Thursday, 5 May 2011


Message from: Ann Smith (Mother)

  Subject: No subject
  Date: 1st May

  Hello darling,

Just take extra care Emma because there will surely be reprisals from the killing of Osama bin Laden, mostly directed against America, the sooner you leave that country the better.

Love you both XX

We all know that when the end of the world comes it will start in New York, like it does in the movies.

Your WelshAlien will be stranded on the island of Manhattan, because all the bridges will be blown up and tunnels blocked by the U.S. government in order to contain the disaster area. I won't be rich enough to escape in a helicopter and the seaports will be manned by the Army. I will pause only briefly to be turned on by their big machine guns and then I will really wish I'd make that move to Brooklyn, which is at least on the mainland.

I would be rubbish in a disaster. I have zero survival skills. Aside from running, which I can do for about 15 minutes without stopping providing I have a good sport's bra to hand. I probably couldn't dodge danger at the same time though, I have an inability to multi-task and no sense of direction- I couldn't tell you where North is right now. Even though I live on a grid system. No clue.

How might the end of the world might actually come? On recent events, I think a terrorist attack is a good bet. Personally I would prefer a Zombie apocalypse, as I've watched enough undead movies to figure out how to slaughter them all.

What would you do at the end of the world, with 24 hours to live?

I would dedicate my last day on earth to hedonistic pleasure, involving sex, booze and copious amounts of illegal stuff (including looting Chanel). I would do all this while eating one of those normally prohibited Baskin' Robbins hot fudge sundaes that have 1400 calories in. I wouldn't spend it with my family, 'cos why would I want to spend my last day on earth being told where I'm going wrong with the short amount of life I have left?

As potential apocalypses go, Monday was certainly bizarre enough. It started at 5.30 a.m. with a call from the BBC in the UK about doing an interview into their phone-in show at 7.30 a.m. Despite the pre breakfast hour I think I managed to fake reasonable intelligence on the American reax to the Osama death. I said words and phrases like 'rhetoric', 'intrinsic', 'psyche' and 'homeland security' all of which tip anyone in the direction of sounding like they know what they're talking about.

Annoyed that Osama has stolen the thunder of one of Cardiff City's biggest ever games, I head to Nevada Smiths in the East Village. For possibly the second time this season, we have sound on the tele. This turns out to be a bad omen as we watch and listen to mid-table Middlesborough take us down 3-nil on home turf. The sole Barry contingent of the N.Y. Bluebirds make us drink tequila slammers afterwards. More than a few of them. Enough that I wince.

We then sit with some Norwich fans behind and watch as their team win 1-nil and take the second promotion spot. They whoop and jump and there are sporting handshakes from some of the N.Y. Bluebirds. I stomp off to the toilet in a huff. The loo inside flushes automatically and I feel a little Stella soaked tear welling up. Anything automatic is just upsetting now.

However, we are all Championship fans in a sea of Premiership supporters in NYC, so the Canaries and the Bluebirds fly together for celebration and commiseration drinks at Mcsorley's Ale House in the East Village. I drink Dark Ale, which has not happened since I was pregnant. It's an old bruiser of a pub with sawdust on the floor and makes me miss home a little bit. The Canaries offer us beer, we accept. When the bill comes though they make us split it, so I gob a bit on their cheese plate and vow never to go to Norwich, not matter how good the M&S might be.

We are down to three and we are now in a bar in Nolita. Cardiff City have thrown away automatic promotion. It's the end of the world. Osama is dead and the Muslim world will seek revenge. I am staring at a Gin and Tonic. It's time to go home. Really home. Oh Waayyyaaales. No one will ever bomb Wales.

Outside I met this man, who is wearing what is possibly the world's coolest t-shirt.

We talk about Osama and Obama and I tell him about Cardiff City. He tells me he is from 'Glamorganshire'. I tell him everyone wants to be Welsh, then I fall into a taxi with Claire from Newport and Paul from Blackwood.

As we whizz back uptown I close my eyes and think about Wales. The place where the daffodils are the true colour God intended. And Clark's pies rule. And terror threats are low. And Cardiff fans are many.

Nos Da New York.



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