Sunday 2 December 2007

Well hung. Over.

It doesn’t get any better. I feel about as cheery as Gordon Brown must have done this morning when they showed him the latest opinion polls. As well as the obvious signs of a truly world class hangover, I’ve got the sort of dull pain in my chest that betokens either gallstones or an impending heart attack. I’m betting on gallstones, even though the risk factors are supposed to be “3F” (not a type of pencil): Fat, Female, Forty. And I’m only one of the above.

(I digress, but I found a handy website the other day that works out your Body Mass Index using Imperial measures: I’m delighted to find that mine is "only" 29.0, putting me in the “overweight” category and giving me an entirely unjustified sense of moral superiority over those with a BMI of 30+, who are classified as “obese”. The greedy bastards. How dare they blame their glands?)

Anyway, there I was yesterday lunchtime, sitting in the sort of Italian restaurant which looked like it had probably chosen a subdued lighting scheme principally as a cheaper alternative to employing a cleaner. I was again wearing my comedy three-piece green tweed suit, gamely pretending that it would serve as a “babe magnet”, owing to its close textural resemblance to a horse blanket. (Where I live, all babes love horses. Particularly preferring them to Blokes. Apparently they have sweeter breath and afford greater physical satisfaction.)

There were quite a few babes there, too, as it happened. My friend who was paying a flying visit from his new home in New Zealand had chosen the restaurant for that very purpose. Which made the thrust of the conversation all the odder, when he and my other friend finally turned up. Let’s face it, you didn’t need to be Yates of the Yard to work out the nature of the Big Secret which the émigré was clearly determined to share with us.

The references to sharing a lovely house with a male friend and spending a lot of time working out in the gym were pretty good indicators, but talking about the happy times they spent doing the ironing in their underpants was surely a clincher. (Question: if you mainly wear only underpants, exactly how much ironing would you ever need to do?)

We steered the conversation away from it as though we were battling to control a small yacht in a Force Ten storm.

“Anyway, the really interesting thing I’ve discovered in New Zealand is …”

“Cor, look at her. Bit of all right, isn’t she?”

“Yes, but as I was saying …”

“Hello, that dad must have really got on the wrong side of the balloon modeller. His little boy’s just walked in holding a huge great black cock and balls.” (He had, too.)

“Yes, but the important thing …”

If only we hadn’t started drinking heavily, we might have avoided it. As it was, he eventually managed to blurt out, “I’ve found God.”

“No, surely it’s just a bit of someone’s fingernail or something? Leave it and eat your vegetables.”

“No, I’ve found God. Truly.”

His eyes were shining a bit, come to think of it. The rest of the meal was lost in a bit of a drunken blur, but I distinctly recalled the most important bit of information. The Apocalypse is happening in 2012. Definite. Inked in. Trumpets, Four Horsemen, Final Judgement, all that. There was quite a lot of talk about the New World Order and something called the Ameuro, which will be the currency adopted in the USA, Canada and Mexico after the dollar has become completely worthless, with the sort of social and economic consequences observed in the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe.

I didn’t keep the bill from the restaurant, but I’ve a nasty feeling that it might have been for £166.66. Just as well the wine list didn’t run to Chateau Petrus, or we’d easily have spent another five hundred quid.

Some hours later, I woke up on my sofa with a headache and no very clear idea of how I had got home. But my neighbours are talking about having seen some very strange lights in the sky.

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