I forgot to tell you about my previous visit to Brighton.
On that occasion, a few months ago, my travelling companion was a chap called Collin. A skip driver no less, young, good looking and with a steady eye for the ladies – all the things I am not, even my eyes gave up being steady a good few years ago!
Anyway, Collin the skip driver had spent most of his young life in the Black Country (West Bromwich to be precise), so driving me around was quite an adventure for him. Now, before any of you folk start knocking West Brom, I lived there for a few years and a happy period in my colourful life it was too…… apart from the time an Alsation nearly ripped my arm off for getting too close to his front door. They can be a bit security conscious in West Brom you know, the Tipton Taliban and all that.Remember?
Actually, they did build (the Council that is) a super dooper art gallery in the town centre just to shut all you intellectual high brows up – admittedly it gave up the ghost soon after I left due to a lack of patronage but that’s not the point is it. They tried. Come to think of it, I did have one hell of a job trying to buy a desk in West Brom, even the salesmen looked at me as if I’d lost the plot, so I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
So, there we were in Brightonian Brighton.Collin raring to go after the girls and me raring to go to bed. I had a wife at home so extra-curricular activity was out of the question; my wife has this habit of sniffing me from head to toe every time I return from some wayward authoring activity,she keeps going on about that alcohol soaked lout Dylan Thomas and ‘bugger his poetry, he was a right swine!’
She may have a point where his poetry is concerned, after all spending a few days over one word seems to be stretching creativity a bit, but then I’m probably just a cerebral lout myself.Mind you,I’ve often wondered what on earth poets do all day, I mean how long does it take to write a few stanzas? (and don’t they just think they’re chocolate, rather like authors really – present company excluded!).
Right, sorry I’m waxing lyrical again (or maybe not so lyrical!). Ignore it. Back to Collin the skip driver.As planned he went after the fillies – they tended to go after him too believe me,the joys of ’emancipation’ eh, in my day it was a packet of crisps, a half a lager and lime and one pinch of an exasperated nipple if you were lucky! I left him to it and went to bed.
My wife’s nose helping to immunise me from any ideas of missing out on something.
The following morning Collin appeared at the breakfast table. There was something not quite right about his hair. Normally it flowed and bounced around his forehead, in a way that seemed to demand the touch of a female fingertip but as he sat down it just sank and slurped in all the wrong directions. It really was most odd.
I didn’t say anything, you know how sensitive young men are these days when it comes to their looks, what with pants filled with iron ingots, gels that make their pubes stand upright and moisturisers that make their skin smoother than an angel’s bum.
‘Good night, was it?’ I asked.
‘Yeah. Great.’ Came the surly reply.
Oh oh I thought, someone didn’t get his Porridge Oats last night then. I was just about to place the last bit of bacon in my mouth when my companion’s tongue finally sprang into life. ‘Bloody funny shampoo they’ve got in this place I’m tellin’ you Julian. Couldn’t get any lather. Nothin’.Tried everythin’.My ‘air is all greasy.’
Oh no,I thought. He didn’t. No. He couldn’t have.’You didn’t use one of the blue sachet’s in the basket did you, Collin?’ I asked trying to stop myself laughing.
‘Well yeah, why?’
‘Because that stuff is KY Jelly you bloody idiot!Not shampoo!’
Collin never ventured out of West Brom again.