Sometimes people have a very specific view about their lives and unfortunately it isn’t always exactly the same as someone else.
”If your life was suddenly turned upside down what would you do?” asked Guido over lunch today. “I mean, think about it. Imagine everything you thought was real and dear to you, wasn’t.”
This is what happens round here. Guido ambitiously decides to substitute grilled chicken strips for jumbo prawns in his paella, then starts to question the meaning of life.
”Like what?” I said sipping a very cold glass of white wine. By the way it was barely noon but I was drinking alcohol, and I’m making no apologies for that.
I had some terrific Sauvignon Blanc in one hand and a Greek olive on the end of a cocktail stick in the other. Everything was normal and real and as far as I could tell I was the right way up. The wine was cold, the olive was salty and earlier, when Guido and I had been in bed, we’d had terrific sex without any extraneous assistance. Sometimes you just have to live dangerously folks.
”Well,” said Guido crunching a breadstick, “Arnold, the guy who delivers the sacks of potatoes to the cafe every week, told me Friday his wife Alice had just run off with his best friend.”
I’ve actually met Arnold. He has a very small body with tiny little arms and legs but a very large and oversized bald head. What he can’t tell you about a potato probably isn’t worth knowing about in the first place.
”Look on the bright side,” I said optimistically with my mouth full, “I expect Arnold will probably be much happier without her.”
”Nope,” said Guido shaking his head. “The bank account with all his savings in it is in his wife’s sole name. Arnold thinks they might have both fled to Belgium.”
Which, if you’re serious about fleeing a husband who resembles a Mr Potato Head then, it’s probably just as good a place to go as any.
“Okay,” I said, “then maybe there’s no bright side to look on after all.”
Guido took another crunch.
“Arnold wanted to know if I had any idea how to alert Interpol,” Guido said in all seriousness. Which just goes to show the sort of idiotic questions a humble London cafe owner is expected to field these days.
I took another sip of wine.
”Poor guy,” I said, “I suppose for us it would be a bit like me running off with your best friend Ted.”
And trust me, you have to perish that thought for my sakes. For a start Guido has no money to steal and the dire condition of Ted’s boney knees means I don’t think he’d be able to flee much further than just south of Pimlico without being on the verge of collapse. Let alone the watery shores of Antwerp.
”Hey kiddo,” I said, “you’re going to be stuck with me for a very long time indeed. I won’t be fleeing any where any time soon. Our world is exactly the way it should be.”
I thought about Alice blissfully enjoying a potato free existence on continental Europe. For her sakes I just hope it’s all worth it.
Oh by the way. If you ever need Interpol you can call them on 616-9000.