Last week Mrs Sticker persuaded me, against my better judgement to take a trip into London with stepdaughters. I personally do not like London. Being dragged around Harrods put me into shopping overload and I had to get out and take a walk in Hyde Park to clear my retail-addled senses.
Dodging the Sabre toting Horse guards trotting along the ride in Hyde Park (Man, you guys have a great anti mugging policy!) I meandered over to the Serpentine before returning for a good look at the baroque masterpiece of the Albert Memorial. As a matter of curiosity I took a side trip out to have a look at the newly reopened Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. ‘Funny shape for a gutter.’ I found myself thinking. ‘but how appropriate.’
Needless to say, I did not share this opinion with anyone, as the pro Diana lobby tend to throw dolly violently out of the pram if you make the slightest criticism of their ‘goddess’. I remember seeing the Martin Bashir TV interview and it saddened me that someone who had all the wealth and prestige they could ever hope for, wasted it because of sex. Silly female, if she’d been discreet she could have had it all. She’d probably still be alive too (No drunken drivers in proper Royal protection.). There, I’ve aired my opinion in public at last. Now flame me all you want.
Managed to get myself off being dragged round Oxford Street by pleading to be allowed to bunk off into the Science Museum. Mrs S relented, and she and stepdaughters went buzzing happily from shop to shop like bees collecting pollen, leaving me to indulge my anorak like passion for gazing at antique machinery. I was still there at just before five when my mobile went off. “Where are you?” Came the squeaky voice of youngest.
“In the Science Museum.” Quoth I.
“We’re at the train station. The trains going in a minute.”
“Er, okay. I can’t get there for the next half hour.”
“Oaw-huh! We’ll have to wait for you!”
“I’ve got my ticket, I’ll see you back at home.” If the train is due ‘in a minute’ then there’s no point rushing is there?
“Mum says you’ve got to come.”
“Let me talk to her.” I hate being pushed around by teenagers.
“Where are you?” Says Mrs Sticker.
“In the Science Museum, where I said I’d be.”
“But we’re catching the train.”
“I’ll catch the next one and see you when I get home.”
“I told you we were catching this one.” This is news to me.
“Says who?” I asked.
“Didn’t I tell you?”
“Oh.” The phone goes dead. Forty-five minutes later, I’m at the railway station filling my face with a Steak and Guinness pasty. My mobile rings.
“Where are you?” Here we go again.
“At the station. I’ll see you when I get back.” Why do some people fuss
so much. I’m a grown boy and have walked in the valley of the shadow on occasion without coming to harm. I’ve even walked through Times Square, New York, in the early hours of the morning alone (I look really mean when I’m jetlagged) and no ones bothered me, so quit worrying!
The train was late and I finally got home at nine, having consumed a pint at the pub, to a frosty reception at home. Even the dog looked at me in a funny way as if to say “Where the hell have you been?”
There are some times when I think the dice are loaded against yours truly. When I next see God, he’s going to have some serious explaining to do.