Monday, 16 February 2009

Read My Peas

It has always been my wife’s biggest fear that success of any kind would go to my head. This explains the look of disgust that Judy gave me as she closed the newspaper and looked up at all the mashed potato balanced above my immaculate and crease-free brow.

‘Don’t you think it’s a bit much?’ she asked.

I moved myself a slightly more casual angle, hoping to soften the effect of the potato which I’d sculpted into the shape of a hat with the words ‘top blogger’ inscribed in peas. Only Judy wasn’t quite seeing the point of my new mash sombrero.

‘You have an ego bigger than Herefordshire,’ she said, heading over to the fridge where she recovered a bottle of plonk. ‘I’d have thought you’d have been satisfied with being one of the sexiest men on TV, a veritable living god among presenters, without taking this kind of praise to heart.’

‘Ah,’ I said, wiping aside some errant punctuation that had slid to my eyebrow, ‘this is success independent of my work with you, Jude. I might have become a publishing sensation with my book, “Fathers & Sons”, but that’s now so heavily discounted that they’re giving them away with every bottle of Ambre Solaire. But this is my blog. This is my life’s work! This is my attempt to prove to the world that Richard Algernon Madeley is a cut above the normal TV fare. This is a demonstration that my talent is more than skin deep and that those of us lucky enough to call ourselves “celebrity” are really something quite special.’

Judy wiped the neck of the bottle before she sank a mouthful.

‘So you’re still plan to go ahead with your little exhibition?’ she asked but the look had softened in her eyes. I knew it was the closest she would come to giving me her blessing.

It was enough for me. I stood up and grabbed the walking cane that Stephen Fry had presented to me on my thirty seventh birthday last year and I walked to the door where I gave my evening suit a final brush down, my tails a flick, before I headed out.

‘Have fun!’ said Judy, mildly scolding but proud, nevertheless.

For a Monday morning, the road in this undisclosed part of North London was surprisingly busy. I’d forgotten that it’s the school holidays so, when I began to walk up the street, a line of children were soon trailing behind me. Some were only there to pick up the odd pea. Others clearly had high hopes of getting a taste of some Smash. But a few cheered me along, applauding me as I strolled with my head held high.

‘Ah!’ said Michael Palin as I found him unloading exotic foodstuffs from his car. ‘Lovely day, isn’t it Dick?’

I pointed to my hat, careful not to tip it.

‘The Sunday Times? Jolly well done!’

I smiled as I passed along.

I had almost walked past Jeremy Paxman’s house before I noticed him. He was up a ladder and cleaning out his gutters.

‘See my show last night?’ he cried. ‘I explored Victorian sewers.’

I couldn’t look up. ‘Very good,’ I replied and then pointed to my hat.

Jeremy’s getting on a bit and his eyesight isn’t what it was. ‘Oh,’ he snarled. ‘Top dogger! Well I suppose congratulations are in order.’

I hadn’t time to waste explaining. My mash was beginning to run and I had only a few minutes to achieve my intended goal.

At the Dickinson residence, I could tell that people were home by the glow of a slightly irradiated light coming from the upper bedroom window.

‘Oy! Dickinson!’ I cried.

There was a movement of curtains and then the naked torso of TV’s top antique appeared, black goggles sitting in the recessed pits of his eyes.

‘Get a load of this, Duck,’ I cried.

‘Pah! Bloody hell, Madeley,’ replied David ‘The Duck’ Dickinson. ‘You’ve got nothing better do with your bloody time?’

I pointed to the peas.

Even in his tanning goggles, David’s eyesight is still as sharp as it was when he was a seventy year old. He nodded. ‘That bloody sums you up, Madeley,’ he said. ‘A “loo logger”.’ And with that, he shut the window.

I was crestfallen. I gazed at my reflection in the windscreen of Dickinson’s bright orange Bentley and I could see that I was far too late. Peas had slipped and the effect of my mash coronet was ruined. ‘Top blogger’ had become ‘loo logger’ and was already on its way to ‘lo goer’. Judy was right. Pride does come before a fall. Humiliation is but a slipped pea away.


Welsh Girl said...

Finally, your greatness is appreciated and then embodied in peas and mash! Interesting choice for a crown though. Couldn't Le Fry have knocked something more permanent up using an old cape and Bill Oddie's eyebrows?

Dick Madeley said...

I had to improvise with what lay at hand. It's something I've learned over years of working in TV and I'm now quiet adept at this kind of thing. I hold up my hands, however. The peas were a mistake.

Rose said...

Is your middle name really Algernon?
Poor you!
Great post...again!

FrodoSaves said...

Perhaps if you hadn't gone with the wide brimmed mash sombrero, you'd have been less a victim of gravity. May suggest a simple beanie next time?

Lola said...

That should bring a little traffic to this sadly neglected corner of the blogworld! Though a sandwich board might have been less prone to pea-related slippage.

Nige said...

I think we should both treat ourselves to a celebratory cravat, Dick. Perhaps I could have my man run up a 'Top Blogger' limited edition...

MsCatCalls said...

Not that I'm not loving your blog too but can someone ask Judy to put the Subscribe feature on her Blog please .... so that one pops up in the Google Reader every day too ... peas ? What peas ? Am I missing a picture somewhere ?

Dick Madeley said...

Rose, it's a little known fact but yes. That is my middle name.

Frodo, you're right. It was the brim that gave way first. Next time, I'll ask your advice before fashioning hats.

Lola, so nice to hear from you. I have been a bit absent of late busy writing a book. I'll try to be more regular from now on.

Nige, I did think about the cravat but didn't want to steal your thunder. Please get them made up and I'll wear mine with pride.

MsCatCalls, perhaps you could leave a comment on her blog? I'm far too focussed on my own blog to get involved in any other. Hard as it is to believe, it has nothing to do with me. ;o)

Mopsa said...

Algernon? ALGERNON?

Rose said...

It is 12:05.
Where is today's post?
ok are going to tell me to read the old ones... again!

smudge372 said...

where does Algernon come from? great blog, i hate peas!

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