Caricatures

Sitting in the tavern

waiting for food to arrive

the table next to us

massaging its ego

six people in total

four doing the talking.

 

One of the four, an outrageously camp guy

whose effeminate mannerisms and voice

made him obvious

was the more sensible conversationalist

most the time.

 

Another was a lady with a posh prim English accent

who, over-accentuated words

clearly spoken full of upper-class pomp

she seemed to like to maintain, her idea of personal status

boasting about her education and upbringing

she had an air of self-importance, insulting to watch.

 

The next guy sitting adjacent to her

had a bunch of witty anecdotes

for all occasions, most of it ridiculously unlikely

most likely bullshit

he was one of those ‘popular guy’ types

alpha male, one of the lads

but it kept the conversation fresh

his lies, were well-rehearsed

 

While across the table an American woman

with a blunt, self-righteous humour about her

with an over the top ‘put on’ laughter

painfully embarrassing to listen to

impossible to avoid

the laugh would last for a while and then stop abruptly on cue

it screamed through everyone in the bar

fake as hell, ridiculous

loud as a fog horn

we couldn’t hear ourselves think.

 

When their food arrived

there was peace for a while.

 

The waitress could barely keep a straight face

she tried so hard but she cracked a little.