Monday 6 October 2008

The sort of bastard I am

14st 6lb; 8.2 units of alcohol last night (I felt that I needed a drink or two after the trauma of the Great North Run); 1,218 more days to fill; Newcastle.

You might well be wondering what sort of total bastard would dump his injured and exhausted girlfriend on a packed train to make the 200 mile journey home on her own, still in her sweaty running kit and with an injured foot so swollen that she did not dare take off her trainers. Well, I’ll tell you. The sort of bloke who volunteered to drive her home to ensure that she was back at work for a vital meeting first thing on Monday morning. And who then told one of his few remaining clients that he could not possibly attend an equally vital business meeting in Newcastle at the same time, as he would be in Cheshire, but would participate by phone. At which point the LTCB told him that her meeting had been postponed and she would stay an extra night, so he rang his client and said he could come to their meeting after all.

Shortly afterwards the LTCB’s vital meeting was reinstated, but by this point I had lost the will to live and did not feel able to ring my clients and tell them that I wanted to change my plans yet again. I hope this may be considered forgivable in the circumstances. At least the LTCB still seems to be speaking to me. Apparently looking and smelling like you have just run 13 miles is a pretty good way of getting a pair of seats to yourself on the train, though it is probably easier just to pretend to be a lunatic eager to strike up a conversation.

At least one member of my small family enjoyed an unalloyed triumph yesterday. When I went to pick the dog up from the friends who had kindly rescued him from my house at lunchtime, he proved to have distinguished himself by catching a rat in their garden and shaking it to death. What’s more it was a genuine, feral rat, of the sort that allegedly spreads disease and which people pay good money for Rentokil to eliminate. Not, as you and I might have expected, a harmless and much-loved domestic pet. I was taken out to inspect the corpse. It was only a youngster, but its demise still merits a place in the record as the most useful act of public service ever performed by either of my Border terriers. In fact, the only act of public etc.

I was supposed to go to my desk and write a newspaper column when I got back last night, but I was so exhausted by my non-participation in the Great North Run that I felt capable only of drinking bottled strong ale and over-eating. But unluckily for the readers of the local paper, and particularly for the 15-year-old boy who normally fills in when I throw a sickie, I woke up at 2.30, with my MacBook to hand, and dashed off the required 650 words on autopilot. When I woke up properly I had no recollection at all of what I had written; but, rather depressingly, it proved to be no worse than usual. What I did recollect was a series of bizarre dreams which had filled the intervening hours, in one of which bad people had been drilling small holes in my sitting room windows and removing all the putty from around the glass; while in another I was living in a rambling maisonette on the Rows in Chester. Experts on dream interpretation are invited to leave a comment explaining these, so long as it is free of charge at the point of use.

I can reveal nothing of my vital business meeting on the grounds of client confidentiality, and more importantly because they would no doubt sack me if I did so. However, it was serious enough for me to wear a suit, which is a pretty rare event these days. I have a nasty feeling that it smelt of balls. I just hope that they were strictly of the moth repellent variety.

No comments: