Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Jack Bauer meets Gina Ford

(From Thursday 6 July)

The first series of terrorism nail-biter 24 starts with Jack Bauer (Keifer ‘growling’ Sutherland) gravelling to the audience: “My name’s Jack Bauer, and this is the longest day of my life.”

Melodramatic nancy! He clearly didn’t have MY Thursday in Cornwall!
Dirty bombs? Hah! Electrodes bringing you back to life after torture? Puhhh! Middle eastern terror cell kills your granny and forces you to walk down Hollywood Boulevard in a rubber dress with feather boa? Nothing. Nothing at all.

Try a baby, a hangover, a wasp sting, a litigative farmer and exploding white goods.
My Thursday started with the fugged head that only a crazed combo of Stella Artois, a bottle of pinot grigio and a good few shots of Amaretto can bring to pass. Coming too in the moorland cottage that had us living in a cloud for a week, I know I’d had one too many. I took my hangover and with Anne, Maddie and our friends Melie and Jackie we headed out to St Michael’s Mount.

My first trial came in a tiny village with ‘roads’ so small they seemed to close in on you like the rubbish compacter in Star Wars. Imagine my joy when a fire engine rounded the corner. I pulled the car up onto the pavement. The appliance squeezed by with the width of a cigarette paper to spare. Nice. We parked up, relatively unscathed and then we strapped Maddie into a harness and attempted the ascent of the mount. In essence, she wasn’t happy. She screamed. She squirmed. We go to the top and Anne and Jackie did a quick scoot around the monastery while Melia and I tried - and failed - to calm the little one down. In my panic I put my hand onto a live wasp. Add a sting to the hangover, the headache and the panic attack from playing twister with an emergency vehicle.

Then I phoned the farmer who had left a note on my car that morning, to my joy the crad stalwart of the community accused us of trespassing because we didn’t go through a field marked ‘Beware of the Bull’ (his bull) and instead parked up and walked down to the cottage we were staying at. It was all too much. I needed a cuppa and a piece of toast.

Back in the sanctuary of the cottage I switched on the cooker and waited for heat. Instead, in a half-calm, half-panicked monotone, Anne proclaimed ‘It’s on fire’ as the cooker gave up any pretense of utility and promptly exploded. Great. Just great.

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