Kids! Do you want to feel like you've been on a five-day crack and heavy-duty liquor binge but find yourself lacking the necessary funds? Simply break your glasses just before you're due to go out and then wear someone else's contact lenses. I did it last night, and it worked a treat.
So, apologies to anyone I didn't say hello to in the Bardroom. I was having enough trouble finding my seat, never mind spotting familiar faces.
It actually worked out OK, though, as it added a much-needed new dimension to seeing Benjamin Zeppaniah. Although he was still funny, his material - including all of the build up anecdotes to his poems - was almost identical to the last time I saw him two years ago in Banja Luka. The fact that I saw him with two heads - one out of focus and the other in - made all the difference. I think the blurry head was marginally more amusing.
Bizarrely, I met someone who quite clearly had been taking crack: a very nice Scottish man, who seemed incapable of putting two coherent thoughts together. Within two minutes of meeting we were talking about the possiblity of trading in egg futures and putting wheels on the nut-dispensing machine so that we could stand on it, roll across the room at high speed, and dispense salted and unsalted nuts to everyone. Top marks for randomness, although I think he does perhaps have to cut down on the herbal cigarettes.
Kalman also deserves respect for possibly the best introduction for a poet that I've ever heard. It was a just a shame that Zeppaniah had decided to go on earlier.