Funny Business
A Special Edition of The East Village

Ron Padgett

The Drink

I am always interested in the people in films who have just had a drink thrown in
their faces. Sometimes they react with uncontrollable rage, but sometimes -- my
favorites -- they do not change their expressions at all. Instead they raise a
handkerchief or napkin and calmly dab at the offending liquid, as the hurler
jumps to her feet and storms away. The other people at the table are
understandably uncomfortable. A woman leans over and places her hand on the
sleeve of the man's jacket and says, "David, you know she didn't mean it." David
answers, "Yes," but in an ambiguous tone -- the perfect adult response. But now
the orchestra has resumed its amiable and lively dance music, and the room is set
in motion as before. Out in the parking lot, however, Elizabeth is setting fire
to David's car. Yes, this is a contemporary film. 

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