So, yesterday, I get a phone call at work from Jr Emu #1.*
“Dad, You’ll never guess what’s just happened”, he said.
A short worried pause while I considered my options. If you’ve got teenage kids in your house, perhaps ones who’ve just learnt to drive, got a charming and attractive new girlfriend and just discovered how much fun beer can be, then you’ll know that the number of things that might have ‘just happened’ is quite long and potentially of concern. I played it safe and asked if he’d crashed the car. Thankfully he hadn’t. I was very relieved, as I really like the car.
This is what happened.
#1 was revising upstairs in the house when he heard a knock on the door. He went downstairs to answer, and opened the door to a middle aged bloke in glasses, who he’d never seen before.
MABIG: “Hello, is Kevin there?”
#1: “No, he’s at work”
MABIG: “Err, ok, will he be back later?”
#1: “Well, probably about 7”
MABIG “Ok…by the way, are those your drums in the front room”
MABIG “So you’re a drummer then”
MABIG “I’m a drummer too. I’m the drummer in Blur”
To which #1 said what any self-respecting 18 year old would say in those circs:
#1: “Yeah, right”
There followed a period of some scrutiny, where #1 established the credentials of his mystery guest and, through a series of well placed and detailed questions, established that it was in fact Dave Rowntree at the door, and that, yes, he was calling to speak to #1’s Dad.
Probably the best exchange was:
#1: “I’ve just finished reading ‘A Bit Of A Blur’
MABIG: “Oh, well that’s Alex’s book. I’m not in that very much”
I think the best bands are always the ones where the bass player ignores the drummer, don’t you ?
Anyway, it transpires that Dave Rowntree is aiming to be the Labour candidate for Norwich South, and was canvassing a few party votes, which is a bit less exciting that my hope that he was trying to muscle in on the recent 4D Jones revival.
The mood in the house became slightly more tense after Mr R’s departure, having wished #1 good luck for that night’s gig and no doubt having enjoyed a hearty exchange on how best to configure your floor tom for a knock dead paradiddle**. For at that point, #1 went upstairs, and was met by #2, a boy who has never voluntarily answered phone, door or any of the first two questions put to him, but who is an absolute obsessive on all things musical, with particular interest in the indie and Brit-Pop scene of the early 90’s.
#2: “Who was that at the door?”
#1: “Oh, that was the drummer from Blur, wanting to speak to Dad”
It’s only so often that #1 is going to score such an emphatic goal, and I like to think he celebrated accordingly, possibly by running around the house with his shirt over his head.
So***, I mentioned #1’s gig, and at 1030pm that night I was despatched to the venue to pick up not him, or any member of the band, but his cymbals and snare drum, so that he could go off clubbing. Can’t really see my own Dad ever having gone for that as a worthwhile task, but I guess me and the Missus just want to curry favour with the future Dave Rowntrees of this world. Anyway, I picked up the gear, and drove home. Worth mentioning at this point that it was very dark, and very wet, so it was with some surprise that, after parking the car in the drive, I heard a knock on the passenger door window. I’d taken off my glasses at this point, thereby rendering myself almost blind, but I could just about make out the face of a woman in her twenties, staring at me through the window.
And so**** I had the second worried pause of the day. I’m really not a very good driver, so for all I know, I might have run over her foot as I was parking. Or, given that these days, with my advancing years, I can actually forget a face as soon as I’m introduced to it, it may well have been someone I knew.
Got out of the car, and as I walked round, noticed a large bloke sheltering under the tree outside our house. Walked round to the passenger door.
Mystery Woman: “Hello, could you possibly help me?”
To be fair, what she actually said was “Helloo, codd yoo poshhibly help moie”. She was, as the vernacular has it, completely off her tits.
Me: “Err, yes, what’s the problem?”
MW: “I wash wundering if yoo woold be sho kindharharharted to shpare shome change”
Me “I’m really sorry, I don’t have a penny on me.” Which was true.
As often is the case, the dialogue went back to and fro, as I justified to her and myself that I couldn’t/wouldn’t help, and she made absolutely no attempt to justify what she was doing in my front garden trying to tap me up for loose change. We eventually both concluded that no loose change was available.
At which point she smiled at me, quite sweetly, and said:
“Do you want anything elsh then?”
Time for the day’s third worried pause.
There is, let’s face it, only one service that’s offered late at night in this way while a large minder (who I noticed was now taking a keen interest in the discussion) looks on benevolently. I’d not heard of a door to door service before, but maybe I need to get with the times.
Anyway, as the NotW might have said a few years back, I made my excuses and left. Well, actually, asked her to leave, given that it was that way about. And went into the house to Mrs E, to explain that we appear to have become the target of a travelling red light service.
Still, when I next hook up with Mr Rowntree it should give us some subject matter for election pledges. “No mobile hookers in NR2!”. The T-shirts are already at the printers.
*Have you noticed the habit of people starting sentences with the word “So”? Do you find it annoying? I know I do…
** Drummer talk, I should think
*** See above
****Almost as bad