The 86th Academy Awards ceremony happened the other night. As ever, the event was an odd affair that leaves me ambivalent. I like the celebration of cinema, the lauding of great movies and the heartfelt and inspiring speeches of humbled performers who deserve accolades. I don’t like the fact that – unlike the BAFTAs – the Oscars feel drawn out and, bizarrely enough, badly co-ordinated and stage-managed. There’s very little in the way of zip and energy. It’s a long trawl through awkward tumbleweed moments and a whole lot of self-awareness. All the hype and A-list glamour just adds to the peculiarity of the whole shebang. Of course, it gets even weirder when really odd stuff happens…
Ellen DeGeneres ordered some pizzas and took some selfies and I guess ‘Oscar host turns into a stereotypical 15-year-old’ is a bit unusual but, really, I’m not impressed. Matthew McConaughey’s full-on Southern preacher acceptance speech was way further out there but the stand-out weird moment of this year was undoubtedly John Travolta’s introduction of Idina Menzel ahead of her performance of “Let It Go” from Frozen. Travolta’s baffling mispronunciation spawned an online meme frenzy. Worse news: it inspired me to blast out some flash fiction in honour of Adele Dazeem. Here is that very short piece of writing for your consideration…
Academy Award Disappointment for Adele Dazeem
Her cell phone rings. She looks at the screen and sees Max’s fizzog. She doesn’t want to answer.
She really doesn’t want to answer.
She answers. Fuck it.
Adele! Honey! Hey, how ya doin’?
That sigh says it all, “honey”. Urgh.
Awwww, c’mon, hon… aaaaah, did you, ahhh, tune in?
She gulps. Yeah…
She said she wasn’t going to tune in.
She tuned in anyway.
So? he inquires, cautiously.
So… the sigh is heavier and soaked in sadness.
She’s hurting so bad.
She was good, huh? I mean, sure she’s Idina Menzel and she put on a good show but nowhere near what you’d-a brought to the party. I suppose folks are happy, what with her singin’ it in the movie an’ all but, hey, the whole shebang was a real drag, anyhow…
There is sorrow in the silence and, sensing it, he stops. Max figures himself as an empathetic guy. It’s why his clients like him, he tells himself.
Listen, Adele. Hon, sugar, it’s… it’s okay…
It’s not frickin’ okay, Max, she says choking back bitter tears, her tender eye stinging as she does so.
Well, what I mean, is ahhh, at least he still said your name! That’s somethin’ right? John Travolta said your name, honey!
It was my night, Max. It was my moment and that moment is gone. Forever.
Awwwww, there’ll be other times! You bet your last nickel there will! I can guarantee it!
No, Max. I’m not sure there will be and I don’t care anyway. I wanted my time to be last night and it was taken away from me.
Awww, sugar, these things happen. How is the eye, anyhow?
She’s too choked up to answer. Truth is it’s real bad. It’s swelled up terribly and the discharge is just gross. It’s hurting, but not as much as her pride.
Awww hell Adele! Damn that pink eye! I tell ya, it’s just the worst luck! The worst, worst luck, honey!
You’re tellin’ me, Max…
But, you know, it ain’t the end of the world, hon. You’re sick now but… you’ll get over it soon enough…
Okay, she’s heard enough.
Shit Max, don’t start with any of your ‘better luck next time’ crap ’cause I can’t take it now. I am sick, I am devastated and I’ve had the greatest moment of my life ruined by frickin’ conjunctivitis.
Hey hey, hon! Easy! I know it feels bad right now but, y’know, don’t get upset! Calm! Calm! Let it go…
Adele Dazeem hangs up and the tears stream and stream. The weeping will go on and on and the inflamed eyelid will carry on stinging like a bitch and the hurt will throb on forever.
Forever until she can let it go…