Friday, 17 February 2012

Story: Time To Don The Vanilla Suits

“I’m going to look stupid”

“You’re going to look great.”

“Shut up, Luke. Just...just shut your face. I’m going to look stupid. We’re all going to look stupid.”

Neither of them looked away. Not yet. For now each had their gaze fixed on the items of clothing that had been left carefully in clear-plastic dry cleaning bags on the chairs in front of them.

At some point they had agreed to this. Someone had come to them late last night, asked them to do it, and they’d agreed. Because it was a wedding. They hadn’t even asked for any extra cash. They’d just said yes. They’d laughed. They had thought that it would be funny. A band like them wearing something like that. Maybe the beer had convinced them that it’d be romantic. Maybe. Jason was pretty sure he’d said “It’ll be great” but there was no way he was going to admit that to the group.

“I think, maybe, you know, maybe, if we all go out as a group, no one will question it,” said Brandon, twirling his drumsticks and staring fixedly at the suit like it was the abyss staring back at him. Jason tore his eyes away from the suit he was holding at a safe distance and looked over at his band-mate.

“You’re the drummer, you dick. You could be naked behind those things and no one would care. Oh calm down, I only meant because they wouldn’t be able to see you. Everyone knows you’re more important than me.”

The door swung open and Karen staggered in, a nearly-empty glass of champagne in her hand. They turned and watched as her eyes opened wide and slowly pointed at the thing laid out in what she’d designated “Karen’s Area” in a fit of what they’d decided was diva-ness on finding her mobile under one of Brandon’s sweat-soaked t-shirts.

“What is that?”

“It’s a suit, Karen. We agreed to wear them,” said Luke. Karen turned to Luke, no less horrified for hearing the awful truth.

“Did we indeed? And when was this? Was I here? If I’d been here...”

“It was last night, Karen, and yes, you were here” said Luke.

“Oh last night? Then I wasn’t really here, was I? I was certainly in no shape to be agreeing to anything as monstrous as this...monstrosity!”

Jason walked over to Karen and put a hand on her shoulder.

“I think we should burn them, to be safe,” she whispered. He patted her head and sighed.

“They asked. It’s their special day,” he told her. She turned to him, pushing his hand off her shoulder.

“I’m sorry, no. There’s no special that’s special enough for these. We’re not the fucking Rat Pack, Jason. Possibly for a funeral, if it was someone’s last request that we play in these...things. Possibly. Like, if Patti Smith died and she asked us to play her Parisian funeral dressed in these, then possibly. Or if mankind finally gets off its arse and decides to go to Mars, and they want us to play the launch of the shuttle, and the only way we can do it is by wearing these. Or...”

“Yes, yes, we get it,” said Brandon, poking his suit with his drumsticks. “But until we get flown to Houston for the Mars Mission...”

“Which would be awesome, actually,” interrupted Karen.

“Yes, which would be awesome, we’ve agreed to this. So, Vaginal Vengeance will play your brother’s wedding in these unholy mistakes.”

Karen put her head in her hands, and the three of them huddled around her supportively.

“My brother hates me. It’s the only explanation. But I hate him so much more.”

“We know,” said Jason.

“We can make it ironic,” said Brandon.

“Can you be ironic at a wedding? Isn’t that kind of cruel?” asked Luke. Karen emitted a low moan and thrust a finger at the offending object.

“That! That is cruelty!” she cried. Jason patted her head again and she slapped his face half-heartedly.

“I know, I know. But it’ll be alright. We’ll know that we’re being ironic, even if no one else does. Now come on. It’s time to don the vanilla suits.”


Right, hello there.

I wanted to write something short and funny. This is what I came up with. I don't really have much to say, really, except that Ben Sheppard of Treppenwitz blog infamy (here it is) gave me the title. I think he was trying to be difficult. It's him that I'm writing the script for (Anna Land Comes Home, terrible 1st draft complete, slash-and-burn edit pending) so maybe he wanted to give me a difficult task to get me back on the script. Anyway, here it is, Ben. Also, Vaginal Vengeance comes from a Twitter conversation I was having with @filmlandempire @e_film_blog @nrm1972 and the probable instigator @AnneBillson about films with, well, you can probably guess, so I should credit them for that name.

Otherwise, editing continues. I'm tempted to put the short story that the novel comes from on here but it would have to be with the caveat that I'm a better writer now than I was when I wrote the story (probably). Keep checking the blog or my twitter page for updates, if you're interested.

Hope you liked the story! Here's Patti Smith as a reward.


  1. Well, it made me laugh, anyway. I liked the Nietzsche reference, and even if it did make Jason sound like a pretentious goit, he's in a band, so it doesn't matter! Kudos Jonny!

  2. Definitely made me smile to read it. And I think you can be ironic at a wedding. I do it all the time. All the time.

  3. Very glad that you guys liked it! Yeah they're all pretentious goits, David, but their music is good. And I've not been to a wedding since I was 5, Helen, but I like to think that I might have been ironic. I will be in future.