Older, wiser, duller


It was the company-wide party last night, in a posh hotel. Our team was about 20 minutes late, by which time a man with a clicker had taken up station at the door to the ballroom, and told us severely that the room was already ‘at capacity’. So for an embarrassing 15 or so minutes we stood in the corridor, the sans-culottes looking in at the grand ladies drifting past and shooting us puzzled glances. We were finally let in to find the room so spacious and airy that you could follow your companions’ conversations without straining. Gah.

Having accidentally left half my lunch – the chunky, starchy half, drattit – beside the till in Sainsbury’s, my pre-drinking foundations were built from a rickety mix of celery, carrots, hummus and a tin of sardines. Horridly, while nodding along to a work conversation, I dislodged a fish scale that had been glued to an incisor. Panicky gulps of champagne failed to sloosh it away, just shunted it back to adhere to my soft palate. Gag-a-clag, that put me right off the canapés.

Result: the degree of larkiness I was manifesting after only two glasses of champagne suggested I should cut the evening short in favour of a Pret sandwich and a tube ride home, which I achieved, along with some fellow lightweights and – God, I love London – a Rhodesian Ridgeback eating chips.


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