It is fairly unusual for Philip to call me these days. He has always preferred conversations
with those whom he can intimidate, and he knows that I am a match for him when it
comes to trading pleasantries. I am not particularly proud of my comment “Fuck off,
you lanky streak of camel piss”. It does not exactly fit into my literary standards
– I prefer to think of myself as W.S.Gilbert rather than Vinnie Jones, but it was
effective, and I think has led to our understanding each other.
I was therefore initially surprised when he called. I was also fairly displeased,
he knows that there is a busy sporting schedule at the moment, and that I have been
out of town. After all, I never telephoned him during the chariot racing, or whatever
the fuck his silly sport was called, season.
“I’ve got this god-awful anniversary coming up, you know,” he whined, “60 years and
I’m still meant to buy her a present. It was OK the first couple of years …”.
I interrupted at this point, I couldn’t let him get away with that one. “It was OK
the first couple of years?” I exclaimed, “It was OK the first couple of fucking years?
You seem to be forgetting the tiara, which looked very pleasant at first glance,
but on closer inspection was decorated with erect phalluses.” I reminded him, “The
fucking archbishop of York had a bloody angina attack, and you were nearly sent back
to Athens with your visa revoked, you total prat. Even Camilla has never gone that
far. And as for that book you bought in duty free at Manilla airport, all I can say
is that it is a bloody good job for you that she never got around to reading it.”
“Don’t you have people there to advise you on this sort of thing?” I asked. “What
happened to that chap who used to nip out to Pizza Express for you, is he still around?
He was always full of good ideas”. “No, I think I had him shot.” I let this one pass.
He is getting on a bit and doesn’t always separate reality from wishful thinking
these days. (I hope that never happens to me). “They’re a real bunch of dull bastards
here these days,” he moans, “ what with that daft tart Camelia around, we have to
keep the entire staff on medication. Costs a fucking fortune. The whole household
behave as if they are on valium, and it takes about three hours to get dinner served.
I tell you, if my swan’s scrotum is cold again tomorrow, I’m going to fucking kick
“Zoe’s book is available at Amazon,” I said, without really thinking it through.
“Piss off!” came the reply, “buy the head of the commonwealth a Belgian self help
book that focuses on how to oppress the male of species? You must be bleeding joking”.
“I bought her a 6000 piece jigsaw a few years ago” he goes on – I am losing track
of the score in the rugby – “ but the daft old trout found it too difficult and got
some of the staff to do it, all very well you might think, but she uses my people
too. Ever tried shaving your own back?”
I don’t know why he worries. She loses track of all of the gifts, can never remember
who gave them to her, can never work out how to use anything utilitarian, and is
virtually colour blind. I think he just likes to be under the impression that he
has something to do. It comes with age. Most of us would have realised after the
first five weeks that trotting about after the missus, shaking hands with dull people
and visiting the most boring places on the planet was not much of a career. I have
never had the heart to tell him that most of the people he meets are “resting” actors,
because the rest of us find him more boring than he finds us and can’t be bothered
to turn up. It nearly went wrong once when Jim Broadbent was a foreman in a gusset
factory one day and the next was introduced as the winner of the ludo world championships.
I suppose I’ll have to go through the whole fucking episode again at Christmas.
FIRST !! A blue blooded Royalist then, Vicus?
Monday, October 01, 2007 4:08:00 PM
You're only first, John G, because the rest of us are bored with this tedious creeping
towards the royal family. He's only after a knighthood, you know.
Monday, October 01, 2007 5:34:00 PM
I feel for you Vicus. The mental image he forced upon you of the back shaving is
enough to warrant a lifetime of sympathy.
Monday, October 01, 2007 5:48:00 PM
I daresay Liz will be on the blower soon asking the very same question. I'd suggest
a couple of decent koftes with extra chili and a bottle of retsina and let them get
on with it.
Monday, October 01, 2007 8:31:00 PM
I, like the view said...
can't we have a different episode at Christmas?
Monday, October 01, 2007 9:36:00 PM
Vicus Scurra said...
Alas, John, being first isn't what it was. I am losing the knack of regular posting.
Dave. Will you shut up about the knighthood if I don't mention your failure to become
Mother Superior at that nunnery in Cleethorpes.
Hoosier. Your kindness is endless.
Richard. The mean old cow doesn't buy him anything.
Monday, October 01, 2007 10:43:00 PM
Reg Pither said...
Warm swan's scrotum? It HAS to be served cold so that the balls set - otherwise they
pancake out into the unicorn eggs!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007 7:48:00 AM
just buy her my book, old chum. there's a good boy.