Film

“So Marcel makes a film and we all go and see it but when Robert Downey Jr, an actual real life Hollywood star, makes Iron Man 3 nobody invites me along!” I shook my head at the ridiculousness of that scenario. “It’s pathetic!”

“I think it’s great, what he’s done!” she replied. “With his problems!”

“Ah, anybody could make a film. Piss easy. Do really long shots, it shows confidence!”

“It stinks in here!” said Paula.

“You stink, Paula!”

“Is this safe?”

“Not even slightly!”

All this time Enrique could well have been talking but he was on the far side of the Land Rover. By the passenger door and impossible to hear over the din of the engine. A din that had grown worse since the exhaust pipe fell completely off. Ah, fuck it. As long as we were moving the fumes would blow out from under the car. Still, I made sure my window was open and when I could I turned my head and sucked in whoops of nice clean air.

Paula, in the middle, didn’t even have a seat belt! There were only two but we made it to Fort Regent and with a bit of a struggle I parked. Paula’s fat legs were in the way of the gear stick and there’s no power steering. She tried to move aside but there was nowhere to go because of Enrique.

I shut the engine down and it became apparent that he had been talking. Perhaps the whole way.

“…don’t chu thin’?” He was asking, grinning.

“I don’t…” I got out of the car and so did Enrique and Paula clambered out with the grace of a potato sack stuffed with a bound and gagged man falling off a see-saw. We spent a few seconds spitting on the floor and then found the darkened Rotunda and watched Marcel’s film.

Iron Man 3 it was not. I think poignant is how you’d describe it. And indie. It wasn’t the worst thing I’d ever seen.

Started off with Marcel dressed as cowboy waking up all depressed looking. Like he’d remembered his elephant had died. Actually, I didn’t know that at the time. You didn’t find out about the elephant until later but it turned out he was depressed because his elephant had died. He didn’t even looked that depressed. Marcel’s not a great actor. Kinda constantly wore a surprised grin and shiny eyes. He looked more like one of the berries on the front of a Ribena carton. He had a circus. There were midgets and a bunch of predictable stuff that made me tut. And a girl. A love interest and they were all talking and then the elephant was dead. And then all the circus people were standing around the elephant. The dead elephant and Paula was crying. Marcel left the elephant and hit the road. I was both hoping the film would show the next chapter in his life, us at the Spar, but I was also hoping the film would end. It did end and I was a bit disappointed not to be in the film and then the lights came up and everybody started clapping and Marcel appeared in front of the screen and bowed like an idiot.

I stopped clapping first, it hadn’t been that good at all. It was okay, nothing more.

“Shall we go?” I asked my companions? With the house lights on I saw they had both been crying. “Fuck’s sake, Enrique.”

“Sorry,” he replied, dabbing his eyes with his hanky.

“I want to just speak to Marcel,” said Paula pushing past me and heading down the stairs like I couldn’t have made a film if I’d wanted to. Marcel was mobbed, fuck that. I looked at Enrique and puffed my cheeks out and raised my eyebrows.

“Shall we wait outside?” I asked him. He nodded and I was pretty much out before I realized he wasn’t following me. I thought about driving home without them, to teach them a lesson, but that wouldn’t be very nice so I sighed and found them. I had to really barge through the crowd to get to Enrique who was pumping Marcel’s hand.

“Marcel!” I shouted. “That was brilliant!” Marcel smiled at me although I wouldn’t say he recognised me. He was smiling at everybody “No, seriously, that was really good, like a proper film!”

“Thank you,” The ungrateful little turd replied with his funny accent before accepting more platitudes from the throng. Thanks? What the fuck was that? He’d recognize me if I was wearing my Spar shirt, that was all.

“It wasn’t perfect,” I said. He didn’t hear me. “I said it wasn’t perfect!” Little fucking shit didn’t even look at me. “Too many cuts!” I shouted. “Shows a lack of confidence in your directing skills!” I looked at a woman next to me. “He used to work in our shop,” I told her. She nodded and took a step forward, to get closer to Marcel. “Not even in it, used to stand outside all day. With the coal.” The woman leant further forward. I leant forward too. “He looks a bit like Ralph Wiggum, eh?” I said and laughed. He does a bit. Same hair. “Stupid smiley face, eh?”

“Do you mind?” The woman asked. I didn’t mind at all, I pulled a gurning smiley face.

“By nabe’s Marcel!” I said. The woman just shook her head. “I stand outs-“

“Please,” the woman said.

“It’s okay, I know him, we’re mates.”

“That’s all very well but I find you very offensive to people with Down’s Syndrome.”

“Eh?”

“Your impression. I found it quite distasteful.”

“What are you on about?” I asked the woman, this time my face screwed up in confusion. “You haven’t got Down’s.”

“Not me, Marcel.”

“Eh? Marcel hasn’t got…” I looked over at Marcel and for the first time really looked at him. “Oh, he has, hasn’t he?” I looked at the woman but she was clapping at Marcel.

“Marcel! Woo! Yeah!” I shouted, clapping like a maniac.

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