An American Werewolf in London

222 underground 568159“Brian.”

“Sorry?”

“The name’s Brian… Latham.”

“Oh, hi. Donald Varda.”

“Canadian?”

“American. Do I sound Canadian?”

“To be honest, I don’t know the difference. It’s like Australia and New Zealand but if you call Kiwis Ozzies they don’t like it. The same for-”

“Kiwis? Ozzies?”

“New Zealanders. Australians.”

“OK. And what do you call us?”

“Yanks.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right. So what are ‘Poms’?”

“That’s what Australians call us. Can’t remember why now.”

“I didn’t think people talked to each other on trains but I guess you Brits are more open than we give you credit for. We don’t in the States.”

“It’s a shame, isn’t it? Even just a few stops, it’s worth saying something.”

“Sure.”

“I see a lot of the same people in here every morning, every evening, and they never talk. Who knows what they might have in common. So, are you in London on business or pleasure, Donald?”

“A bit of both.”

“That’s nice. What do you do?”

“I’m a werewolf.”

“Pardon me?”

“A werewolf.”

“I thought that’s what you said. You, er… make a living out of being a, er… werewolf?”

“Not as much as you’d think.”

“It’s not something I’ve ever thought about. You’re the first one I’ve met… This is for a play or something, right?”

“Of course. Oh my God, you didn’t think I actually am a werewolf!”

“You do look the part, I have to say. I’ve never seen eyes quite like yours and you’ve even got eyebrows that meet in the middle.”

“They’re real.”

“Wow. So you were born for that part then really, weren’t you.”

“You could say that.”

“Tottenham Court Road. This is my stop.”

“Mine too. You in the theatre, Brian?”

“No. I’m an accountant. My office is at the top of Grape Street, just off Shaftesbury Avenue. Do you know it?”

“No, sorry.”

“It’s a fairly small road. You probably wouldn’t have noticed it, unless you’re Cuban.”

“Why Cuban?”

“Their Embassy’s there, at the other end of the road. We do accounts for a couple of the theatres but no, just a desk job, nothing half as exciting as being on stage, performing in front of all those people. I used to meet people. I sold hoovers. You know, vacuum cleaners.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Just part-time, while I was studying. Before that I was a Catering Assistant but I love numbers so ended up doing what I do now. It’s funny what fate has in store, isn’t it?”

“It is, indeed.”

“The ticket goes face up, with the strip… that’s it.”

“Thanks.”

“So how long are you here for?”

“I don’t really know. I’m just going to see what happens. If everyone’s as friendly as you, I think I’ll stay a while.”

“That’s nice. I’ve lived in London all my life, wouldn’t want to leave. There’s a guy at work who’s from America. California, I think. Can’t understand why he’d swap the sun for rainy old London. Actually it’s not as wet as everybody thinks.”

“It’s been nice so far.”

“You’ve picked the best time; July, August. Busy time for your show as well, I guess, lots of tourists wanting to see the sights. Everyone goes to the theatre when they’re in London.”

“I’m hoping so.”

“OK, this is me, top of Grape Street. Just down there. Red door on the right. See it? Oh. Sure I’ll show you. If you keep going to the end and turn right, Shaftesbury Avenue is the next right. I don’t remember seeing your play being advertised anywhere. Working where I do, I can’t usually escape the posters.”

“We’re doing rehearsals at the moment. Won’t be out for a while.”

“Here we are then. Well, Donald, it’s been great chatting with you. I hope your play, and stay, go well. I might see if I can pop along. You know, once it airs, so to speak.”

“I’m not sure there are any tickets left.”

“Really? I thought you said. Never mind. Maybe next time. I’ll look out for you.”

“I’m not hard to miss.”

“No, and… oh look, you’ve even got the teeth.”

“I have.”

“They are rather magnificent. Erm… What are you… Donald? What? No!”

***

Picture above courtesy of morguefile.com.

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