2004-08-19 : I’m Brian, and so’s my wife !
For a fair while now I've been under the suspicion that weird things happen to me and cause me to be late for things. Most of the time the people I'm telling them to give me that look that says “sure, sure, give us another excuse”, but I really wonder whether *everyone* experiences these delays and just doesn't talk about them, or whether I've been cosmically singled out in some way. The events of last night, however, have got to prove that *something's* amiss…
Last night I went to the National Theatre with Richie and Ciaran to see “A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum” (one of my all time favourite musicals). As it was, I was going to be right on time, because I'd looked the location of the theatre up on streetmap.co.uk. Upon arriving at the appointed spot, it turned out that Streetmap had pointed me about 500m east of where I needed to be… so I wound up being a little late. Whilst walking briskly up there, Ciaran rang to say that the show was starting and they were going in, so he'd leave the tickets at the box office with my name on. Fine so far…
When I got into the theatre foyer the crowd were still going in, so that was OK. I went to the ticket desk and explained to the lady there that my friends had left a ticket for me to collect.
“Name ?”, she said. “Jason”, I replied. “SUR-name”, she testily furthered. “Standing”, I replied. She handed me the ticket and I made my way into the auditorium. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but then I didn't know what to expect, so it seemed to make sense. I was perched on the end of a row, there was a vacant seat, and then a woman who asked me if I was OK. I explained that I couldn't see my friends anywhere, and I'd assumed we'd be sitting together. She said that she'd come with a friend too and he was 4 rows back, so that was nothing to worry about. But I don't know… it just seemed weird. So I waited for the show to start, and people kept filing in.
A woman was looking around for her seat, and spotted the vacant seat next to mine and said “Is that number 6 ?”, to which I replied that it was. She then said “Well that's not your seat, that's my husband's!”, indicating my seat. I showed her my ticket and assured her that I was in the right seat… she looked at the name written on the ticket and then said, “but that's not your ticket – your name's not Standing!”. I assured her that it was. She then said “But my HUSBAND's name is Rod Standing !”…
A speedy trip back to the ticket desk proved that there was in fact multiple auditoriums at the National Theatre, and by some coincidence there was someone else with the same surname as me picking tickets up from the desk on the same night. Once I found the right auditorium, all made sense and I was able to enjoy the rest of the show that I'd actually gone to see.
But yeah, how weird !? There are only 14 Standings in the Adelaide White Pages, so I think I'd be right in assuming it's not a particularly common surname. If it was “Smith” or “Campbell” then I'd be less staggered by the sequence of events.
“But didn't you realise you were in the wrong place ?”, I hear you shout at your screen in futility. I have to say I thought the venue seemed a bit unsuited to the type of production that Forum is, but my reservations were overcome by the fact that I was holding a ticket which was left at the desk with my name on it, as promised by Ciaran !
Anyway, it was an excellent production of “Forum” – probably the best I've ever seen (for reasons which I won't go into, this is the 5th staging of the show I've seen now). So once the nonsense had all been sorted out, I had a lovely night.