Since moving to Los Angeles the word ‘WATER’ has become my largest nemesis. It’s my Achilles heel. It’s my fatal flaw. Basically, it sucks.
Saying ‘Water’ in a British accent is like opening up a deep dark chasm. A chasm you will watch the next five to fifteen minutes of your life crumble into it and be powerless to stop it.
Where is my personal Gandalf to save me in communication chasms? Nowhere.
(You’re wondering what he would look like without the beard aren’t you? I know. Weird)
Ordering water is one of those things that comes up a lot. Hydrating is you know, important for your health and stuff.
Especially for me because my weak British constitution still hasn’t handled the concept of intense burning sunlight quite yet. I’m a delicate English rose okay. (Ha. Delicate. As if I could swing that. Fine, I’m just a wimp.)
I’m perpetually sweating and dehydrated or shivering from artic AC levels. Growing up with an extremely mild, temperate climate has really damaged me, alright?
I can’t even avoid ordering water because I’ve just never really been into fizzy drinks. (That’s soda, pop, soft drinks. ie fun words. Apparently we decided to be painstakingly descriptive) Something about fun sugary drinks being banned from me as a child actually worked in the way it was meant to. Rare.
It’s silly because every time I ask for water I know I won’t be understood. Yet, I keep persisting. It’s a strange self-torturous escapade. Like BEING A WRITER. AM I RIGHT, YOU GUYS?!? (stand-up gold)
I persist mainly I think because saying one word in American and the rest British feels so weird.
If not for that I would totally say ‘y’all’ all the time because it’s brilliant but I’m just not cool enough. A continual problem of being British in LA: really wanting to be able to use ‘Dude. No dude, seriously’ as an expression but knowing it’s never EVER going to work for you.
Although, eventually I relent. Because after the seventeenth time of saying ‘Water. A glass of water?’ the person is so compelled by the mystery of what you’re actually saying that you can only disappoint them. You really have to soften the T and get on with your life.
And let them get on with theirs – knowing that meeting a British person in real life is way less exciting than watching Sherlock.
Or you know, meeting Benedict Cumberbatch. (We know he’s fun at parties)
Really though. Water’s not really something you can describe very successfully without the word ‘Water.’
What are you going to say?
‘It’s like a clear liquid and part of the determining cycle of life.’ Etc. Er, yeah no.
Besides then you would get the song ‘Circle of Life’ stuck in your head anyway and feel compelled to start singing that. Which – on balance is not that solution-orientated an approach on your important brunch meeting that will probably determine your entire career.
Suppressing the continual urge to sing The Lion King is hard enough when you’re not thirsty.
You’re singing now aren’t you? Of course you are. How could you not be. The circle of life is about to START!
On the up-side there’s always extended sessions of napkin-Pictionary or elaborate charades to try and communicate. ANY excuse to force word-games on large groups of strangers! But how many charming, ironic cafes do you want to get banned from in one month?
You can’t very well sit in your own house and write your screenplay – at least at a coffee shop you know that everyone else is also updating their blog instead of fixing that difficult scene with all the confusing emotions in it. You are, right?
And no trust me I haven’t forgotten about the option of interpretative dance. Because believe me I’ve tried that too. And I’ve even got very specific experience on my side so we know that’s not the problem. That’s right I was ‘The River’ in a Primary (Elementary) school play aged seven.
(I played the triangle. It was haunting.)
And I should make it clear that I’m definitely NOT going to be that person that asks for ‘H2O’ in a restaurant. I mean maybe we all did it when we were 13 and first learning what elements were. But beyond that. Just, no. Have you ever heard that happen? Because I have. It was probably somebody I dated. Recently. I know, kill me.
So in future – if you don’t know what I’m saying. Hand me a glass of water. Even if it’s not what I was saying I’ll adore you forever more. Because it’s a safe bet that at any given moment I’m probably about to pass out from dehydration from spending thirty seconds in the heat.
No dude, seriously.
(No NAT no. Don’t say that. YOU HAVE TO RESIST. You will never be cool enough)
So yeah. You see what I mean.