Tuesday, October 02, 2007


A production company contacted me and asked if I would attend a taping of this game show, "Goldenballs." While I wasn't that interested in the show, I agreed to do it. I had done a show with this same company, over the summer, and I was flattered that they kept my details and thought of me. I figured I might as well show that I am willing to help them out and maybe they will do me a good turn in the future. Besides, it would be a cheap night out. They offered me the opportunity to bring a guest, so I accepted. That lead to the dilemma: who to bring?
I mentioned it to Chef Anthony, at the restaurant where I have my day job. As usual, he claimed he wanted to go. However, in the past, every time he's said he wanted to go to some show, or another, with me, he's always backed out at the last minute. I decided to continue searching for someone to go with me. I asked someone who's previously been a close, personal friend, although she's seemed a bit distant, lately. As she lives a bit far, I expected that she would decline and she did. Sadly, my former friend, Jan, the artist, recently ended our friendship, so there was no point inviting her. I decided to call Mucky Sarah. She agreed to go, even though she'd have to leave work a bit early. That's one problem solved, but that left me with a new problem.
My new problem was how to break it to Chef Anthony, that I'd chosen another person, over him? Really, I shouldn't be bothered, as many times as he's cancelled on me, or just not turned up. In the end, I said, "do you really want to go to see 'Goldenballs' with me? A woman I know wants to go."
Immediately, he said, "take her." That worked out fairly easily.
The taping was yesterday. I had arranged with Mucky Sarah to meet outside BBC's Television Centre, where the show is taped, at 6:15. 6:15 came and went, but no Sarah. The production company had said that we needed to enter by 6:30, or we wouldn't be let in. I sent her a text. Shortly after that, my mobile rang. It was Sarah. "I'm still at work," she said.
"So you're not coming?" I said, coldly.
"No I'm still coming," she replied.
"You have less than fifteen minutes to make it," I explained. "I don't see how you can possibly make it in time." She reiterated that she was coming, then we both hung up.
I started walking toward the entrance. I was going inside now and she could just fend for herself. At the entrance, the BBC has as much security as Heathrow airport. My bag was x-rayed and I had to walk through a metal detector. My steel toed work shoes set off the alarm, so I was subjected to a wand search. This was the most security I have ever been subjected to, just to attend a TV production. Once past security, I then spoke to an audience coordinator, who checked my name on the guest list. She asked about Sarah and I advised her that Sarah was running late and might not make it. The coordinator said the taping was going to be late starting, so Sarah might still get in. I was then directed to a waiting area. I sent Sarah a text letting her know that she might still get in, even if she was a bit late. Then I settled in to wait for the taping to begin.
When I attended the shows that this production company did over the summer, which weren't done at the BBC Centre, they provided snacks and drinks. At the BBC, no refreshments. The waiting area had a small cafe where one could buy refreshments. I was so thirsty, I bought a Coke. There was also a store selling DVDs of BBC shows, as well as souvenirs. I browsed through the DVDs, looking for a bargain. I quickly discovered that I was looking in the wrong place. The prices were astronomical! I'd do much better on Amazon. Giving up on the store, I found a seat and read the paper, while waiting. Would Sarah turn up in time?
When the ushers finally led us into the studio, Sarah had not turned up. It was more than 45 minutes past the time she'd originally agreed to meet me, so she joined the club of the unreliable. I found the game show to be a bit complicated. The warm-up comic was entertaining, though. I spotted an attractive woman in a blue business suit, sitting with a small group of people, on the other side of the studio. During one of the breaks, when the comic was entertaining us, I asked him to bring the suited woman over to us. It turned out she was the "independent adjudicator," observing the show to make sure no cheating was going on. He did bring her over and tried to match-make us. She was single and I am. She was a lawyer and I like professional women. When he asked her if she liked Americans, she said yes, if the have a lot of money. Oh dear! Even if I was rich, I think that would put me off her.
When the show ended, I made my way home. No text or voicemail from Sarah, explaining her absence, or apologizing. I hate that the extra space was wasted. Maybe I should have invited Tom, instead. I think I need to restock my supply of friends.

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