After a long hiatus cruising the Polynesian islands on a mermaid research expedition, The F bloke has returned! Read his latest adventure below x
So there’s these three guys I’ve known since we were at school. We get together four times a year to eat and catch up. It’s an excellent stress- release. Which is good, because stress can be a killer for men in their difficult forties and fifties, Generation F.
And with my friends a lot of their stress derives from women: women they’ve wronged, women they owe, women they want but can’t have, women they have but don’t want.
But for decency and loyalty’s sake, I’ll refer to them as the Bass (confirmed bachelor), the Alto (nervously single) and the Tenor (it’s complicated). Which probably makes me the Soprano because I’m (married As Fuck). And last week, with a dinner due, we decided to hail-ho down to Winchester and stay at the Alto’s place in the country; a set of buildings that he and his brother have spent the last 2 years dragging into the 21st century – at some cost and much anticipation from the rest of us. Because if there’s one thing better than having your own weekend party gaffe, it’s having a friend with one. And an invite, obviously.
After a pork cheek and Barolo at Winchester’s finest, we taxied back to the Alto’s place and piled into the heated indoor pool and thrashed around on inflatable unicorns, shouting insults at each other. As men do.
The Bass (who, as a confirmed bachelor) likes a dance, discovered he could Bluetooth into the building’s built-in kick-ass sound system. Vodka was located and the wedding DJ classics kicked off.
Then the Alto’s brother arrived with, strangely, a middle-aged banker and three young women who ‘lived locally’ and who’d all met earlier at O’Neills – a themed irish fighting-bar in town. Apparently, that’s how the country works: there are too few people around to divide across the usual age/class/gender boundaries. Everyone just hangs out together. In any case, it was clear that word was spreading through the shire that the Alto’s venue was open for business.
Soon there were country girls, bankers and choirboys dancing on tables, much hilarity, improvised swimwear and the Tenor clutching a tumbler of Rasputin’s Revenge, working through his stress issues by admiring the sheer animal energy of Hampshire youth with a look in his eye that we all recognised.
Now, I may have mentioned in columns passim, the importance of Generation F men treating young women with the respect bordering on terror that they deserve. It’s not a fight you can win, so don’t pick it. And when in doubt, don’t look them in the eye! (Or anything that resembles an eye for that matter, which can be a risk at late night drunken pool parties.)
The tenor however, and actually much to his credit, approaches life with a ‘Just because I can’t sing, doesn’t mean I won’t sing’ attitude and has the scars and fluctuating bank balance to prove it.
It was a fun night.
And, my share of the fun done, I found an empty bedroom and turned in, lulled to sleep by the thudding and shouting from downstairs and the drowsy pleasure of not being responsible for any damage that might subsequently occur.
The next morning I woke up grudgingly, I have to admit.
I could hear a muffled voice pleading with someone outside my door.
Bladder calling, I stepped into the hallway to find the Alto tugging at the arm of a large, naked man lying prone on the floor.
It was the Tenor as we’d never seen him: butt-naked, non-responsive, full length on the hallway floor. Quite possibly in serious medical trouble. I mean, we’re at that age where over-indulgence-derived death hovers in the wings.
Behind him, through ceiling-height glass and steel, three builders were watching. It was early and they’d showed up for work.
Now we’ve all seen that country house drama: the locked door, the disposal of the body interrupted by the unexpected arrival of the innocent witness. I could almost see their anxious think bubbles: ‘Shit. We didn’t see this. Did we see this? Who’s going to ask?’
The Alto looked a bit panicked, and clearly anxious about the audience.
I was busting for a piss, so somewhat lacking in sympathy, I dragged the tenor’s inert body back into his room, put him in the recovery position, threw a blanket over his large white body, and peed in the sink.
Then the Alto cooked breakfast and booked a cab to take us back to the station. His brother was asleep upstairs, and, judging by the discarded phones and bank cards, there appeared to be at least two country girls somewhere in the building. So we thought the Tenor would be okay. Of the banker, not a fingerprint remained.
Back in London however, and feeling slightly stronger, I sensed a tiny twinge of guilt.
What if he’d had a stroke? Unconscious and naked, full-length on the floor is generally not a healthy condition for a grown man. We had checked he was breathing, sort of. And at least nobody drew dicks on him or shaved his eyebrows. I texted the Alto:
Me: Any word from the Tenor?
Alto: Indeed. Brief but to the point. “Not in Hospital.”
Me: Oh Good. Though it did occur to me that if he HAD popped his clogs, I’m sure those Polish chaps could have helped us dispose of the body. All that digging equipment…
Alto: And above the spot where his body had been buried, a tree would sprout, and each spring bring forth two large hairy pink plums, a yearly reminder of my last sight of the Tenor as rigor mortis set in on the hall floor.
Me: Fuck that’s funny.