Monday, 19 April 2010

It was a Dark and Filthy Knight...

6.45 AM, and the phone began to ring, next to my bed. I ignored it.

At 6.50 AM, and intervals of 5 minutes thereafter (a total of 4 times) the phone rang again, until - unable to bear it any longer - I picked up the hand-set and answered it.

"What?!" I asked.

"Is that Mr Stephenson?"


"Mr Tom Stephenson?"

"Yes. What do you want?" The voice sounded supercilious, almost sarcastic.

"I am calling from the PM's office, and I have to speak to Mr Thomas J Stephenson."

"But it's the fucking AM, you idiot - WHAT DO YOU WANT?"

"Would it be more convenient if I called later. Mr Stephenson?" So he did.

I was now in the kitchen, and I was half way through my bowl of Lidl's muesli, when the handset next to me tinkled again. Having established my identity again, the voice said, "I am putting you through now".

"Hi, Tom. It's Tony."

"Tony who?"

"Don't be a silly sausage, Tom - it's Tony BLAIR".

What do you want?"

"Well, we have heard all about the good things you have been doing in your town, and - get this - I want to come down PERSONALLY and see what you're up to, y'know."



"But tomorrow is a Sunday."

"I know - it's good. We'll take in a church at the same time."

"But I have done fuck all for this town - every time I try to do something, it gets blocked by the local council."

"Yes, Tom. And you know why that is don't you?"

"No. Why?"

"Because you have had nothing but Liberal and Conservative councils since the 70's, but now it will be different."

"In what way will it be different?"

"Because you have made a pretty penny in the last 20 years or so, and it's high time you gave some of it back to the community that helped you. All the people who had true faith in you."

"Which community? Which people?"

"The NEW LABOUR party, you silly sausage! Now, I want this church we visit tomorrow to be a High one, but we can't stay long - a flying visit. Security are shitting bricks over it, but I have put my foot down. OK?"

"I'm not sure I really want to go along with this. I have a bad feeling about it."

"Tom - listen to this. How does SIR Tom Stephenson sound to you?"

"It sounds like a fucking great pile of steaming shit, Tony. Now fuck off!"

And with that, I put the phone down.


  1. I had to read this a couple of times. Is this story really true? If it is I am bowing at your feet. You rock.

  2. No - it's not really true, but it did really happen to an acquaintance of mine.

    Janna Qualman is just about to block me from her blog, because I refuse to apologise for not licking at her sorry arse - a much more interesting story! The silly cow - who does she think she is?

    I've just checked, she has now blocked me for making a slight complaint about this 1970's idea, written 30 years too late. I suggested that she was only interested in unadulterated adulation, so I signed my own death warrant - some death:

  3. I don't know her, but I recognized a few faces in the comments. I'm probably not the best person to help you as I am currently watching Thelma and Louise. But I will say this: you voiced an opinion, and that is a human right. Don't worry about it. If you like talking to her, then perhaps send an email to patch things over. Otherwise . . Oh Well.

  4. Amazing story Tom. Exactly the same thing happened to me FIVE times. I'm now Lord Lord Lord Lord Lord Magnon.

  5. re. Janna. Names and faces speak louder than the actual comments.

  6. Guessing you can't send email if you are blocked. There's always Muesli.

  7. I could send email, but I'm not going to. If she doesn't want the benefit of my ill thought-out opinions, then I'm not going to force them on her. Actually there is one thing about these aspiring writer's blogs which really irritates me, it's the way all the followers come out with the same meaningless flattery over and over again. This is why I like all the 24 who comment on my flippant blog - you aren't afraid to say what you think, which is MUCH more helpful, and much less boring!

    I got attacked a few months ago for daring to suggest that writers were not renowned for helping each other if it came to actual publication, and the the blogger was kidding herself if she thought otherwise. All her sycophants came to her rescue and told me I was cruel for not supporting her, and how my words had hurt her! I think I would block anyone who left nothing but meaningless, sugary flattery along the lines of "Oh Tom! How wonderful you are - as always!", like J.Q.'s commentators do every time she opens her mouth.

  8. And - you and Lady M seem to write your blogs at about 5.00 in the morning, Cro! This must explain how rational and serene they are, unlike mine which are usually written around 9.00 at night, half-way through a bottle of wine.

  9. Actually, I post them in the early morning. I'm an INSOMNIAC. I though all bloggers were!

    re. Your chum. I was trying to compose a sentence that contained the words navel-gazing, self-congratulatory, puritan, old-fashioned, self-centred, and Greer-ish. But....

  10. Oh, I see - you just carry on until 5.00 am. The one useful thing that watching these blogs has done for me, is allow me to experience a sharp reality-check when day-dreaming about any chances I thought I might have when considering the possibility of anyone reading anything I might have scribbled anywhere other than cyber-space - the ultimate vanity press. A combination of the fact that I have just left it too late, and the current economic climate being set to last well beyond my death means that I am destined to talk to myself (and a few well-meaning friends) for ever. See my next post.

  11. Guess how many un-published manuscripts I have hanging around! You're not alone.