Sunday, 24 February 2008

Denis Adrift

The poor man. I've spent the better part of a week outside the room in which Denis has been sectioned for his own good. I'm not a man given to hyperbole but in this
instance I might say that the good friend we have all come to know and love had finally lost his marbles, gone cuckoo, drifted beyond the land of sanity and found himself shipwrecked on the Isle of Potty.

Not that anybody has missed me (well, perhaps a few of you) but the reason I've been so quiet for the last week is that I've been busy caring for Denis. It's the very least I could do given that the man has no family. I also felt a little to blame for the incidents that led up to his being institutionalised.

I should have acted on my suspicions. My Madeley Sense began to tingle when Denis first told me that his greatest ambition in life was to sail around the world single handed.

'Have you any other choice?' I asked.

He took my quip in his usual good spirits. Judy later claimed that she'd found him weeping in the stationary cupboard but I happen to know he sneaks in their for a quick snort from his hip flask. I suspected that what to Judy sounded like sobbing was merely a man gargling throat tonic.

'Does Denis seem okay to you, Richard?' she asked two days later.

I admitted that I thought he was just a little temperamental.

'But he's never shown a sign of being interested in sailing,' she said. 'He asked me this morning if I knew any good yacht clubs.'

I told Judy that I wasn't going to question Denis' interests. Anything that distracted him from his darts obsession was good with me.

Then, early last week, Judy again found him in the stationary cupboard.

'He's spending a lot of time in there,' she told me as we ate lunch that night.

'Let's not complain,' I answered. 'He obviously feels comfortable in there. It's rare that a man finds somewhere where he feels at home.'

Judy was adamant that something was wrong. 'He was looking at maps of sea lanes,' she said.

'So long as he wasn't reading the Peter Manley newsletter, I really don't care,' was my reply.

Half past ten on Tuesday morning, we had a phone call from the police. Apparently, Denis had put to sea on a raft built from cardboard tubes made seaworthy by numerous wrappings of brown masking tape. They'd traced Denis back to us because he'd used a large cardboard cut out of my lofty self as a mast. It's no idle boast but he'd been picked up adrift off the coast of Spain.

'You should have seen this coming,' said Judy as we drove to the hospital.

'I should have seen this inevitable lull in my blog ,' I replied. 'I haven't got time for Denis and my readers. One or the other of them will have to suffer.'

And unfortunately for you, Denis has been my priority for the last week. I'll be keeping an eye on Denis but I'll try to fit this blog between trips to the hospital and my ongoing work on 'Eye of the Storm 2'.

11 comments: said...

Your loyal readers don't mind the slight lull in blogging I'm sure. I, for one, don't mind...mainly because I have lulls in blogging for far less important issues.

A word of warning to Denis though. The maritime engineering standards do advise you not to build vessels out of cardboard as this video testifies.

Lola said...

Oh, you're back, that's nice. It's been handy you being away because I've been pretty busy this week and away at the weekend, so I might have missed the opportunity to place some cutting observation within your comments, or if you're feeling a little fragile, another of my delightful poems. Good thing all round, then.

lee said...

What a silly place for weeping -everyone knows that the Weeping Place is the shower ;). Hey, I wanted to tell you that I saw that very tanned looking/orange man on the telly this afternoon -he looks like a reject from a 1970's Saturday night cabaret program or something.Esp the hair. At least IT isn't orange.

Anonymous said...

Well Denis might meet Gazza on the inside - which is bound to be a good thing in the long run. Didn't I spot you at Brucies 80th birthday bash? I am surprised you found the time to go given your commitments... Judy did look nice though, I wonder if she is considering taking another lover?

okbye said...

Poor Denis. First he's missing a hand, his head, one of the N's from his name and now his mind's gone missing. The man doesn't have anything left to lose!

The Twitch said...

I would like to give Dennis a big hand for his attempt to sail round the world single handed. His heroics deserve applause rather than admission to the funny farm. The fact that he managed to sail all the way to Spain is admirable achievement on its own. But what is most impressive is that he built his boat out of cardboard tubes & masking tape. Anyone who can open a strip of masking tape with one hand is a true hero in my eyes.Well done Dennis.

ElizaF said...

Was the carboard RM face up or down as denis sailed spain-wards?

Richard Madeley said...

I'm so sorry to have taken so long to get back to these comments. Life is harbouring so much strife for me at the moment, most of it to do with 'Eye of the Storm 2' and a little to do with Denis' ongoing confinement in a secure ward.

LMRT: are you suggesting I should have a lull. You're meant to be beating yourself raw at the thought of my silence.

Lola, you too haven't missed me? I'm clearly a man considered ancillary to people's lives.

Lee, that was probably me. I've noticed that I look very odd coloured when shown on American and Australian TVs.

Mutley: 'another'? What's with 'another'? Another to whom? Confess all, Mutley, you randy dog...

Okbye, I have a very liberal policy about the 'n's in Denis' name. SOme days I call him Dennis and some other days it's Denis. He's never been sure so I really don't see why I should concern myself.

The Twitch, it's nice to see such caring comments. As for his reaching Spain, I believe it's all to do with the prevailing currents. I think the credit should go to the people at Partners who produced the masking tape.

Eliza, I've asked Denis in one of more lucid moments and he tells me that the cut out was horizontal to maximise thrust. said...

Oh quite the contrary! Lulls should be avoided at all costs and it's a shame the Appreciation Society has had one. However, sometimes they are justifiable BUT must be quickly rectified afterwards.

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