The Jason Hahn Files: What Makes For A More Interesting Dinner Table Conversation Topic — The Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard Defamation Trial or The War In Ukraine?
Everyone needs some distraction and there’s nothing more distracting than watching a former couple wash their dirty laundry in public.
When our friend Jon rang to see if we would like to have dinner, Saffy said couldn’t leave the live coverage of the war. Jonathan was impressed, never having taken Saffy for someone who had any interest in politics.
“Isn’t it terrible, what’s happening?”, he asked.
Saffy sucked in her breath. “It’s mortifying. I don’t think their lives are ever going to recover from this.”
“I keep thinking of all those poor children,” said Jon.
There was a pause on the line as Saffy frowned and stared into the distance. “Wait, there are children?”
“Of course. Hundreds of thousands! Most escaped across the border but many are still stuck!”
Again a pause as Saffy rewound the conversation. “Stuck? Stuck where? I didn’t know they had children…”
By now, Jonathan had found himself in unfamiliar territory. “What?”
“What?” Saffy replied.
“Are we talking about the war in the Ukraine?”
“Oh, my God, no! I’m watching the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial!”
After they’d both hung up, Saffy turned to Amanda, “I can’t believe he thought I was watching the Ukraine war!”
Amanda’s eyes swivelled from the screen where the full indignity of the lives of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard was unfolding in real-time — each side playing out the biggest role of their lives in a courtroom that had probably never seen such a train wreck of a spectacle as this. “I know,” she said. “How long has he known you?”
“Not that what’s happening in Ukraine isn’t a tragedy, but this…” She waved a hand at TV where Johnny’s accountant was testifying to his $160,000 a year alcohol budget. “This is a horror show and a freak show!”
For weeks now, my flatmates have been glued to the screen, completely unable to believe that two people who had once been in love could now be telling the whole world about their substance abuse, much less how he should burn and drown his wife. At one stage, Saffy asked, “Can you imagine fighting like that?”
Amanda rolled her perfectly mascara’ed eyes. “I’d rather die! And not in a good way either, not like Jason’s grandparents,” she added.
To which Saffy sighed, her attention temporarily diverted from a witness testimony about cigarette butts being put out on Amber Heard. “Oh, that lovely old couple!”
My grandparents met when they were 17. Two years later, they tied the knot and stayed happily married for the next 70 years, Grandfather dying two days after his wife. Apparently, he was still weeping when he drew his last breath. Whenever anyone asks, my father always says that Ye Ye actually died of a broken heart. “If my mother had still been alive, he would have kept on living,” he would tell us.
Years later, my sister Michelle said the love story of our grandparents has always haunted her and it probably explains her dismal dating history. “I mean, imagine being so much in love with the same person for 70 years that you literally die of a broken heart when they pass away! How do you live up to that standard?”
To which my brother Jack replied that nobody can. “It’s why I’m still single,” he told her. “Every time I go on a date with someone, I think to myself, ‘Could I still love you after 70 years?’ And the answer is always a big fat ‘No!’”
Michelle sighed. “Oh, God, that’s just so tragic.”
Jack took a big slurp of his Shake Shack milkshake. “Isn’t it just?”
A few nights ago, the girls and I finally caught up with Jon for dinner and the conversation went straight from “Hello” to “What’s the latest from the trial?”
“What I find completely tragic,” Amanda said, “is that it makes you realise what a total waste of time it is to date!”
Saffy picked up a breadstick. “Explain?”
“Well, I don’t know about guys, but women take dating seriously. Between the makeup and hair, outfit and nails and dieting, it takes days to get ready for a single date.”
“Ugh,” said Saffy.
“Right?” Amanda said. “Then you have the witty conversations and after that, the long drawn out nonsense of whether he’s going to call and it’s been two days, why hasn’t he called or texted, so let’s check out what he’s doing on social media. And you repeat for at least another year or two before he proposes. If he proposes at all.”
“Exhausting!” Saffy pronounced.
“But if you knew all that effort would one day end up as a global live telecast of a defamation trial where the two of you tell horrible stories about each other, would you even bother with that first date?”
“Better to become a nun!” Saffy said, and not for the first time.
“That’s so depressing,” Amanda said, as a silence settled over the table.
“Shall we talk about the war in Ukraine, instead?” Jon asked.
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