After the most excellently entertaining P!NK concert, Inge de Bruin and I had planned to repair to Paddy Hannan's, that stylish drinking hole inside the classy establishment that is the Burswood Casino & Entertainment Complex. Every time I go to the casino, I thoroughly regret not spending more time in its dignified surrounds. But there was,, yea verily, a seething throng lining the sticky carpet to enter Mr Hannan's beverage dispensary so we thought we'd stagger back up the highway to our hotel, and if we passed a bottle shop on the way, grab some wine to take back to our room.
As it happened, our walk took us by the Rivervale Hotel and since it seemed rather quiet inside we decided to stop there for a couple of drinks. We got our refreshments and set ourselves up on a couch. A seriously inebriated young Englishman began to lurch - though he would have called it dancing - in our vicinity and stepped on my foot a couple of times, for which he managed to slur an apology. He then decided to sit down on the arm of the couch we two were sitting on and chat to us. After looking us both over, his opening line was a beauty.
"So, are you two mother and daughter?" he asked.
Inge was staring into space, in a kind of daze, obviously unsure whether she'd heard what she'd just heard. My confidence hit the floor, grabbed a jackhammer and kept working its way down to the molten core.
"Just fabulous," I thought. "Here I was having a fun night and feeling pretty good about myself and now some jerk has to tell me I look old enough to be Inge's mother. Oh how I wish I could take back the last 20-odd years and really pay some attention to slip, slop, slap! I'm a wrinkled old prune. I wonder if Inge will help me tie a knot in a sheet so I can hang myself off the balcony when we get back to the motel."
"Um, no, we're not," I said to the delightful young fellow.
"Oops! Did I ask the wrong thing?"
"Pretty much," I said.
He turned to Inge and indicated to me. "So you're not her mother then?"
Now, please believe me when I tell you that my heart went out to my stylish and very youthful-looking friend, and please also understand the feeling of utter relief I felt that he thought I was the daughter. He thought I was the daughter!!!
"You know, I think you need to run along now," I said to him as Inge continued to stare into space, not saying a thing, wishing she was anywhere but on planet Earth.
He sat there for a moment. Then his eyes lit up, he looked quite hopeful; he gazed upon us with a new, disturbing light dawning on his face. Just when I thought the evening could get no worse, he asked, "So, are you two, like, best friends?"
A few minutes later we were continuing our walk up the highway and Inge finally broke her silence to say, "I've only got myself to blame. I'm the one who thought it'd be funny if we looked like a couple."