Story from History: A Very Public Break-Up
Please accept my apologies for this particular post being a bit tongue in cheek, as it happened in December of 2017. Still, it serves as a great story for the kind of thing that must happen in history all the time, only when you see it you are left more than a little speechless.
I was in a comedy club in Jolly Old England, in the midst of the fourth or fifth act. It was the Thursday before the holidays, so a great number of people were drinking like it was the end of days. Groups were purchasing pitchers between each comedian, and walking the empty ones back. There weren't even tables - just rows upon rows of fold-out chairs in rows, ensuring that the night was punctuated by the occasional noise of breaking glass as things were, inevitably, stepped on.
Into this maelstrom of what was already a bizarre night, a woman who may have been leaving her husband in the most public way ever entered. She sat front and center, dressed like a respectable member of society instead of like so many other hooligans that filled the hall that evening. Beside her sat a man with salt and pepper hair in a suit without a tie.
During the opening act, when the MC was riffing with the crowd, she loudly and proudly declared that she and the man she was with were both married to other people, but had been together for six weeks. When the MC flubbed this and said six years, she corrected him. A little odd, but not outside of the realm of the possible.
All this was fine, until that fifth act. He was a young man, with comedy designed to elicit laughs by being shocking and out there. Somewhere into his set he went on a bit about how he looked more like a person who would be accused of killing his girlfriend rather than dating her, launching from there into the prospect of children someday and how terrible they were.
For the heroine of our little tale today, this was her opportunity. She, loudly and proudly, announced that she hated her children and wanted to be rid of them. When the comedian inquired as to the ages of her children, she said that they were 12 and 13, and she would never go back to France if she could. This entire trip was to get away from them, to have a break and, god willing, that something would hopefully happen to them in the process.
Have you ever seen an entire room become uncomfortable? To dearly want to be anywhere else? Even the most thoroughly sauced of drunks found themselves suddenly quiet and on edge. The room was pin drop silent, and our heroine's date had an uncomfortable smile on her face.
Whether or not this woman was attempting to get caught in a ridiculous situation, or whether she was merely trying to create an interesting fiction for herself. Either way, it was a fascinating thing to watch.