Monday 25 May 2015

Episode 26: Hobnobs

From Under Dark Clouds

From Under Dark Clouds

After scandal and a legal battle with the Vatican, a British media celebrity has a very public breakdown and seeks asylum in a sleepy Greek mountain village. Battling his addictions and delusions, all he needs to do is keep his head down while the clouds pass.

But can he keep his ego under control? Can he fuck! He gets himself elected into public office. 

The situation on the home front had gotten pretty bad pretty quick, Dear Blogees. I don’t expect you to understand, celebrity is a fickle mistress and she had chosen me to do her bidding. Trouble is though, that the wife is having some issues with my burden. I don’t think she is willing to share me with my public. The world’s press is camped out in the street and she’s phoning round her relatives for a spare room. I think a couple of sessions with Dr. Alex would do her the world of good right now but I have bigger fish to fry.

My phone rang, this time it was Socrates so I answered. “Where the fuck have you been? I need to give a statement.” He told me to sit tight and wait, he was cooking something up, vindaloo hot. I told him to curry up; I really had my comedy mojo back. The wife had already beaten some paparazzi off the veranda with a broom. It was gonna get ugly, and soon.

The wife had holed the boys up in the play room under strict instructions not to come out. I went down to check out what they were doing. The little angels’ faces were bathed in light from the screens as they swiped and poke at them. My eldest lifted his head. “Are you ok, Daddy?” He is a real chip off the block, sometimes I feel like he’s the only one that truly understands me.

“Listen son, things are gonna get a bit mad for a while but Daddy promises you, and your brother that everything will be good.”

“Look Daddy, I built an abattoir in Minecraft!” he said. I believe that his resilience comes from a balanced upbringing.

Outside, a hum of excitement and the ignition of generators preceded a knock on the door; it must be Socrates with his curry-hot news. I raced to answer but the wife grabbed my arm with a stern warning not to open the door. I waved her down but did look through the spy-hole, it was the neighbour. I opened and ushered her in.

Had we seen the hullabaloo outside? Apparently there was some infamous fugitive in the neighbourhood. The wife said that we knew and tried to sweep her out, not with the broom this time. She asked if we knew who it was. I told her calmly that there was a very famous celebrity in their midst but there was nothing to worry about. She asked again, “Who?”

The wife opened the door and as she pushed her out I caught the smell of grilled meat. Someone had set up a barbecue and was selling souvlaki to the journos. This gave me an idea.

Hobnobbing with the world's press
I told the wife to put the kettle on and make, I made a quick calculation, twenty cups of tea. Did we have any Hobnobs?

The wife opened the door again and pulled the neighbour back in, she hadn’t got far and was willing to help in anyway but still wasn’t clear on who the paparazzi were looking for.

A fanfare of tea and biscuits announced my appearance on the veranda.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure you are all dying to know the developments in my story since I retired from the limelight and retreated from Blighty’s shore.” I began.

“Got any more Hobnobs?” Came a voice from behind a camera.

I looked to the wife.

“Could I have coffee, instead?” asked another.

“I know that, just like me, you have a job to do that comes with great pressure. I am just a man.”

“Yeah! I don’t drink tea, either.” Another shouted.

“We have always had a good rapport, you and I.” I turned to the wife to pass on their requests but she simply hung an erect finger at her thigh. “Sorry, guys I’ll see what I can do later.” This provoked groans but the enterprising souvlaki guy sent his boy off in the direction of the mini-market. “Sometimes expectations on me were more than I could burden,” Shit! wrong word but they wouldn’t notice. “I needed to be with my family, my dear wife needed a husband and my children a father.”

“Is that why you said you were the son of god?” A bushel of iPhones had sprung from under my parapet.

“I wanted to empower my fans to make real change!”

“The Pope didn’t see it that way, did he?”

“How much was the settlement?”

“Have you paid it all?”

“How much do you have left?”

I heard the door slam behind me, this was a very sore point with the wife.

“Now, guys! Let’s look forward. I now have a mandate from the fine people of this country.”
“So, are you Greek now?”

The questions were coming hard and fast but my campaigning had honed my skills; I ignored them.

“I want to tell you about the good work I’ve done since my inauguration as mayor.”
“Didn’t you break into the town hall?”

“And do time for it?”

This was a much tougher audience than the electorate had ever been. “Any more tea, guys?”
This provoked mumbles and shaking of heads. “Some more Hobnobs?”

“I didn’t get any!” Came a woeful cry. I assured them I’d get on it.

“Now, I’ve started a social housing programme for the displaced of the community and will soon have news of something hot. If you’ll just bear with me.”

I spotted Socrates’ old Mercedes coming up the road. He stopped at the mobile grill and tooted. This distracted the crowd just long enough to compose myself. The grill was moved to the side of the road and he pulled up in front of the house dispersing the faithful and emerged from the back door. Socrates conducted the journos with a raised hand and a smile. He strode up to the veranda with a file under his arm.

Socrates ushered me into the house and brought me up to speed with the spicy news. It was just what we needed to get the press looking forward to my great achievements.

We stepped out onto the parapet to make the announcement. I took a statesman stance and filled my chest with the air of pride. “Ladies and gentlemen, I can now proudly announce.” I paused for effect as they gathered back around, allowing them to ready their recording devices. “After much work by my team we have just secured premises and funding to establish an initiative to breathe life back into the community that will help nurture the young and enterprising to reclaim this country’s tomorrows. A plan that will empower where there was prostration, provide impetus where there was inertia. We will arm this proud and ancient nation with the tools necessary to nurture a renaissance of Spartan vigour, to beat back the oppression of the Eurocrats.” Socrates laid his hand on my shoulder, I turned to enjoy his smile, even the wife slipped back out to listen.

Turning back to blow their minds, I saw the crowd fragment. The souvlaki guy had an open box at his feet and was holding aloft a packet in each hand.

“Hob Nobs! I have Hob Nobs, chocolate and classeek!”

Don't forget to share and subscribe, your friends will love a little more for it.

Part 1: From Paranoia to Public office will be available as an eBook to subscribers only for a short period before Amazon get their hands on it. Don't miss out!  

Navigate episodes

From Under Dark Clouds

The Century of DIY