THE Wonderful Withers, forever plotting on how to get free drinks out of people, last night came up with a classic. There we were, drinking in the Immoral Inn with Brammy, Keri the worst copytaker in the world and a chorum of Bram's Celtic Harem. Now most of us had our drinks in front of us within easy reach and completely visible to all. Withers, as the contrary one is wont to do, had a different idea. He thought it would be a jolly good idea to place his pint of SA right behind my right elbow on another table. Having drunk more than half his pint he guessed that at some stage his luck would be in and, sure enough, as I swivelled to ask him a question my elbow brushed the remnants of his pint and knocked it over.
The Wonderful One's consternation was beautifully choreographed. "Bloody hell, Rippers, that was a full pint. What are you going to do about it?"
To which I replied: "What twat would leave a pint behind someone's elbow anyway?"
Anyway, just to keep the peace I bought him a new one. I wait with great anticipation for his next free-pint obtaining ploy.
It was lovely to see Keri, the worst copytaker in the world, again. I used to work with her about 17 years ago in the early days of WoS. She always gave us a good laugh, not just because of her sunny disposition, but also because she treated English as a foreign language, as befits a good old Ely girl (that's Ely, Cardiff, the place twinned with war-torn Baghdad - not the one within throwing distance of Cambridge University).
My favourite Keri story is the one where a hack ringing in his story described a footballer as a bit of a prima donna. Keri tapped it out without fuss and when the copy turned up she had intelligently translated it. "Pre-Madonna" It said. So there WAS life before Madonna then.
She greeted me like a long-lost brother and told me: "You haven't changed a bit", the fact that I parted company with my hair a little while ago seeming to escape her attention.
Then, getting straight to the point, she laid in with: "I hear you went on a blind date?"
Now where this mythical rumour came from I have no idea. I passed it on to my spin doctor.
Got home last night feeling extremely tired. Having bought a French "baton" of bread the other day I just had the energy to spread on some marmite, then it was off to bed.