Mil's Mail List Mail #23
As was inevitable,
really, Alyson Hannigan is coming to England to be near me. There is some risibly
transparent cover story (Here)
but those of you who've been following her increasingly flagrant wooing of me
in these Mailing Lists over the last few months will, I'm sure, even now be
letting out a snorty laugh at its credulity-mocking thinness
I will, however, be attending a performance of her production. Because, well, it just so happens that I need to be in the area - two hundred miles away from where I live, on a weekday evening - anyway.
'Oh,' I say, casually, to Margret. 'It seems that woman Alyson... um... Alyson... Hannigan! That's it - Alyson Hannigan. It seems she's doing When Harry Met Sally over here... in the flesh.' I flip a lazy finger in the direction of my computer, which is displaying an Alyson Hannigan Webpage; and has been displaying that page - prior to Margret's arrival - for only just long enough for the image to have seared itself irreversibly into the screen's phosphor coating.
Margret peers at the photo of Alyson.
'I think I'll go to that,' I say - almost to myself - absently scratching my chin.
'Hmmmm...' replies Margret. Still staring at the screen.
'Yeah. I'm really quite fond of Nora Ephron's work,' I explain.
'Hmmmm...' says Margret again, but this time in a lower register. So low, in fact, that it makes the floor under my feet rumble slightly.
I try not to move or breathe.
'Don't sleep with her,' Margret says, finally.
I let out a little laugh. It rises towards the sky, is shot down by Margret's eyes, and plummets, broken and charred, back to earth. Impacting with a dead thud.
I expel a two lungfuls of incredulous, weary air. 'Margret,' I say, 'Do you really think that this Alyson... Alyson... Alyson Hannigan would seriously want to sleep with me?'
Here, I leave a gap into which Margret can insert the words 'Yes, Mil, she obviously would - what woman wouldn't?'
The gap lengthens.
Which is a good thing, obviously. It's an edgy double-bluff I'm engaged in here - trying to obscure Alyson's conspicuous desire for me, by thrusting it so close to Margret's eyes that she'll hopefully be unable to focus. So, this silence is a good thing. Yay.
Eventually, Margret says, 'Just say she asked...'
'But she wou--'
She cuts me off with a, 'Just...' pauses, then continues, '...say she did. Then, you would, wouldn't you?'
'I'll be way back in the cheap seats.'
'It's just not ever going to come up is it? So--'
'It's a ridiculous question. I'm not going to meet her, am I?'
'You might get yourself invited to a party after the play or something.'
'Ha. Yes - or I might just gain access to her by assuming the form of a rain of gold. Tch. How would it possibly happen that I'd end up getting allowed into that kind of party?'
'You know theatre people.'
'No I don't. I know book people, and film people, and TV people. I don't know a single theatre person. Not one.'
'Well - I bet Hannah does.'
(Yes! I bet Hannah does. Top thinking, Margret.)
'Fff,' I reply, dismissively.
Margret continues. 'But, the point is, I'm asking you to imagine the possibility, and tell me if you would.'
'Tsk - "Only a fool answers hypothetical questions".'
'Who said that?'
'Um... Gerry Adams. He was always saying it.'
'Ahhh - and why do we think that was?'
'Look. This isn't about me, or Alyson Hannigan, or the Provisional IRA - it's about it being a situation that has no chance of ever happening so it's a waste of time even talking about it. What do you want for tea? I was thinking maybe Chinese.'
'Would you sleep with Alyson Hannigan?'
'Fffffppppprrrrrtssssssskkkkkfffffffshhhhhhhffffff,' I reply.
'I just answered that, didn't I?'
'Let's make it easier: Promise me right now that you won't sleep with Alyson Hannigan.'
'It's never going to be an issue,' I insist. Desperately. I can feel everything slipping away from me here. There's a buzzing in my ears. My knees aren't secure. I may possibly start to cry.
'If it's never going to be an issue, then there's absolutely no problem with your promising, is there?'
I draw in a sharp breath - I'm about to counter-attack. I'm about to rage, 'Gah! Do you want to stand here and make me promise not to sleep with every attractive actress and singer and novelist in the world one-by-one?!' Fortunately, a sudden, swooping gust of prescience brings me Margret's certain reply to this rhetorical question. I keep my idiot mouth shut. That's it then - it's checkmate in two; may as well knock the king over now and salvage a little dignity.
'OK,' I say. Quietly. My gaze weighted down feetwards.
'Say it all.'
I look up into her eyes, hoping to see a tiny spark of mercy. There's nothing.
'OK. I promise I will not sleep with Alyson Hannigan.'
The words come out, and, somewhere deep inside me, a light is turned off, forever.
'Right,' says Margret. 'Have a good time at the play, then.'
How I'm going to break this to Alyson I can't even begin to imagine.
But, never mind that, because the reason for this Mailing List Mail is that, as promised - and in a one-time-only special deal, provoked by the impact of rubbish spam filters on a few of your glorious number - I've stuck up the MLMs between #8 and #23; I've included this one because I'm pleased by the circling self-referentiality of doing that. (Many thanks to those of you who, by various paths of approach, pushed the missing #13 into my surprised nose.) I repeat that MLMs from now on (and the pre-#8 ones) will not be made available online. Only anointedly signed-up Mailing Listers will get them, by email, and then they will disappear back into the undergrowth. To allow the potential for droop-lidded, non-Mailing List, lower-order Web browsees to read them would cheapen and degrade you all. And I will not allow that to happen to your exceptionalness, my most-beloved friends.
I offer you the link
and am gone until next time.