This isn’t true.
I saw the chaps again the other day.
We had an improbably nice meal in a public house called “The White Swan” on Sunday. Norman Lamont told Julian Clary that if he’s really serious about joining the Army (Julian: “I AM serious”) then he’d better get used to rather stodgier, more proletarian fare than he’s become accustomed to.
So off we trooped to a somewhat rough part of town. Norms was in his element – I know his game well by now – and was chatting up the toughs at the bar within seconds of our arrival. He was kind enough to pay for the whole shebang though, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
Julian said that it has become a gastropub, and so all became clear – we weren’t slumming it at all. The place has just enough “authenticity” (none of it ethnic, thankfully) to keep the natives content, but they’ve hired some French whiz to do the cooking. It might be bangers and mash on the face of it, but it’s a work of art. You can say one thing and one thing only for the Frogs – they know about food and drink.
The booze flowed, as it always does. Julian protested that he needs to get in shape ASAP, but Norms said “wine and spirits don’t count.” Although that’s balls I must say that Norman is looking fitter than ever. He’s stuck to the wrestling with much more vigour than I’ve seen from him before. (I always knew he’d fail to make it to the very top in politics; you simply have to put the hours in.)
After he’d had a few, Norms slapped one of the local rapists on the arse and told him that he could sort the economy out in a trice “if they’d just give me my old job back.” Then he launched into a tiresome explanation of where it’s all gone wrong. I switched off at that point, as it doesn’t affect me in any way, and I couldn’t give a damn about the fortunes of bankers. Ghastly, feverish ratboys the lot of them.
Julian has set up a mini assault course in the garden. He was DEEPLY upset when Norms bounded over it like an Andrex puppy. Even Roy Keane – who is of course a natural athlete physically if not spiritually – was impressed.
Julian meanwhile was foiled by his desperately weak upper body. His arms are incredibly spindly, and Felix the Black Personal Trainer said that his “core strength” is inadequate as well. Felix has prescribed trunk exercises, whatever that means.
Roy burst into tears in the evening. When asked what was wrong, he said that he couldn’t understand why Julian wants to kill people. Julian stammered that it’s more complicated than that, but Roy was having none of it. "NO IT ISN’T, NO IT ISN’T!” he bellowed (most unlike Roy to raise his voice or lose his cool). “That’s exactly
what it’s like. If you wanted to help people or see the world you’d join the Red Cross.”
I tried to smooth things over by sharing my observation that the Forces don’t appeal to me because I don’t want to get blown to bits myself, but that only served to upset EVERYONE.
Norms is not a natural diplomat, but he came to my rescue by leaping up and demanding that Felix help him demonstrate his latest “move”. We were all so flabbergasted when Norms lifted Felix (who must weight at least 18 stone and is about 6’6) over his head before hurling him to the floor (with quite a thud) that my faux pas
I sometimes think that these get-togethers are just too overwrought to be worth the candle, but Norms and Julian are my oldest friends and I would miss dear Roy, who simply doesn’t socialise anywhere else. He is currently managing Ipswich City, and I couldn't sleep soundly knowing that he only had Norms, Julian and a bunch of Norfolk yokels for friends.
Felix isn’t a bad sort either. He told me that he wants Norman and he to get matching tattoos and that Norms is up for it. I don’t think Julian will like it. Nor will Roy, who simply loathes body art. He can't bear the thought of others suffering, even when it's self-inflicted. BLESS HIM.