STORIES of the Wonderful Withers of (Media) Wales - and that doesn't sound nearly as impressive as the Wonderful Withers of WoS - have tended to fill this blog on a slow news day. And today is no exception.
The boy's reputation as a complete and utter tight-wad took another turn for the worse on Friday night. It was a birthday bash for the lovely Gerry "Halt who goes there" and the great and good of the Welsh Media were there in abundance.
First we met up in Old Orleans where I was accompanied by my fiancee Wren. After a couple of beers we went out for a cigarette where we were joined by the Wonderful One, who was full of beans and up for a big night.
The next stop was a new nightclub/boozer called Ten Feet Tall, which used to be a fine little Italian restaurant called Topo Gigios. My sources had already warned me that it could be an expensive evening as said club was rather pricey. Withers, too, was aware of this and immediately crossed the road to the cashpoint to take out enough money to cover him for a big night.
Mind you, when we got inside the club it was noticeable that he took a giant step backwards from the bar and left me to get the round in. Oh well, that's Withers, I thought to myself.
A bit later we were joined by Danny Boy "the poipes, the poipes" and his lovely girlfriend the Solicitor, who he really should propose to at some stage seeing that they have been together since school and he has been taking on the look of an ageing Jack Nicholson of late (in Wolf, with those sideburns).
I must say I am not too impressed with this new boozer. Get 12 people in and it feels like you are drinking in a rather busy corridor, a bit like being on a packed British Rail train before they run out of Stella. Having nearly had my teeth knocked out by a stray elbow from Gareth Griffiths, our erstwhile cricket reporter, we decided to see if there was any more room upstairs.
There was for a short while then that, too, became packed out with Meeja people with a large contingent of BBC wallahs joining in the tomfoolery.
It was at that point I spotted Withers rolling around in good old Zombie mode, not unlike the day of the Famous Teeth Disaster. Remembering he owed Wren and I a drink I sidled up to him and told him it was his round. "Slorrrry," he slurred. "I can only buy one of you a drink cosh Iy only av a fiver."
Now A. How on earth did he manage to stay out in Ten Foot Tall until the early hours on the strength of just a fiver and,
B. Surely someone who knows the expense of the club actually goes to the cashpoint and takes out a decent amount of money, not just a few small notes.
Withers, you are a disgrace.
Saturday I was on WoS duty but it was quite a comfortable day and on Sunday myself and Paps (the piss artist formerly known as Nicey...) went out for a good, old-fashioned Sunday Sesh (as they call it in Perth, Australia).
We were trying to see the denouement of the Football League Championship in which Stoke City and Hull City were vying for the one Premiership slot on offer and Southampton, Leicester and Coventry were fighting against relegation.
But all the pubs seemed to have the boring, nothing-at-stake Arsenal v Everton Premiership match on instead. We went to PC's (or the Tut as I know it), the Royal George, the Albany and the Billabong). Finally in the latter boozer we struck lucky and had an enjoyable 40 minutes watching the saga unfold.
Poor old Leicester fans, you had to feel sorry for them. They ran a gamut of emotions as first Southampton went behind, then they went ahead, then Sheffield United equalised and finally the Saints grabbed the winner that sent Leicester down. Even then they had to play the last 10 minutes with 10 men. Doh!
Moving on, we watched Liverpool take on Manchester City in the Claude before I wandered home, pleasantly inebriated. Then, nice surprise, Wren turned up again. Her work at Bristol had finished early so she decided to drive back and visit her rather sozzled bloke.
MONDAY and we had the nasty early warning call of Dan the builder turning up to knock my flat about a bit more. Great! I dragged Wren into the car and we headed off to Worcester to see if we could see some cricket. The weather was perfect and my girlfriend hadn't been to a live match before so she had a treat in store.
Apart from the fact she didn't.
Having paid to get into the ground we then sat watching an empty stretch of grass and some covers for about an hour. Then the announcement came. Due to heavy flooding the night before and a high water table at New Road, there was very unlikely to be any play. We could get our money back, though.
We then left and went to a restaurant over the road that sold me a lovely Fishcake starter and the most ordinary Fish Pie you could ever eat in your life. Can't remember the name of the place, it was pleasant enough and had some lovely alternatives on the menu. Just a bad choice, I guess.
Last night I left earlyish for a few drinks with the Fugitive, who has at last shaved his beard off though was looking a bit stubbly nonetheless. When Withers turned up as well it turned into a bit more than a quiet drink and by the time I stumbled home I was too under-the-weather to cook. I therefore rang the A1 takeaway around the corner and ordered a very tasty pork curry to be delivered to my door. What a lazy sod!