I knew she was drunk when she repeatedly picked up the receiver in the public phone booth to ask for the Minestry of Magic.
When that didn’t work, she started hollering:
“Dumbledore, Albus. Just trying to make this damn phone booth work m’am. Just a muggle in need.”
It was two days after Christmas. It was cold. My cousin and I were stalking the streets of London in search for excitement.
Being two outgoing American ladies, we managed to finagle our way into a conversation that led to an invitation for pub-crawling.
Obviously this was a good plan.
By the time the invitation was offered, we had both consumed several beverages. The woman suggesting this great adventure was British and judging by the manner in which she kept licking her gums and disappearing into the bathroom-I’m guessing she was a little too into powdering her nose.
But no matter, her friends were fun. They knew a club. We chose to follow.
It was on the trek to the establishment when my cousin and I fell behind due to her fascination with the phone booths. Well, that and my obsession with spotting a fox.
I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out.
Wild foxes roam about London. Seriously.
I saw one in front of the National Gallery one day that stopped traffic. The thing was so tame it wandered up to a woman on her cell phone and started sniffing her shoes. She glanced down expecting to see a dog, but found a red-furred carnivore lazily seeking sandwich crumbs.
So while my cousin sought out Hogwarts’ finest, I set about looking under parked cars for Robin Hood.
It took us some time to catch up to the others.
By the time we did we could no longer locate our sniffing companion.
Not that it mattered. The club was interesting and full of characters. I talked to a man who claimed to have seven toes on one foot. She managed to get herself tangled up in a conversation where she attempted to convince a British chap that she was speaking with a proper English accent.
She didn’t succeed and I didn’t get a proper toe reveal.
As the club grew stale, she and I wandered back outside in search of a taxi and the warmth of our beds. Giggling in the car, we came to the conclusion that we’d just started our own Christmas tradition. Forget roast goose, with pub-crawling, wizard-seeking, and near fox-spotting this was true holiday bonding.
If Dickens was watching, I’m sure he was proud.