Toscars Selection Night

Day 10 and, in a rush to get to yoga I discover that changing your clothes on an empty bus is frowned on. The driver seemed really uncomfortable. He called me to the front before letting any other passengers on. “You took your pants off in the bus, sir. That’s unhygienic.” “I most assuredly did not take my pants off… oh wait … by pants you mean trousers… yes. Yes I took my trousers off. But i didn’t put my bum on the seat…” Thankfully he chooses the path of contemptuously waving me back into the bus after a show of contrition. I get to yoga on time. 

In an attempt to force some form of community onto myself I’ve got involved in a spoof Oscar night. It’s through the huge great big Brits in LA community that I went to breakfast with last week. All I knew is that I had to get to a restaurant called Obica for half seven. What I don’t realise is that it’s a chain. I get two buses into downtown and am deposited in a construction site. I walk through a corridor designed for being murdered. 

Then I creep through the bowels of a deserted car park, up a load of escalators and suddenly I’m in a huge food court. I stumble into Obica half an hour early. Plenty of time to get a coke and chat to the other people involved, I think. But nobody is there. Because it’s the wrong sodding branch. The right branch is only about 45 minutes walk from where I started. I curse like a navvy, curse a little bit more, then curse. Then I get an Uber.

They’ve called this thing The Toscars. The selection involves the team leaders playing a game called “Toss your competition off.” Evidently the organisers are playing up to the tits and tea side of British culture. Slightly racy jokes that aren’t really racy, puns about wanking, competition questions about the price of condoms and KY jelly. They’re going all out here. Then the team members are randomly drawn out of a TOMBOLA. You can’t get more British than a tombola.

I have ended up in in a group doing a spoof of Fences. We are going to watch it on Sunday. This is the tenth year that this event has taken place. It seems like an extended version of the 48 hour film challenge, where you have a whole three weeks. I have no idea what sort of quality they’ve been in the past, but it seems to be more about the craic. Our team leader Scott had a more or less completely absent team last year, so he appears to be expecting to have to do literally everything himself. It might take some time to persuade him he can rely on me. I’m fond of him immediately, but his energy is super frantic. It might be because he had to get off to work quickly. He works as a female impersonator. I’m not sure where yet but I’d love to go. He spoke sentences rolling one into the next with barely a pause for breath, made sure we had his number, and vanished. He’ll either be lovely or a nightmare. The other guy I met is a young comedian from Texas called Antonio – one of the only black faces there tonight which is a relief considering all the principle roles are black in the movie we’re spoofing. He seems fun and I know I want to see him do comedy. But he had to leave in a hurry as well. So I found myself in a bar on Sunset Boulevard with a load of Brits that I don’t know. Every instinct was screaming at me to hit the bar, down a few beers and bring out crazyfun Al. I’d probably make some friends, of a sort.

I quietly left and went home. This not drinking is a good thing but that was a test.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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