Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Joshua "Irma Kurtz" Bennett Comes to the Rescue.

Max leaves to drive to the airport before I go to work. He makes a great show of checking that I have the itinerary and know that he has written the name of his hotel in the diary. I grunt, but then panic. What if his plane crashed, and the very last thing I'd said to him was "humph"? This is how he and the kids get away with so much, as I'm sure they all know that I am insanely convinced that, should any of us part on an argument, that'll be the last time we ever see each other. I may well qualify as a mad constituent myself.

So I give Max a kiss, which he turns into a proper one. This is extremely weird, and very disturbing - because if there's one thing married people don't do, it's kiss as if they were in love. Even if they do still have a sex-life. It's oddly easier to shag someone whilst resenting them at the same time, than it is to kiss them with any degree of conviction. Maybe that's why prostitutes don't kiss their clients.

I am miserable all day at work, and also very grumpy. Then bloody Nadhim Sahawi* draws more attention to the Somali family's million pound house during PMQs, which really doesn't help, as this sets all the usual suspects off on a series of virtually-identical rants. I have no idea how to defend a system that allows this sort of thing to happen, and by the time I've managed to get Mr Beales off the phone, my mood is even worse. This means that I actually walk off before Joan has finished telling me about the latest fiasco with her Tax Credit overpayment. I have never been so rude to anyone before, but I do wish she wouldn't lie in wait for me in the ladies' loo. Drives me mad,  and is enough to give me Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Thinking about IBS reminds me that I have to arrange for another intern to replace the one who ran away in fear of his life. The list The Boss gave me seems to consist purely of sixteen-year-old schoolgirls, one of whom is the daughter of the local Tory Party chairman. Does Andrew not realise this? I phone to enquire.

"Um, Andrew - this Fiona girl you've got on the interns list - "

"Lovely girl," says The Boss. "Pretty as a picture."

"Well, that's all very nice, but are you aware that she's George Thompson's daughter?"

"Oh. That." The Boss doesn't sound concerned. "The local Tories are less threat to me than those bastards in my own party. Just be nice to her."

What can you do? I phone Fiona, and she agrees to start next Monday. She does actually sound capable of an intelligent conversation, and is reasonably assertive, so at least that's promising. Greg's quite cheerful about it too. Then he admits that he met her at a local Council function, when she was accompanying her dad. He starts to twitch when I ask him exactly how attractive she is.

"Well, she looks a bit like my ex-girlfriend," he says, with what sounds like a stifled sob. (Greg is more sensitive emotionally than might appear to be the case. His heart has been broken several times.)

On the subject of matters of the heart, Max phones me four times in the evening. Four times! First to tell me he's arrrived, then to tell me that he's in his room, which is "nice, but a basic single." Call three is to tell me he's going out for dinner with "the group." The fourth call is to tell me that he's back from dinner, that the food was rubbish compared to that on the German trip, and that he's going to bed now as "this actually seems as if it's going to be a working trip." Unlike the German one?!

I know I should be glad that Max has actually remembered that I exist this time, and is doing his utmost to reassure me - but I can't help feeling he's overdoing it a bit. Josh tells me not to be an idiot, and that while "Dad can be a prat, he's not a cheating prat." Such filial respect  - and yet I am oddly comforted. Who'd have thought a teenager could demonstrate such wisdom?

*Nadhim Sahawi - MP for Stratford on Avon. A Tory.
*PMQs - Prime Minister's Questions, as usual.


  1. Greg is straight?! A very confused BG!

  2. Greg will be deeply wounded that you should think him anything other than all man, particularly given his resemblance to Patrick Bateman.