Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Running Late

I’ll be glad when it is next week and I can find some routine in this crazy patchwork life I’m leading.

My mood will be low and the blog posts short tomorrow and Thursday since I’ll be back up in Manchester. I’m helping to devise new series based around the approximately fourteen hundred hours of weather footage we’ve amassed over the last two years. ‘Eye of the Storm 2’ will be just the first of many programmes I hope to present about inclement weather. On Friday I’ll be preoccupied with a pop concert that Judy is dragging me to see. I can’t honestly say I’m looking forward to two hours listening to a singer I know nothing about but there’s another example of the things we do for love. My ears will be suitably bled by Saturday. All this mayhem kicks off tonight when I’ll have another busy night as I’ll be attending a celebrity bash. I can’t go into too much detail but I do hope to have pictures of me with a few famous faces tomorrow. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

With so many things happening and the afternoon show eating up a considerable part of my day, my life has had to adapt. My blog will consist of short posts for a couple of days and I’ve been forced to go on my early morning jogs later than usual. I normally hit the roads around six o’clock in the morning, do a quick ten miles, and then it’s back home for a shower, a couple more hours in bed, and then a late breakfast with Judy.

Yesterday I was jogging at ten o’clock, which I have to tell you is a totally different experience.

It wasn’t too bad when I was running in the neighbourhood where the likes of Michael Palin and Ronnie Corbett will often wave and give me a word or two of encouragement, but once I got into the more urban settlements, I began to attract attention.

‘You’re that Madeley bloke aren’t you, mister,’ said a young boy who was suddenly striding along at my side.

‘I am indeed,’ I said, ‘now buzz off. Can’t you see that I’m running?’

He obviously could see that I was running because he shouted to his friends: ‘Oy, look here! It’s that Madeley bloke running.’

I was soon joined by five youths running behind me and they in turn were soon joined by a couple of teenagers who, being teenagers, are happy to jump onto whatever senseless bandwagon happens to be approaching or, indeed, ambling by.

To cut a long story short by about three miles, it wasn’t long before I had a crowd of people following me that wouldn’t have looked out of place in ‘Rocky 7’. The only thing I was missing was the ubiquitous dog and that joined me at five miles. I commend the stamina of the British working classes but the whole thing was becoming unworkable as we’d begun to hold up traffic and police helicopters were circling overhead. I think somebody feared rioting had broken out, led by a handsomely tanned man in nylon running shorts.

When I tried to turn for home, I hit a snag. I had hundreds of people blocking my path. How do you get such a mass of humanity to act as one? I was just pushing a woman with a pram out of the way when there was a sudden bark of a car’s horn. I turned around and there was a black taxi cab driven by a man in a green cape.


It was indeed the man I have come to call 'Great One'.

‘Ah, ’tis I, Fry,’ said Stephen, ‘earning a few honest bob driving people around this area of south east England which I prefer not to mention for fear of my location being divulged on your internet blog. Were I a man of more bold enterprises, I might not cherish my privacy but, alas, I do, and so this location shall remain unspecified.’

‘Forget about your privacy and unspecified locations in the area of North London,’ I said.

‘Tsk,’ said Stephen. ‘You give too much away.’

‘I don’t care,’ I answered. ‘I just want to know if you can help me get home?’

‘Indeed, I can,’ said Stephen.

‘Thank God!’ I replied and moved to climb into the back of his taxi. Before I had even laid flesh on the handle of the back door, I heard the locks engage.

‘But I fear,’ sniffed Stephen from the driver’s cab, ‘that I cannot allow you to enter my carriage with those damp thighs of yours.’

‘My damp thighs?’

‘Indeed. I understand you have run some considerable miles in those high cut nylon running shorts, which, I might add, do little to hide your manhood...’

‘And why should they?’ I asked. ‘Hanging free like this is what made Britain great. And it helps me keep rhythm as I run.’

‘Be that as it may,’ said Stephen, ‘I cannot allow you to put damp Madeley appendages onto my back seat. I’m willing to help you get home but I cannot allow you in my taxi. I am more than happy to help you clear the road by driving ahead of you and your friends.’

What else could I say? I wanted to get home and Stephen did have a point about sweat damage. The Madeley perspiration is notoriously potent stuff. My only dalliance with piercing led to a tungsten stud and chain melting between my buttocks.

And that’s how, around nine thirty this morning, should you have been in an unspecified region of South East England (roughly north of London), you would have seen the odd sight of a man in a green cape driving a taxi slowly in front of a handsomely tanned man in high cut nylon running shorts followed by a mob of children, teenagers, men with dogs, pensioners, nuns, postmen and other assorted working class types who were not sure why they were running but were running nevertheless. When we got to the outskirts of the estate, the mob fell back as all mobs do when coming close to David Dickinson’s house and by the time I arrived home, it was only Stephen and myself.

‘Many thanks Stephen,’ I puffed as I began my cool down stretching exercises. ‘I understand totally about not allowing me in your taxi but it was good of you to take time to drive slowly like that.’

‘Not at all,’ said Stephen. ‘I was charging you by the minute and not by the mile. And that’s forty seven pounds fifty. And please take your leg off the hood of my car. It might do your hamstrings the world of good but I fear that I’ll never eat dumplings again... Heavens!’


Anonymous the Twitch said...

Running in nylon shorts can be bad for you Dick. As well as the danger of friction burns to your dangler, there is also a chance of crotch rot from over sweaty testicles. I know because I too have suffered for my sports and with my shorts. you can try wearing cotton shorts or if you must wear nylon at least spread a little vaseline on your private parts, it does not stop the danger but it feels damn good. Of course you know there is only one cure , that is go out jogging stark bollock naked, apart from a pair of socks and trainers that is.

Dick Madeley said...

Twitch, you're giving every Anonymous poster on here a bad name. Talking about 'sweaty testicles' on a family blog! And after I did the utmost to keep my post clean. Have you no shame, talking about rubbing vaseline into your privates? And so insensitive too, since you know that I'm allergic to all lubricants.

And I don't mean to be pedantic but you can't be 'stark bollock naked' if your still wearing socks.

Honestly, Twitch, buck up your ideas or I'll never invite you onto the show.

Itch the Twitch said...

Dick, I am disappointed that you are disappointed in me. I truly believe that I have given you good advice on how to avoid nylon nappy rash and crotchety cock-rot. I would be an asset to your show,giving men manly advice that is both useful & pleasurable is priceless. Dr. Raj would not give his advice so freely.

Barbara said...

Powder man, powder!

Anonymous said...

Dick, your empty promise of putting me on your show does not entice me to trust you. Your last promise is still unfulfilled...my bird is still waiting for Bill to come and put a webcam in her box. I am disappointed in you..and so is the bird.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

green cape or no green cape, Madeley - this is getting too Chippish for comfort now.

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