Uncle Adultery lounged miserably on our sofa, fresh from another calamitous attempt at reconciliation with Emmanuelle.
‘The fairer sex’, he sighed woefully, ‘What are they good for, really?’
I coughed loudly and he said, ‘Present company excepted, of course, Niecey’, but his usual debonair courtesy was lacking. Did I mention he had a black eye?
Thing One painted Uncle A’s fingernails with felt-tip pen to try and cheer him, and Thing Two followed through with a stirring rendition of ‘I had a little turtle’(lyrics on request), but Uncle A batted them away with concussion-inducing cuffs round the ear.
‘Put these fiends to bed’, he urged, ‘I need to curl up with a large Campari and a decent film.’
He rejected all our DVDs, explaining, ‘I need something misogynistic if I am to make it to the dawn’, so we walked to Station Street to hire a film. Uncle A entertained himself on the way by muttering at every passing woman, ‘How many hearts have you broken, jezebel?’, but then, quelle horreur, we arrived at MG&M Video only to discover that it had closed down.
Ah, all those happy evenings I’d spent there, laughing at Andrew McCarthy’s hair on the cover of ‘Pretty in Pink’. Of course, that was a few years ago, before I’d joined LoveFilm.com, but I’d been relying on everyone else to keep the shop going. Not for the first time I was appalled by the infinite selfishness of others. Uncle A peered through the window, saying ‘I think I can see some Russ Meyer, Niecey, is it worth us breaking in?’
I dragged him away because I was sure there was a video store on the Offham Road, but it had long gone. We bumped into Born and Bred Boy as he weaved out of the Ellie, and he confirmed that there was nowhere in Lewes to hire a movie other than the library; alas, closed for the night.
Born and Bred boy sized up Uncle A in a glance, and said, 'Girl trouble is it?'
Uncle A burst into racking sobs but Boy was unfazed. 'Come back to my gaff', he said. 'I've got loads of DVDs considerably more suited to your current situation than that Merchant-Ivory pap of hers’, and they set off arm in arm, me scurrying behind.
I was banished to the living room while Boy took Uncle A off to his basement media centre, but very shortly Uncle Adultery stuck his head round the door.
‘Uh, Niecey dear’, he said, ‘Do you mind if I spend the evening here? There’s one or two cinematic offerings I feel sure would improve my state of mind.’ Born and Bred Boy grabbed some beer from the fridge, and the two men disappeared downstairs without a backwards glance.
So there you have it. There is somewhere to borrow videos of an evening in Lewes, if you’re willing to suspend critical, aesthetic and moral judgement. Oh yes, and if you know where Born and Bred Boy lives.
Beth Miller, 26th May 2009. Published in VivaLewes.com. Photo by Alex Leith