First up was an old hand, Balázs Tóth who amused us with his account of meeting women at airports, and the dangers that chocolate, Cadbury Flakes in particular, can pose to a relationship. Following second, Ildi Amon put sarcasm to good use in an excellently written piece on football hooliganism in Budapest. I hope she posts it somewhere as it is well worth a read. Next, the only Irish man of the evening, Frank Carlin, with a voice made for radio, shared with us why he adopted Oscar Wilde as his role model. Jennifer Walker then took us to various countries, exploring their drinking habits and gave some insight into the correlation between expat life and booze. Finally, Tamás Kiss made his GOTG stage debut, going public with how he, as a Russian teacher, contributed to bringing down the last regime.
With the audience a little looser and the speakers playing for the bottle of Famous Grouse donated by Richard Holmes and Gerrards Wealth Management, it was all to play for.
Ildi went to the audience with her choices - Nagymezo utca on a Friday evening or beer vs wine. No prizes for guessing which they picked. Was/is Piaf really a brothel? And who knew there were so many men picking up women in Instant. Balázs also went to the audience with his picks - sex at airports or the Cotton Club. Even though we'd already been to the airport with him, the audience wanted Part II. And they got it. For Frank, the audience was more curious about what he would have for his last meal rather than what he thought of the everyday variety of Hungarian fashion that he sees. In what can only be described as a very graphic account of Francois Mitterand's last meal of Ortolan, he educated us all. If you're curious to know more, check this link. But in sum, what sort of food would Frank eat? A lot. With Tamás, not one person want to hear about shining in the spotlight. The audience was unanimous in its vote to hear him speak on hormonal imbalance. And in a word, it was hilarious. With his punfarts and secondary sexual objects, and women and beards, he had the audience in stitches. Jennifer went for two picks, too, with the audience curious to know the difference between push and pull and give and take rather than showing any interest in what she'd make of the troublesome kid. Clearly defining her take on it all, Jennifer went with reciprocity vs toxic when it comes to relationships.
The judges - Szilvi, Gordon, Robin, Virginia, and Tim - were on form and in the end, there was a winner. Ms Jennifer Walker will be joining Gerard Lucey on stage for the final in March.
Thanks again to Richard Holmes for the booze and to the IHBC for the trophy. To Kath for the door, Ilona and Miklos for the mics, Steve for taking photos, Jeremy for being his inimitable self, to the Cotton Club for the venue and most of all, to the audience - we added 97 000 huf to the kitty bringing the 2015 total to 202 000 huf. Not bad for a night's work.
See ye next month - 26 November - when we'll get to see our photographer extraordinaire, Steve Collison, take to the stage.