Sunday, 1 February 2009

Trombones and Hot Tubs

It was last Sunday evening and in the heat of a passionate trombone recital, Judy was splendidly radiant. Her cheeks were twin meltdowns, hot spots of densely packed atoms beyond which many atmospheres of pressure were being forced through the mouthpiece to produce the most wonderful brass version of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’.

Brrrrp... brrrp... brrr... brrr... brrrrp... brrrrp... went that familiar melody but, for me, a man in the middle of his winter blues, it was more than an enticing charm; it was a promise of spring mornings and dry days when I’ll be able to go jogging around the neighbourhood in my Lycra shorts and no court orders keeping me two hundred metres from David Dickinson’s solarium. Others clearly felt the same way. I looked around the church hall and saw many of our friends and neighbours spellbound by this great rarity: Judy playing her trombone for a paying public. I was captivated by the music and my wife’s talents, and I suppose it was a pang of pride that made me tear up at the end and miss the arrival of the lumbering giant at my side.

‘That was ****ing awesome,’ said Vinne Jones who had made a surprise appearance at the event and an even more unexpected appearance inches from my face.

‘Well, thank you,’ I said.

‘Not heard a ****ing noise like that since I ****ing stuck my ****ing studs into Robbie Fowler’s j*****w.’

‘Right,’ I replied, looking around for somebody large to hide behind. I don’t know about you but I tend to feel uncomfortable hearing that word used in polite company.

‘Listen,’ said Vinne, ‘you ever need somebody to stuck his ****ing studs into somebody’s j*****w, you just give me a call, yea?’ And with that he slid his business card into my upper breast pocket.

‘I’ll do just that,’ I promised.

‘Chipper!’ said Vinnie and slapped me playfully across the jaw.

I was still trying to work a detached retina back into place when Judy came down from the stage. Her lips were slightly puffed and numb from an hour of strenuous blowing.

‘Shoo wash thasht,’ she said.

‘Vinnie Jones,’ I whispered. ‘He was offering to stand on the j*****w of any man who incurs our displeasure.’

Judy blushed at the word, which I don’t think I have ever before uttered in the presence of my wife.

‘Wash a lovelsh geshshshure,’ she replied, though clearly a little disturbed by what she had heard.

‘That’s the beauty of being a celebrity,’ I said, trying to lighten the mood. ‘Good people are always willing to go out of their way to please us with kind offers.’

I thought no more about this kind offer until Wednesday, a momentous day in the Madeley home. It was the day that I was to have my new spa delivered.

As you all probably know, I’ve always been a man who takes his ‘wellness’ seriously. The spa was a newer luxury model with extra spouts installed across the base to provide a more vigorous flow of water across the user’s posterior quarter. The makers say that the force of water alone can keep an eighteen stone man buoyant and I was eager to test their claims in a pair of specially adapted swimming trunks which I’d rigged to carry extra ballast in a reinforced gusset.

After a couple of hours, the installation engineers came out of my shed (I call it a shed but it’s really a large complex outside the main house where I spend most of my time) to declare that the installation was complete. I quickly grabbed my shorts and a large bag of lead pellets and headed out to give it a trial run.

‘Don’t soak too long,’ shouted Judy from the kitchen. ‘You know how your j*****w turn in cold water...’

Since she’d heard me say that word, she had grown an unfortunate habit of using it. I suppose I should have said something about it but I was too excited to answer. Instead, I ran for my first look at my new spa.

Five minutes later, I was sitting in the large tub (big enough for eight healthy men, if you’re into that sort of thing – and I’m not), waist high in nicely warmed water and with a gentle stream of bubbles ticking the inside of my thighs. It was but the beginning. I had the remote control in my hand and I slowly moved the dial from ‘1’ up to ‘2’ and then beyond.

Soon the water was rushing past at a vigorous ‘6’ and I could feel that I was about to lift off. With great anticipation, I moved the dial to ‘7’ and...


‘7’ felt exactly the same as ‘6’. I turned it to ‘8’ and then ‘9’ and still nothing, no noticeable increase in the water’s force and no sign that my buttocks were about to lift off from the bottom of the spa.

Two minutes later, I was on the phone to the installation engineers.

‘Oh, we’re aware of your flow problem,’ they said. ‘In fact, we’re looking into it at this very moment.’

‘Then why didn’t you mention it earlier, before I stripped off?’ I asked.

‘Well, we didn’t want to disappoint you,’ they said.

‘Disappoint me? I’ve bought a top of the line spa and I expect top of the line performance. I don’t want to be left to discover that my water disappoints me at a mildly vigorous “6”. At the very least, I want my every cavity cleansed by a forceful “10”.’

‘We’ll look into it,’ they promised.

An hour later, I was in my dressing gown and sitting in the kitchen when the phone rang.

‘Bad news, Mr. M.,’ they said. ‘It’s an issue of water pressure. Normally, a house such as yours in a well supplied area will have enough pressure to run a spa at its optimum setting. However, in this case, you have a slight problem. It seems that one of your neighbours is using too much water. The pressure of the local water main has dropped by the time it reaches your house.’

‘And do you know who is doing this?’ I asked.

‘We’re looking into it at the moment,’ they said. ‘We’ll ring back when we have news.’

Another hour passes, by which time my j*****w are dry and I’m back into my civilian clothes, sitting in the living room where I’m giving my Scrabble pieces a polish before the big weekend match with Stephen Fry and Sir Clive James.

‘Richard?’ said the ever-more casual engineer. ‘We’ve isolated the problem. The water flow is being disrupted at number 43.’

’43?’ My mind did a quick run down the street until it came to a familiar driveway. ‘David Dickinson!’ I spat.

‘That’s the chap. He’s the funny thing. He’s running an Aqualine 2400 whirlpool and spa with a colonic nozzle.’

‘That doesn’t sound too bad,’ I said. ‘That’s at least half as powerful as my new hot tub.’

‘Ah,’ they replied. ‘That wouldn’t be a problem except he’s also got forty-two computer controlled ornamental Greek nymphs urinating around the side of his pool in carefully choreographed patterns. It’s quite the impressive sight but I’m surprised you get even a sniff of water when their bladders are on full power.’

I knew there was no point in asking David to control his forty two bladders. Since me and Michael Palin scorched David’s crotch, my relationship with David has been somewhat strained. It meant that I’d wasted money on a spa rendered incapable because a neighbour with a passion for kitsch. Which brings me back to the card in the breast pocket of my Sunday suit.

‘Vinnie,’ I said on the telephone yesterday morning. ‘What do you think about ornamental Greek nymphs that urinate around a rich man’s hot tub?’
Vinnie growled. ‘Makes me want to stick my f*****g boots into some rich guy’s j*****ws,’ he said.

And like the delicate notes of Judy trombone, that was music to my ears.


Welsh Girl said...

David's statues don't know what they are in for. Couldn't you ring the ex Mr Madonna and find out if he wants to film the upcoming destruction? It could be his next big hit. Vinnie Jones and David Dickinson star in 'David and Goliath - the end of the Nymphs' - executive producer - Richard Madeley

Josh said...

If Mr Dickinson were to connect the nymphs to his lavatory, it would not only save the water without any jackdaw-based shenanigans, but also it would create an even more realistic urination experience.

Selena Dreamy said...

"j*****w "

For the life of me, I can't work out the asterisks - but, being middle-class, I know it's best to say nothing...

Josh said...

Another thing: when I first read with extra spouts installed across the base, I confused spouts for sprouts. I really wish there were a brassica-based bath system which used Brussels Sprouts.

Anonymous said...

I could hear her beef curtains vibrating on the Tottenham Court Road! As me old mother used to say....

Rose said...

Just hillarious.
Can we have some more of that please?

tree said...

I really like this. A hilarious account, brilliantly summed up :)

Anonymous said...

HA ha ha ha ha, funniest thing i've read in a long time although being middle class also i too had to stop and work out what the asterisks meant!
Now i know, i will use the word often, trying to put it into the correct context every time, of course practice makes perfect!
Just what did you do with the old spa dick?.....Send it to the local charity shop?

Judy Finnigan said...

Richard, your nagging has paid off my love, I have finally set up my own blog page. So now whenever you publish something about our personal lives I can give my version of events !!!!

Love you, Judy

ladythinker said...

That's very interesting Clever Dick but I found my reading sorely tried by all the **** and for the life of me I have NO IDEA what 'j*****w' could be.

I'm rather pleased to see that Judy has now set up a blog for her version of events.

You must be pleased with the Sunday Times Culture section mention of your blog as being in the Top 100. Congratulations. It couldn't have happened to a more interesting character.
I'm not very good at maths but as they reckon 200million folk blog that means you must be 100 in 200m - is that nearly the same as a one in a million? Does that make you a millionaire?? mmm

Dick Madeley said...

Oh, so many comments since I've been away.

Welsh Girl: you should work in TV. Creative ideas like that should not be wasted.

Josh: I'm all for more realistic urination experiences. I'll propose your idea to the man when our lawyers next meet.

Selena: you can't expect me to write that in a public forum. I'd be straight on the front page of the Daily Mail.

Josh 2: I love sprouts.

Mutley: I'm sure that means something else but I haven't the nerve to ask Judy.

Rose: I'll try my best. However, there's already about 250,000 words of the same published hereabouts. Might I recommend the story of my bathtub incident?

Tree: thank you. I do like trees.

Anonymous: I simply can't fill in the asterisks. Ask your friends. I'm sure they'll know the word.

Judy: when will you listen? I've told you that it's not a good idea. Blogging is not for everyone and you're not certain to succeed. Even I can't make money from doing this. Stick to the novel, Jude.

Ladythinker: as much as I'd like to type that word, I have a public image to thikn about. I don't want to be in the law courts. It would be 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' all over again.

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