A Guilty Pleasure
“Now this is one of the classics. It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without it. Aren’t you glad you came over?” Giles reached over to pat Spike’s knee a couple of times as he said it. Well, the first pat was on the knee, the next one missed completely as Spike quickly pulled his knee out of the way and Giles’ hand was halfway down to the floor before he realised.
“You’d better not tell anyone I was here for this, I’m warning you now!” Spike glared at Giles.
“Shhhh,” Giles whispered loudly and tapped the side of his nose with his finger, “It’s our little secret, I won’t say anything. Cross my heart and hope to die.” Giles sniggered and looked up at Spike. “Well, it’s a bit late for that for you. You wouldn’t want a cross and you’re already dead so that wouldn’t work!”
Spike shook his head despairingly, “There’s no hope for you, mate. And you can stop hogging all that booze too; pass some over here will ya.”
“Ahh, erm, I’ll get you something new. What would you like?”
“I’m quite happy to have what you’ve got. What is that by the way, it looks a bit of a funny colour?”
“Erm…, it’s…” Giles stuttered to a halt then looked up at Spike and said wincingly, “It’s Bourbon and *mumble*”
“What did you say, I didn’t catch that.”
“OK,” Giles sounded resigned, “it’s bourbon and vimto, if you must know.”
Spike snorted, “You’re kidding, right. You drink bourbon with vimto! What kind of man are you?”
“Well, it’s not my fault. The bourbon they have over here is awful. I had to put something with it and my grandmother used to give me vimto in my younger days so when I saw some in that speciality shop just off Main Street I bought it on a whim,” he added sheepishly.
“She probably had it in as a tonic, that’s what they did in those days. When it was first made in 1908 it was actually called Vim Tonic then they shortened the name about 4 years later to Vimto.”
“Well, aren’t you Mr Know-it-all,” Giles giggled.
“Dru and I were paying a visit to England at the time and the invention of this tonic sprang out of another resurgence of the Temperance Movement and anything that tried to keep me away from my alcohol caught my attention in those days.”
“I keep forgetting you’ve been around so long. So you probably saw this film at the time too, did you?”
“We certainly did. We were there for opening night. I’d heard that one of the little guys committed suicide and was shown to be hanging in the background of one scene so I had to see that, but it was a load of shit, it never happened. I was bloody disappointed, I can tell you. Of course, once Dru saw it that was it, we had to go back again and again to please Miss Edith. That stupid, damn doll is the reason I got hooked on it!”
“Aww, is Spikey blaming an ‘ickle dolly for his fetishes,” Giles laughed at Spike’s expression, but when it seemed as if Spike was on the point of leaving, Giles grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “Don’t leave now, it’s about to start. I was only joking. I want to watch it as much as you do so I can’t talk.”
“Well, I suppose so then, if you’re as much of a nancy as me we can hide our shame together,” Spike smirked. “So pass over this wondrous concoction then and give us a taste.”
Giles gave Spike his glass and after grimacing at the purpleness of the liquid Spike took a tentative sip. “Umm, not as bad as I expected really.” Spike took another sip then held the glass up high as Giles tried to grab it back.
“Hey, no fair, my turn now,” Giles said as he waved his arm in the air trying to take the drink as Spike moved it from side to side keeping it just out of his reach. When Giles realised what he was doing, he collapsed back on the sofa, giggling like a schoolboy and Spike soon joined in as he put his arms down.
“I’m happy to share if it’ll stop you giggling like a fool. You’re going to ruin the film, it’s just about to start.”
“Ooh quick, sit down, shush, it’s starting,” Giles said waving his arms in front of him in a ‘quieten down’ motion.
“I just said that!”
The two men sat quietly watching the first part of the film, taking turns to have fairly large gulps of their drink in between sighing at the happy parts and hissing at the bad bits. As the part they had been anticipating approached they both sat forward on the sofa and ‘ahhhed’ in unison as the door opened and the colour burst forth.
It was hard to tell who had started first, but throughout Somewhere Over The Rainbow, quiet humming was heard to come from both of them, as if they were both desperate to join in, but were too intimidated to sing in front of the other. By the time they arrived in Munchkinland they had both consumed enough drink that they were starting to care less about being overheard.
It was Giles who sang along with the Mayor that he would like to ‘welcome you to Munchkinland’. Spike took on the role of the coroner and pronounced the witch ‘not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead’. Then they both sang together on ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’. They looked at each other and grinned as their voices pitched higher as they sang ‘below, below, below’ and then sank lower to sing the ‘yo ho’.
They were now getting really into it and thought nothing of joining in with the Lullaby League with Giles singing in a squeaky falsetto; and the Lollipop Guild with Spike pulling popeye faces as he sang along with the Munchkins. The two men cracked up after they’d finished that and were rolling around on the sofa, wiping the tears from their eyes as they shared the guilty pleasure of watching their favourite film together.