Last night I went to a cultural event organised by the Alliance française – which we ended up missing due to the usual communication breakdowns, but never mind. We decided to go for dinner and wine instead, and I walked back into the venue to look for Terri and bring her out. Let’s go! We’re going to have dinner, I called across the room as I caught sight of her amongst the crowd of people milling around and clearing up. I was promptly shushed by an event official nearby, who gestured towards a TV camera and a man in a suit giving an interview to the news crew. Oops. I was in full view of the camera, and suddenly very aware that there was no way of leaving without walking right past it again. And of course I’d now drawn everyone’s attention to myself by my noisy entrance. I skulked uncertainly against the wall, trying my best to be invisible.
Terri was hungry, and unwilling to wait for the interview to finish. Let’s just sneak past quietly, she said, and began creeping past the camera bent almost double, with exaggerated tiptoeing, in the sort of way that does nothing to conceal you from view but rather just draws more attention to you. Already embarrassed by my own error, I hissed at her from behind. Just walk, Terri!
It was at this moment, as Terri skipped nimbly out of the door and out of sight, that my foot caught on a trailing cable and I predictably hurtled over it with a startled shriek.
I managed to stop myself from landing flat on my face by sticking my arms out and clutching a nearby chair, which rocketed across the slippery, rain-soaked floor with a noise that sounded louder than a herd of wild elephants stampeding through a forest of broken china. Utterly mortified, I straightened myself up and made a run for the door, where I bumped into an elderly woman and almost sent her flying before finally managing to get outside and away from the damn camera.
I really hope they did another take of that interview.