Thursday, 27 January 2011

Nights In White Satin - But Only For The Undeserving.

Honestly, can you believe it? Just when I should have been waking up next to Johnny in a luxury hotel suite after a night full of (hopefully) mad passion, here I am listening to Reg Beales bloody moaning instead.

"So, they're definitely out to get me now," he says. "Just like my brother."

I sigh, and count to ten - twice - before I reply. Just to be on the safe side.

"I think you'll find the Police and the RSPCA are two different organisations," I say. "And the Met* aren't known for taking an interest in horses that are being mis-treated. Not even when the horse is in London - which yours isn't."

"Well, they must have been following me to spot the stupid animal, though, mustn't they?" says Reg. "So our Edmund's got a point. These bloody busybodies should be made to wear high-visibility jackets at all times."

I pass Greg a note which reads:

"Play that fire alarm sound on your phone. Quick!"

Then I turn my attention back to Reg Beales.

"A horse and cart on the main road into Northwick is pretty difficult to ignore," I say. "I'm quite surprised the traffic police didn't have something to say about it as well. If I were you, I'd just apologise and say you've learned your lesson when you go to court - though, to be honest, I doubt you'll get the horse back, whatever you do."

"But how am I supposed to pull the cart without one?" says Reg, as Greg passes me his phone and a siren rings out.

"Got to go," I say. "The fire alarm's going off. 'Bye!"

This triumph of ingenuity cheers me up no end, until I spot Vicky sitting in the Oprah Room. She's filing her nails again, while looking disapprovingly at Greg and me.

"Find her something to do, for God's sake, Mol," says Greg, in a low voice. "It's like having MI5 in here with her watching everything we do or say. Or The News Of The World, anyway."

He's got a point, so I suggest to Vicky that there's a mountain of archiving to do, if she's not too busy.

"I've got to type a report up for Andy," she says. "So I can't do it this week. Sorry."

She doesn't sound it, but I give her the benefit of the doubt. People can surprise you - sometimes. Even when you've worked for an MP for far too long.

"Okay," I say. "But maybe you could make a start on it next week instead? It'd really help us out."

"Can't,"  says Vicky. "I won't be here."

I think Greg manages to mask his ecstatic - if slightly crazed - smile before Vicky notices, but I'm having trouble hiding my joy too. I can feel my lips twitching, unless I've suddenly developed a tic.

"Really?" I say. "Are you leaving us, then?"

"No," says Vicky. "I'm going to that conference with Andy. Didn't he tell you?"

"Shouldn't think he's told anyone," says Greg. "The Media would love it. MP Takes Young Intern To Luxury Hotel doesn't sound too good, does it?"

Not half as good as Oil Baron Takes MP's Possibly Middle-Aged Senior Caseworker To Luxury Hotel, that's for sure. And Saves Her From Lunatic Constituent Charged With Cruelty To His Horse, While He's At It.

I give up, I really do. Life's a bitch, and then you die.

*Met - Metropolitan Police. For some reason, Reg is now convinced that they are out to get him, despite all our attempts to convince him that they are far too busy at the moment.

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