Monday, July 28, 2003
The Mournday After The Pride Before
As I live in a rented flat, it's a legal requirement that my gas supply be checked every twelve months or so. Very understandable: the last thing I want to do is wake up just to discover I've been done in by carbon monoxide poisoning. Today, I feel rough enough already, without my death being added to my roll-call of worries.
For one thing, as Mrs Parker has already said, the stuff smells bloody awful, and is hardly the glamorous Romantic end I'd always aimed for. I'd envisaged myself as the misunderstood and criminally-neglected Poet in my lonely garret with just a pot-plant for company, scrawling off one last dying, tragic line of brilliance. Or maybe the bold, dashing Hero, bravely staring Death and Destiny in the eye to protect his lady-love, blissfully unaware that, this week next century, Michael Ball will be playing me in the title role on Shaftesbury Avenue.
However, as I do not have, and never have had, a gas supply, there was little opportunity for me to die either glamorously or unglamorously this time round. And, though I'd informed him weeks before, I still had to give Mr Oooh-It's-More-Than-My-Job's-Worth-Guv-Not-To-Take-A-Look a tour of my kitchen, just to show my gas supply very unglamorously not existing. And on the Mournday following the whole Birthday/ Pride/ Trade before, my head was banging and my willpower flopping so much I couldn't even dredge up one of my usual sarcastic barbs, or even a rare good-natured witticism, when he apologised for wasting my time. That's how bad I was.
Next year, I'm giving up the partying. Next year, I shall stay in with a cup of Horlicks and watch it on the telly, chuckling at all the wild and crazy antics of those loveably zany youngsters. I'm getting too old for this hedonism lark. Next year, my dears, I'm going to be all grown-up, and act my age.
Humph. Well. Thank you very much. At least you could pretend to believe me.