Friday, 6 August 2010

When Did The Boss Suddenly Become An Expert In Body Language?

Oh God. Well, as if my faith in men hadn't already taken a nosedive this week, Mr Cowan has just sent it plummeting to the depths. The phone rings almost as soon as I arrive at work this morning - and the caller turns out to be the Police officer investigating the Cowan case. Mr Cowan has just been released after spending most of the night being questioned. The Police officer has no idea if Mrs Cowan even knew where her husband was overnight, as she was at her mother's when he was arrested. Apparently, he refused to call her to come and pick him up from the Police station when he was released, so I have no idea if she is still in blissful ignorance or not.

Although Mr Cowan continues to deny it, the Police say that it is undeniably his signature on all the allegedly-forged cheques, and his face pictured on the footage obtained from the CCTV camera above the cash machine where his card was being used - again, fraudulently, according to him. I feel sick. That's a marriage in more desperate trouble than mine and Max's. I suppose I should count myself lucky. Though I may just request a credit report myself - just to make sure.

I spend the rest of the day terrified to answer the phone, in case it's Mrs Cowan, complaining that her husband has been unjustly accused. Thank God, she doesn't call, but I am knackered from the constant rush of adrenalin anyway, as the phones barely stop. To add to that, there are the usual Friday surgery appointments - all taken by the usual suspects; and the misery doesn't even end there. Oh, no. I am the luckiest woman in the world.

This evening is to be spent in the company of The Boss too. There's a Party fundraising event on, with an ex-Minister attending to rally the troops. On this basis, The Boss has temporarily lifted his ban on Greg and I mixing with Party staff, and has suggested that we go, with our partners. Greg is infuriated by Andrew's insensitivity.

"The man has no respect for those of us unlucky enough to find ourselves alone in this cruel world," he says, before making an excuse about needing to take his mother to the all-night Tescos. I can't get out of going to the fundraiser, though. The Boss' suggestion that both Max and I attend was more like an order, and Andrew is even going to grin and bear it himself.

The whole thing is hideous, of course. It's been arranged via the Party's looniest activist, a madwoman with delusions of grandeur. She has an inexplicable soft spot for The Boss, which is all the evidence you need for her being personality-disordered as far as I am concerned. She has made all the arrangements, spending the last six months planning the event. The damn thing has required constant consultation with Andrew, always in the Oprah Room, and always with the door firmly closed.

The running order goes like this: the ex-Minister is first to give a speech at a local hall, before his appearance is followed by a completely random dance performance given by the loony's rather unattractive teenage daughters. This is like watching the dance of the elephants in Fantasia, only far less graceful, and accompanied by very loud thudding - as well as being of dubious political or fundraising value.

Then we are all swept off to the loony's palatial house for cocktails and a buffet. She has employed the entire staff of a local Indian restaurant to cook and serve the food. Luckily, she hasn't chosen the staff of The Star of India for this honour, so I suppose things could have been even worse - though not by much.

There is champagne flowing - which seems to be de rigueur at Party social events these days, though I hate the stuff. Guarantees a hangover even before you've managed to go to sleep. My warnings do not have a cautionary effect on The Boss, however - though I note that Max is sticking resolutely to soft drinks. In the absence of any tempting shiny women, this is probably unnecessary, but I am not so guilt-ridden after yesterday's virtual encounter that I feel the need to tell him that. Or, at least, I'm not guilt-ridden, until The Boss puts in his tuppence-worth.

"Max," he says, as he lurches towards us. "Good to see you. And isn't our Molly looking great tonight?"

"Um, yes," says Max. Try harder, I can't help thinking, but then The Boss continues:

"She's looking so good this last few weeks that I reckon she must be having an affair! What d'you think, Max?"

The Boss takes another swig of champagne, looks me up and down unnecessarily closely, and then continues,

"I'd keep a very close eye on her, if I were you. Know what I mean?"

Then, with a wink worthy of Mr Beales, he staggers off to annoy someone else. Oh, my God. Is Andrew reading my emails during his early-morning snooping sessions? I can't bear it.

Max says nothing, but doesn't argue when I say I am tired and want to go home. In fact, he looks quite keen himself, though his enthusiasm soon dissipates when we have a row as soon as we've arrived. I can't even begin to think about that now. I shall process it tomorrow. There's something to look forward to.


  1. Eeek! Does he know something?

    As an aside until your blog I had no idea what PM actually did. It all sounds rather stressful now and not nearly enough like Yes Minister for my tastes.

  2. I don't know! But it was horribly disconcerting!

    PM? I am feeling very dull and stupid you mean the Prime Minister?

  3. Oops. I mean M.P. Sorry, I went out for 'a quick drink' with Scalene last night and yet again it has caused the next day to be a complete write-off.

    Still, good fun.

  4. Having one of those days, myself - though sounds as if your evening was more fun than mine ;-)

    Makes sense now you've clarified you meant MP. Mind you, I still think "Yes, Minister" is a work of very-accurate genius, and colleagues who have worked for ministers feel the same!