Bridget joness diary, p.18
Bridget Jones's Diary, p.18Part #1 of Bridget Jones series by Helen Fielding
10:30 a.m. Jude just called and we spent twenty minutes growling, 'Fawaw, that Mr. Darcy.' I love the way he talks, sort of as if he can't be bothered. Ding-dong! Then we had a long discussion about the comparative merits of Mr. Darcy and Mark Darcy, both agreeing that Mr. Darcy was more attractive because he was ruder but that being imaginary was a disadvantage that could not be overlooked.
Monday 23 October
9st 2 alcohol units 0 (v.g. Have discovered delicious new alcohol substitute drink called Smoothies-v. nice, fruity), cigarettes 0 (Smoothies removes need for cigarettes), Smoothies 22, calories 4265 (4135 of them Smoothies).
Ugh. Just about to watch Panorama on 'The trend of well-qualified female breadwinners – stealing all the best jobs' (one of which I pray to the Lord in Heaven Above and all his Seraphims I am about to become): 'Does the solution lie in redesigning the educational syllabus?' When I stumbled upon a photograph in the Standard of Darcy and Elizabeth, hideous, dressed as modem-day luvvies, draped all over each other in a meadow: she with blond Sloane hair, and linen trouser suit, he in striped polo neck and leather jacket with a rather unconvincing moustache. Apparently they are already sleeping together. That is absolutely disgusting. Feel disorientated and worried, for surely Mr. Darcy would never do anything so vain and frivolous as to be an actor and yet Mr. Darcy is an actor. Hmmm. All v. confusing.
Tuesday 24 October
9st 3 (bloody Smoothies), alcohol Units 0, cigarettes 0, Smoothies 32.
On marvelous roll with work. Ever since Elena whatserface interview, seems can do no wrong.
'Come on! Come on! Rosemary West!' Richard Finch was saying, when I got into the office (bit late, actually, sort of thing that could happen to anyone), holding up his fists like a boxer. 'I'm thinking lesbian rape victims, I'm thinking Jeanette Winterson, I'm thinking Good Afternoon! doctor, I'm thinking what lesbians actually do. That's it! What do lesbians actually do in bed?' Suddenly, he was looking straight at me.
'Do you know?' Everyone stared at me. 'Come on, Bridget-fucking– late-again,' he shouted impatiently. 'What do lesbians actually do in bed?'
I took a deep breath. 'Actually, I think we should be doing the off-screen romance between Darcy and Elizabeth.'
He looked me up and down slowly. 'Brilliant,' he said reverently. 'Absolutely fucking brilliant. OK. The actors who play Darcy and Elizabeth? Come on, come on,' he said, boxing at the meeting.
'Cohn Firth and Jennifer Ehle,' I said.
'You, my darling,' he said to one of my breasts, 'are an absolute fucking genius.' I always hoped I would turn out to be a genius, but I never believed it would actually happen to me – or my left breast.
NOVEMBER. A Criminal in the Family
Wednesday 1 November
8st 13lb 8oz (yesss! yesss!), alcohol units 2 (v.g.), cigarettes 4 (but could not smoke at Tom's in case set Alternative Miss World costume alight), calories 1848 (g.), Smoothies 12 (excellent progress).
'Just went round to Tom's for top-level summit to discuss the Mark Darcy scenario. Found Tom, however, in a complete lather about the forthcoming Alternative Miss World contest. Having decided ages ago to go as 'Miss Global Warming,' he was having a crisis of confidence.
'I haven't got a hope in hell,' he was saying, looking in the mirror, then flouncing to the window. He was wearing a polystyrene sphere painted like map of the globe but with the polar ice caps melting and a large burn mark on Brazil. In one hand he was holding a piece of tropical hardwood and a Lynx aerosol, and in the other an indeterminate furry item which he claimed was a dead ocelot. 'Do you think I should have a melanoma?' he asked.
'Is it a beauty contest or a fancy dress contest?'
'That's just it, I don't know, no one knows,' said Tom, throwing down his headdress – a miniature tree which he was intending to set alight during the contest. 'It's both. It's everything. Beauty. Originality. Artistry. It's all ridiculously unclear.'
'Do you have to be a pouff to enter?' I asked, fiddling with a bit of polystyrene.
'No. Anyone can enter: women, animals, anything. That's exactly the problem,' he said, flouncing back to the mirror. 'Sometimes I think I'd stand more chance trying to win with a really confident dog.'
Eventually we agreed that though the global warming theme in itself was faultless, the polystyrene sphere was not, perhaps, the most flattering shape for evening wear. In fact in the end we found we were thinking more toward a fluid sheath of shot-silk-effect Yves Klein blue, floating over smoke and earth shades to symbolize the melting of the polar ice caps.
Deciding I wasn't going to get the best out of Tom over Mark Darcy just at the moment, I excused myself before it got too late, promising to think hard about Swim and Daywear. When I got back I called Jude but she started telling me about a marvelous new oriental idea in this month's Cosmopolitan called Feng Shui, which helps you get everything you want in life. All you have to do, apparently, is clean out all the cupboards in your flat to unblock yourself, then divide the flat up into nine sections (which is called mapping the ba-gua), each of which represents a different area of your life: career, family, relationships, wealth, or offspring, for example. Whatever you have in that area of your house will govern how that area of your life performs. For example, if you keep finding you have no money it could be due to the presence of a wastepaper basket in your Wealth Comer.
V. excited by new theory as could explain a lot. Resolve to buy Cosmo at earliest opportunity. Jude says not to tell Sharon as, naturally, she thinks Feng Shui is bollocks. Managed, eventually, to bring conversation round to Mark Darcy.
'Of course you don't fancy him, Bridge, the thought never crossed my mind for a second,' said Jude. She said the answer was obvious: I should have a dinner party and invite him.
'It's perfect,' she said. 'It's not like asking him for a date, so it takes away all the pressure and you can show off like mad and get all your friends to pretend to think you're marvelous.'
'Jude,' I said, hurt, 'did you say, 'pretend'?'
Friday 3 November
9st2 (humph), alcohol units 2, cigarettes 8, Smoothies 13, calories 5245.
11 a.m. V. excited about dinner party. Have bought marvelous new recipe book by Marco Pierre White. At last understand the simple difference between home cooking and restaurant food. As Marco says, it is all to do with concentration of taste. The secret of sauces, of course, apart from taste concentration, lies in real stock. One must boil up large pans of fish bones, chicken carcasses, etc., then freeze them in form of ice-stockcubes. Then cooking to Michelin star standard becomes as easy as making shepherd's pie: easier, in fact, as do not need to peel potatoes, merely confit them in goose fat. Cannot believe have not realized this before.
This will be the menu:
Veloute of Celery (v. simple and cheap when have made stock).
Char-grilled Tuna on Veloute of Cherry Tomatoes Coulis with Confit of Garlic and Fondant Potatoes.
Confit of Oranges. Grand Marnier Creme Anglaise.
Will be marvelous. Will become known as brilliant but apparently effortless cook.
People will flock to my dinner parties, enthusing, 'It's really great going to Bridget's for dinner, one gets Michelin star-style food in a bohemian setting.' Mark Darcy will be v. impressed and will realize I am not common or incompetent.
Sunday 5 November
9st (disaster), cigarettes 32, alcohol units 6 (shop has run out of Smoothies–careless bastards), calories 2266, lottery tickets 4.
7 p.m. Humph. Bonfire night and not invited to any bonfires. Rockets going off tauntingly left right and center. Going round to Tom's.
11 p.m. Bloody good evening at Tom's, who was trying to deal with the fact that the Alternative Miss World title had gone to Joan of Bloody Arc.
'The thing that makes me really angry is that they say it isn't a beauty contest but really it is. I mean, I'm sure if it wasn't for this nose . . . ' said Tom, staring at himself furiously in the mirror.
'What's wrong with it?'
'What's wrong with it? Chuh! Look at it.'
It turned Out there was a very, very tiny bump where someone had shoved a glass in his face when he was seventeen. 'Do you see what I mean?'
My feeling was, as I explained, that the bump in itself couldn't be blamed for Joan of Arc snatching the title from directly beneath it, as it were, unless the judges were using a Hubble telescope, but then Tom started saying he was too fat as well and was going on a diet.
'How many calories are you supposed to eat if you're on a diet?' he said.
'About a thousand. Well, I usually aim for a thousand and come in at about fifteen hundred,' I said, realizing as I said it that the last bit wasn't strictly true.
'A thousand?' said Tom, incredulously. 'But I thought you needed two thousand just to survive.'
I looked at him nonplussed. I realized that I have spent so many years being on a diet that the idea that you might actually need calories to survive has been completely wiped out of my conscious– ness. Have reached point where believe nutritional ideal is to eat nothing at all and that the only reason people eat is because they are so greedy they cannot stop themselves from breaking out and ruining their diets.
'How many calories in a boiled egg?' said Tom.
'Large or small?'
'Eighty,' I said, confidently.
'Black or green?'
'A hundred and twenty-one.'
'Box of Milk Tray?'
'Ten thousand eight hundred and ninety-six.'
'How do you know all this?'
I thought about it. 'I just do, as one knows one's alphabet or times tables.'
'OK. Nine eights,' said Tom.
'Sixty-four. No, fifty-six. Seventy-two.'
'What letter comes before J? Quick.'
'P. L, I mean.'
Tom says I am sick but I happen to know for a fact that I am normal and no different from everyone else, i.e., Sharon and Jude. Frankly, I am quite worried about Tom. I think taking part in a beauty contest has started to make him crack under the pressures we women have long been subjected to and he is becoming insecure, appearance obsessed and borderline anorexic.
Evening climaxed with Tom cheering himself up letting off rockets from the roof terrace into the garden of the people below who Tom says are homophobic.
Thursday 9 November
8st 13 (better without Smoothies), alcohol units 5 (better than having huge stomach full of pureed fruit), cigarettes 12, calories 1456 (excellent).
V. excited about the dinner party. Fixed for a week on Tuesday. This is the guest list:
Jude Vile Richard
Tom Pretentious Jerome
(unless get v. lucky and it is off
between him and Tom by Tuesday)
Me Mark Darcy
Mark Darcy seemed very pleased when I rang him up.
'What are you going to cook?' he said. 'Are you good at cooking?'
'Oh, you know . . . ' I said. 'Actually, I usually use Marco Pierre White. It's amazing how simple it can be if one goes for a concentration of taste.'
He laughed and then said, 'Well, don't do anything too complicated. Remember everyone's coming to see you, not to eat parfaits in sugar cages.'
Daniel would never have said anything nice like that. V. much looking forward to the dinner party.
Saturday 11 November
8st 12, alcohol units 4, cigarettes 35 (crisis), calories 456 (off food).
Tom has disappeared. First began to fear for him this morning when Sharon rang saying wouldn't swear on her mother's life but thought she'd seen him from the window of a taxi on Thursday night wandering along Ladbroke Grove with his hand over his mouth and, she thought, a black eye. By the time she'd got the taxi to go back he'd disappeared. She'd left two messages for him yesterday asking if he was OK but had had no reply.
I suddenly realized, as she spoke, that I had left a message for Tom myself on Wednesday asking if he was around at the weekend and he hadn't replied, which is not like him at all. Frantic phoning ensued. Tom's phone just rang and rang, so I called Jude who said she hadn't heard from him either. I tried Tom's Pretentious Jerome: nothing. Jude said she'd ring Simon, who lives in next street to Tom, and get him to go round. She called back twenty minutes later saying Simon had rung Tom's bell for ages and hammered on the door but no reply. Then Sharon rang again. She'd spoken to Rebecca, who thought Tom was supposed to be going to Michael's for lunch. I called Michael who said Tom had left a weird message talking in an odd distorted voice saying he wasn't going to be able to come and hadn't given a reason.
3 p.m. Starting to feel really panicky, at the same time enjoying sense of being at center of drama. Am practically Tom's best friend so everyone is ringing me and am adopting calm yet deeply concerned air about whole thing. Suddenly occurs to me that maybe he's Just met someone new and is enjoying honeymoon-style shag hideaway for a few days. Maybe it wasn't him Sharon saw, or black eye is just product of lively enthusiastic young sex or postmodern– style ironic retrospective Rocky Horror Show makeup. Must make more phone calls to test new theory.
3:30 p.m. General opinion quashes new theory, since it is widely agreed to be impossible for Tom to meet new man, let alone start affair, without ringing everyone up to show off. Cannot argue with that. Wild thoughts ranging through head. No denying that Tom has been disturbed lately. Start to wonder whether am really good friend. We are all so selfish and busy in London. Would it be possible for one of my friends to be so unhappy that they . . . ooh, that's where I put this month's Marie Claire: on top of fridge!
As flicked through Marie Claire started fantasizing about Tom's funeral and what I would wear. Aaargh, have suddenly remembered MP who died in a plastic bag with tubes around neck and chocolate orange in mouth or something. Wonder if Tom has been doing weird sexual practices without telling us?
5 p.m. Just called Jude again.
'Do you think we should call the police and get them to break in?' I said.
'I already rang them,' said Jude.
'What did they say?' I couldn't help feeling secretly annoyed that Jude had rung the police without clearing it with me first. I am Tom's best friend, not Jude.
'They didn't seem very impressed. They said to call them if we still couldn't find him by Monday. You can see their point. It does seem a bit alarmist to report that a twenty-nine-year-old single man is not in on Saturday morning and has failed to turn up for a lunch party he said he wouldn't be corning to anyway.'
'Something's wrong, though, I just know,' I said in a mysterious, loaded voice, realizing for the first time what an intensely instinctive and intuitive person I am.
'I know what you mean,' said Jude, portentously. 'I can feel it, too. Something's definitely wrong.'
7 p.m. Extraordinary. After spoke to Jude could not face shopping or similar lighthearted things. Thought this might be the perfect time to do the Feng Shui so went out and bought Cosmopolitan. Carefully, using the drawing in Cosmo, I mapped the ba-gua of the flat. Had a flash of horrified realization. There was a wastepaper basket in my Helpful Friends Corner. No wonder bloody Tom had disappeared.
Quickly rang Jude to report same. Jude said to move the wastepaper basket.
'Where to, though?' I said. 'I'm not putting it in my Relationship or Offspring Corners.'
Jude said hang on, she'd go have a look at Cosmo.
'How about Wealth?' she said, when she came back.
'Hmm, I don't know, what with Christmas coming up and everything,' I said, feeling really mean even as I said it.
'Well, if that's the way you look at things. I mean you're probably going to have one less present to buy anyway . .
In the end I decided to put the wastepaper basket in my Knowledge Corner and went out to the greengrocer to get some plants with round leaves to put in the Family and Helpful Friends Corners (spiky-leaved plants, particularly cacti, are counterproductive). Was just getting plant pot out of the cupboard under sink when heard a jangling sound. I suddenly hit myself hard on the forehead. They were Tom's spare keys from when he went to Ibiza.
For a moment I thought about going round there without Jude. I mean, she rang the police without telling me, didn't she? But in the end it seemed too mean, so I rang her and we decided we'd get Shazzer to come as well, because she'd raised the alert in the first place. As we turned into Tom's street, though, I came out of my fantasy about how dignified, tragic and articulate I would be when interviewed by the newspapers, along with a parallel paranoid fear that the police would decide it was me who had murdered Tom. Suddenly it stopped being a game. Maybe something terrible and tragic actually had happened.
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding / Romance & Love / Humor / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes