Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bad First Impression

Dom Joly is invited to a big-time party.

I'm going to meet the kingpin, the head of the social salon: Jeremy Clarkson.
It's a casual, polite invitation from Alex James (bassist of Blur and now Lord of Cheese) to his 40th birthday celebrations, but I bite his hand off and agree before he can change his mind.

It starts off fine.

We arrive and wander in. It's all very casual and cool. Huge legs of lamb are being cooked and interesting, arty people wander about. Oh look! There's the guitarist from Blur... stay cool, pretend to be unimpressed. Well done. I have a couple of looseners – nothing too extreme but I'm feeling good and this is going to be fun.

Then the big moment.

Suddenly a huge shadow covers me and the tall figure of Clarkson is in front of me. "What are you up to at the moment?" he asks from somewhere high above.

Then it goes bad.

I open my mouth to reply wittily and realise that I am about to vomit......I start to say something but can feel that it's not making much sense as I'm trying very hard not to puke all over him.

I stagger out of the room and find Stacey dancing lasciviously with Alex James. I tell her that I have to leave ... now.

Twenty minutes later, just past Burford, I make her stop the car. I get out and vomit profusely before slipping into the ditch and falling on to a barbed wire fence that cuts me up really badly. I pray that nobody can see me.

He doesn't think it's the booze. Whatever it is, it hasn't dulled his capacity for understatement.

This had not been a good night. I have a bug; I'm not drunk, despite what Stacey thinks.

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