#girlsonfilm is a feature in which your friend and ours, Hannah Oliver, recreates famous cinematic scenes in real life and then writes about them. The idea being to discover what happens when the fantasy of film is brought down to the reality of everyday life.
A pig is a filthy animal. A miracle is an act of God. And personality goes a long way. This is what breakfast conversation should include. When Samuel L Jackson presses his fingers together and leans, moustache quivering, over his breakfast muffin, and says he don’t dig on swine, you suddenly know that there is nothing more totally fucking cool than sitting in a diner in mid-morning, in dorky men’s pyjamas and talking intellectual about bacon.
Which, as luck would have it, the lovely Lucija Vihar and I did some few days past, slicking back our hair and slouching over the shiny, red table of Blair Street’s fabulous City Café. It was a Wednesday mid-morning-meets-actually-afternoon-cause-we-couldn’t-bestir-ourselves-earlier kind of gig. Relatively quiet apart from a few old men and a group of ridiculously hungover students faceplanting their greasy bowls. Of course, as soon as we sat down, dressed as John Travolta and The SLJ, it transpired Lucija very definitely knows these students. Hugs all round! And then: “nice moustache”.
Why, thank you. Not “why the moustache?” Not once. The waiter gave us a wry smile and took our orders. An old man winks. And when I go to pay some time after, the lady behind the counter had me a deep discussion about the dangers of pinless swipe-cards. (Which, by the way, is an idea equitable to a filthy animal. Seriously, who decided that was a good idea?)
On that note, Lucija tried her best (bless her, she’s just too graceful) to eat her pancakes like a filthy pig. And we tried our best to recreate the cool, slow drama of intellectual discourse building up to Travolta’s angry announcement of shit-time. We had experienced nothing so life-changing as a miracle – or tomato-ing a man’s head via gunshot in the back of a car – that morning. Yet we felt that moustache, bacon and hair gel equipped us with the necessary capacity to talk meaningfully about the subjects of religion, the eating of pigs and dogs, and miracles (no, seriously. It was genuine and enlightening and I won’t diminish the moment with a soundbite replica for you now. Soz.)
Either way, we went undisturbed. Pumpkin and Honey Bunny never hijacked the diner, and everyone went about their daily business. It appears one can sit dressed as John Travolta or Samuel L Jackson in a 2013 American café in Scotland on a Wednesday afternoon-morning, and barely an eye is batted. Why is that? Is it just that students can get away with any melodrama? Is it the British stiff upper-lip preventing small-talk? Both depressing answers that I shall dismiss without evidence. Because I want to. And wut?
No. It is because everyone appreciated the sacredness, the divinity of Tarantino’s presence there in that alcove just off Cowgate. They knew and understood, without having to discuss, what we as plebiscites of the trivial world were attempting to re-create. In talking of miracles (and bacon), a true miracle occurred.
Ha. Ha ha. What have we learnt about film-life this week? Students really can get away with anything. Wear a moustache always (or grow one – it is Movember!) And a pig is a filthy animal.
The unfortunate irony was, I was eating bacon. SLJ, I’m sorry.
Hannah Oliver studies English Literature at Edinburgh University. She would like to think that this is an apt excuse for her tendency to be overly florid, pleonastic and long-winded (yeah, we couldn’t find a more pretentious word for long-winded). However, there are two things to effectively shut her up – coffee and/or chocolate. ’Nuff said.
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