A grouse, an elephant – and a little bit of bully......
So there we are, getting well pissed at a birthday party for my old college chum, Rodger.
To put it bluntly, Rog’ is simply brilliant. A consummate artist and sculptor – a master of watercolour, oils and acrylic. You can see his stuff in any supermarket or off-licence. Rodger painted the little game bird picture on the front of the ‘Famous Grouse’ whiskey box and bottle – as well as the big black and white bird newspaper adverts. His humour is offbeat and highly original and during the years, he has made many friends all over the globe.
Rog’ has done real well from his painty talent – he’s been everywhere, done everything and met everyone who is anyone. He’s even had tea with the Queen Mum - and when she was still alive! He exhibits his stuff in a Bond Street gallery, owned by one of Prince Chaz’s bezzy mates. He used to live just outside Chorley, but has moved to richer climes.
Basically, Rog’ is well connected and well heeled – so what can I, his old college mate, get the man who has everything - for his birthday? What can I get the geezer that has the weirdest sense of humour and the fattest wallet I know?
Think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think, think …….
Alfreda comes to the rescue. Had I seen this advert? Did I think Rodger would have any of this?
I seriously doubted it. Why would anyone buy a bumper big tub-full of that?
Anyway, after a bit of thinking and umming and arring, I thought ‘what the hell – why not’. And within the hour, we are off to Chester.
"You want a ‘bumper big’ tub-full of ‘it’ – right?"
"Yeah – the biggest bumperiest tub–full you’ve got."
"Round the back"………
"Do you want me to put it in the boot"
"Please – and can you stick a bag or five around it?"
We get back, wrap it up and head for a small village in the Trough of Bowland for Rodger’s party.
"Here you go Rog’ – many happy returns"
"Great, thanks …… what can it be?"
"Well open it ….. and find out, you big softee!"
Rodger and his wife excitedly unwrap the bumper big parcel.
Several guests start to sniff the air…….
"Yup ……. 20 kilos of it"
"Absolutely, 20 kays of prime pachyderm poo"
"Elephant shit. Best manure from the biggest land animal in the world, courtesy of Chester Zoo".
"Chester Zoo … Poo?"
Rodger’s wife disappears in disgust clutching a whole bog roll to her mouth. Just then, one of Roger’s posh mates, some poncy Lord dude or other who had spent years on the African savannah saunters past…….
"Ahhhhhh – Rhino shit"
"Rhino shit. It’s Rhino shit, definitely"
"Weeeeeellllllllllllll. It could be buffalo….. or zebra – at a push"…. …… He grabs a bit between thumb and fore finger then thoughtfully massages it and sniffs it, like he’s Tonto or something.
"No. Definitely rhino"
"Sorry Roger" I blab – "I bought it in good faith – as Elephant Poo, I’ll take it back and change it if you like".
Roger refused – and saw the funny side, thank God. Because by now, big bumper tub is humming very, very hummily. And the joke, well the joke was, what do you get someone that has everything? – Why, Elephant shit of course. except that this may be elephant, or it may be rhino, or it may be bleeding zeb bloody ra.
Anyway, whatever it is, it stinks to the highest heaven. It really does smell – and the moment has passed, mainly because of Jungle Jim coming along and giving us the great white hunter ‘Daktari’ stuff…..
Rog’ dumps the dump into the garden.
Thankfully, there are lots and lots of old college mates to chat to and drink with. Pretty soon I’m well on the way to being pissed.
Then we see him…. Then we see some geezer we all recognise. He apparently lives in an old converted railway station, virtually right next to Rodger’s house.
I dig Ralph in the ribs.
"Yeah, I’ve already had a chat with him"
"Tone, have you seen who’s over there?"
"Wow, let’s go over and have a word"
"Hang on, hang on….. remember ‘West Side Story’ …. ‘Got a rocket in your pocket, stay cooly cool boy. Take it slow 'n' daddy-ohh don’t be a fool boy, just play it cool boy, real cool"
I try to click my fingers but I’m just too pissed.
"So that’s settled then, I’m saying this. Tone, you’re going to say that – and Ralph, you know what you are going to say?"
We saunter over, nonchalant like, as natch as 3 pissed, overweight saddos about to meet a ‘z’ list famous dude can be.
We stand, wobbly in front of the great man.
Finally, Ralph slurs "Alright Jim, how the bloody hell are you?"
Before our target can answer, we blurt out in turn…..
"And I’m bloody Great!"
Cue hysterical laughter, made even funnier, (especially when you are pissed) by our target’s dead pan expression.
We giggle our way back towards the bar.
I mean, it’s not as if anyone would have ever said ‘Super, Smashing, Great’ to Jim Bowen before – is it?