THE genius has added another string to her bow - a disappearing act. Apparently the Duchess of Dubai was back in good old Blighty this weekend and told various known associates that she would meet them for a drink on Friday... and nothing was heard of her again.
It all made Shutts rather apopletic and left party animal Lyds with nowhere to party. As for Withers, he was distraught... nay, angry. Having not heard from his former housemate for about a year, he received an e-mail recently requesting he help her out with a little project. This involved a fair bit of work but, being the wonderful one, he obliged. Then when the invites were handed out for the Genius' re-union party, somehow he was left off the guest list. As were most of us other mere mortals, so it happens. Mind you, the rest of us didn't spend the rest of the week crying into our beer.
For Withers, you see, it was more the embarrassment of it all. Lyds had bumped into him in town and said: "It's going to be great to see The Genius again, isn't it?"
Cue a totally perplexed expression on the wonderful ones fizzog.
"Oh," said Lyds, backing off slightly and looking sheepish... "You haven't been invited, have you?"
I'm sure we will hear from the Genius eventually, but meanwhile Friday night began with us freezing to death in the smoke-unfriendly environs of The Yard, where we bravely sat outside sucking on soggy dogends as the rain teemed down.
The Fab BB was not amused at all, him not being a smoker. "Pleeze can we go somewhere else," he whined, rubbing his wrists together as if this would set fire to the nearest kindling and provide us with a cosy camping scenario. Eventually even I had to give in to my Nesh side, and we toddled off to the Old Scroat, which was really quite pleasant.
Outside they had up a rather large brolly, and although one of the wall fires wasn't working there were still enough bodies outside (mainly rugby fans ready to attend what I was told was a crunch game for the Blues) to raise the heat levels. When Withers and the Fab BB had pushed off home, I was left drinking with the mission-seeking Smashy. When he ordered me another pint I protested, but was actually glad he did when a few minutes later a young lady emerged carrying plates of cheese sandwiches, sausages on sticks, mini pasties and Scotch eggs. "Tuck in!" she announced to everyone, and Smashy was immediately chin deep in egg and pasty.
"What's the big occasion?" I asked her.
"Oh, there was a leaving party, but we couldn't finish it all," she informed me.
"And who do we give thanks to for this marvellous feast?" I asked, but not quite in those terms.
"South Wales Police," came the shocking reply.
Blimey, whenever the cops have served me before it's come on a metal tray and been shoved under a locked steel door with bars for windows. This was much more pleasant.
"South Wales Police, you've proved that the famous song 'all coppers are b*st**ds" isn't strictly true. I thank you."