbara.
Scene, a hotel dining room, four of them round a table, desserts being eaten.
Background noise of cutlery, music, and conversation.
Having watched the two large women consume enough at dinner to fill several dump trucks, Marnie decides on polite conversation.
Marnie. “Are either of you married?”
Fran. “Nope, fancy free these days, almost given up men for all the trouble they are. I was married once, but don’t have much luck with men generally.”
James. “Did your husband die?”
Fran. “No, but If I had my way he should have died. No, I divorced the pervert. He was into all sorts of weird stuff, I’ve never been able to look at a vacuum cleaner in the same way since!”
She snorts and scoops huge mounds of slippery ice-cream into her mouth.
Marnie. “Is it still raining?”
Fran. “Yes bucketing down. But I love being cosy in a Hotel like this, you can drink yourself stupid then crawl back to your room.”
Barb. “Done that before haven’t we dear?”
The food is the focus for a few minutes; Fran has a huge ice-cream sundae, Barb, has three serves of a French cake, James a plate of cheese and biscuits, and Marnie fruit and cream.
Silence for a while as they eat.
Marnie looks at James, who is making little towers of biscuits and cheese.
Marnie. “Thirty eight years for us, isn’t it darling?”
James. “Yes, get less for life, but better the devil you know.”
Marnie. “Don’t start that! Anyway he only stays with me for the cooking.” She looks smug, basking in her security.
They smile at each other, and resume eating.
Barb. “Hey Fran, what about your latest admirer, he was something wasn’t he?”
She stifles a laugh. “Go on tell them Fran, tell them about Walter.”
James sits back in his chair, leaving his unfinished cheese. Looking bored, his eyes searching the room for escape.
Marnie leans forward, and spears a strawberry. “So what happened with this Walter?”
Fran smiles and wipes her chin, cream has dribbled onto her pink satin blouse.
Fran. “Well, I met him when I played in a band in Melbourne, he came round and watched me for weeks then asked me if I wanted to come out for dinner, must have thought I looked starved.”
Barb. “Your Rubinesque charm got to him didn’t it!”
Fran. “Yeah, you’re right, he told me just that. He liked bigger women, fancied me like crazy. So eat your heart out, Kate Moss.”
Barb. “Too many stick thin women about, can’t see the point myself, life should be enjoyed, eat drink and get shagged that’s what I say.” She laughs raucously and drinks more of the wine.
James pales and fiddles with a biscuit.
Fran. “Watch out Barb, we don’t want to leave this place in a hurry, not a repeat of Spain, slow down on the sauce girl.”
Barbara just makes a rude gesture.
The married couple look uneasy, shifting in their seats.
Fran. “Anyway, this Walter, asks me out for dinner, so I thought why not? I hadn’t been seeing anyone for six months. Took me to Chapel Street; we had lobster.”
Marnie. “Was it lobster thermidor?”
Fran. “No idea honey, just know it was lobster, and he bought the best champers too.”
Marnie. “Remember when we first had champagne?” a misty glaze over her eyes.
James. “Yes, our honeymoon, I thought I was so sophisticated ordering it!”
Marnie puts out her hand to touch James.
Marnie. “We wanted it to be special, we only had three days.”
James. “So what I did was check out the motels, and just to make it memorable, so we could say ‘we went to ‘Paradise our first night,’ we found a motel called just that.”
Barb. “What - - Paradise?” And she laughs.
Marnie. “It was damned cold I remember, I wore little baby doll pyjamas and we ate Chicken Maryland.”
Barb. “God I would have frightened the horses if I wore baby doll pyjamas! “ She splutters, spraying cake crumbs everywhere. “Anyway back to Walter….”
She scoops up more food and pauses.
All three watch fascinated as the sticky cake is crammed in.
Fran. “At the end of the evening he drove me home, and I was a bit out of practice, didn’t know whether to ask him in, you know a night cap and all that! I felt silly and I was just sitting there.”
Barb. “Tell them what happened next.” Barb squirms in her seat smiling.
James is now fiddling with his cheese, Marnie is spooning the last mouthful of fruit in. They all stop and wait.
Fran. “There I was in the car, trying to decide about the coffee, when whoosh, he pressed a button and I was flat on my back like a stranded whale!”
James tries to control a snigger. “Sports car was it?”
Fran. “I think it was a Porsche, but he definitely had sport in mind.”
Marnie glances at James and they both laugh.
James takes control for a minute. “Brandy anyone?”
He signals to the bartender who takes an order for four large brandies.
They all sip their drinks.
Marnie, looking coy. “I fell for his car first.”
Marnie. “Dear old Jezebel, it was so draughty, a thirties model with soft sides and gaps where the wind whistled in.”
James. “Amazing how little you feel when you’re in the first flush of lust.”
Marnie. “Darling!” She says in mock shock, “Go easy on the brandy.”
Barb. “Hey Fran you haven’t finished your story, spill the beans about the rest. You two will never believe this, it caps the lot!”
Fran. “A few days after my encounter in the Porche, I saw him in town.”
Barb. “Oh this is brilliant!” she gushes.
Barb holds her chest and gasps. Cake stuck to her fingers leaves greasy tracks on her lime green top.
Fran. “There he was dressed as a woman! Black tight skirt, stocking, and panda eyes, the lot!”
Marnie. “What ever did you do?”
Fran. “I confronted him, said what the hell are you doing in fishnet tights?”
Barb. “He had the answer didn’t he? Glib as anything.”
Fran. “Yes, swore he was a private detective and was following someone.”
The brandy glasses are drained. The laughter subsides.
James. “Well, I’m heading for bed, coming?”
Fran quickly bats her eyelashes and replies, “Ready when you are!”
Barb. “You’re hopeless Fran, come on let’s go to the bar and see if any drunks are desperate enough. Face it girl they would have to be, to do a horizontal dance with either of us!”
Marnie. “Goodnight, we might see you at breakfast, we leave at ten, how about you?”
Fran. Unless we get lucky, we are too. See you.” With that the two sidle over to the bar, and order.
Fran. “Two cocktails please, What do you reckon Barb, ‘A slow screw’ or ‘Between the sheets’?’
Barb. “Both honey, you’re a long time dead.”
Footnote; Based on a real encounter we had in Ibiza, the two wonderful ladies were large, but very happy in their skins, they were also the best dinner companions, I raise my glass to their memory.
Here; for more entries to read. http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/564152.html