‘Hey Dick! Long time no see!’
I looked up and saw the postman’s face peering through the hedge. I just waved and hurried back into the house, conscious that my Mediterranean tan might look a tad decadent on a dreary North London morning in the middle of March.
‘You know, you wouldn’t feel so out of place if you put on some clothes,’ said Judy when I happened to mention this incident over our smoothie-maker a few minutes later. ‘Lord knows what the neighbours think when they look out to see you bending down to pick up the milk.’
‘Oh, you’re only jealous because I sing the body electric,’ I replied, quoting my favourite poem by Walt Whitman, written shortly before he took up yodelling and changed his name to ‘Slim’.
Judy snorted a laugh but I could tell she was rattled. She might mock my youthful energy and zest for free living but she also knew I couldn’t help it. The moment we’d arrived in Sardinia, naturism had become my new thing. Now that we’re back, I’m finding it hard to adjust. Frankly, a man spends so much time under that hot sun that his body learns to hate the restrictions of jollies and vest. And when a man has a body such a mine, one has an obligation to treat it well, polish it daily, and to show it off whenever possible. It’s a bit like owning an Audi.
‘You know,’ I said, sitting down at the breakfast table with my red meat and muffin smoothie, ‘I wonder if we’ve done the best thing. I know you wanted to come back, Jude, but I could have retired out there under the Sardinian sun, just you, me and the friendly goat herders.’
‘The only reason you liked it there was the fact that you could talk to those herders for hours and they’d never tell you to shut up.’
‘What can I say? Sardinians are a pleasant people. They have all the ebullience of the Italians but without the prostitution rings in the corridors of power.’
‘They also didn’t understand a word of English. What you wouldn’t accept was that they’d never debate the fluid dynamics of the sun’s core no matter how many times you tried to explain nuclear fusion. No, Richard, you are better here where we can put your energies to some use devising some new ground-breaking talk show format based around obesity, gypsies and/or weddings.’
I suppose she had a point, which I expect you to agree with. Yes, I’m talking to you, Norman.
Norman, you are the reader who waited for my return and I’m sorry that you’ve had to wait so long. Sardinia was my idea of heaven minus the afternoon slot on Channel 4 and too little choice in the range of soft cheeses. But now that I’m back, I intend to breathe new life into this blog. A hot spicy breathe, Norman, fragrant with salsa and beans and maybe a little truffle. And I’m doing it all for you.
You see, my old friend, I did receive all the emails you sent me and I’m sorry that I ignored you for so long. But I now I’m back and ready to tell you the truth. So, no, I’ve never shaved my armpits except for a brief period in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War when it was all the rage. Yes, we do intend to attend the London Olympics but only in a sporting capacity. I hope to qualify for the marathon now that my giant transparent jelly costume has arrived. As you know, Judy will be dressed as a custard.
As to your other questions, I’m afraid I’ll have to be quick: a) Formica, b) Lewisham, c) cheese pizzas, d) a big Hungarian, e) squirrels, and f) never in goggles except once on my honeymoon.
Finally, you ask me I’d like to adopt one of your kittens. Such a generous offer and I’d be a fool to refuse. So, save me the hairy one, Norman. Let’s call it ‘Hope’, for that’s the new theme of this blog. I return to you a changed man. Positive outlook, clean smile, and buttocks browned and blessed by the warm Sardinian hills and ready to blog again.
As I used to tell my friends up Punta La Marmora where the goats roam free: I’ll see you all tomorrow when I’ll explain the basic logical operations of semi-conductors, eleven ways to sex a mollusc, and how to do CPR using a couple of jumper cables and a bag of lemons.
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Save Me The Hairy One, Norman!
‘Hey Dick! Long time no see!’