Wednesday 7 April

There are several reasons for the explosive, port-fuelled rant that will leave a craterous impression in Licky’s impressionable mind-field come 11pm tonight. Latterly it is the launch of almost identical general election campaigns by the Westminster equivalents of the Jocks and Geordies. Both say we need to save money; neither wish to significantly cut the defence (or as it’s become known more recently: attack!) budget, and I conclude – with a vitriolic demeanour that more than makes up for my blatant lack of strategy – that as my Uncle is a famous musician he is bound to be able to obtain firearms, from which point the revolution can begin! It’s been a long night. Between them Licky and Miss Jordan manage to put me to bed, but not before I’ve reminisced with Sanchez (my only pigeon ever to have seen ‘action’) about his experiences in the Mexican-American war (guerra del ‘47)

Why so wound up? Surely a commentator with BB’s legendary maturity has seen enough elections to know that they are always a thoroughly frustrating business, even when we’re not being sold a pack of lies by a white-smiling bloke with the kind of gravitas – and sinister power-lusts – normally associated with unemployed underpant models. Okay, so I admit there was more than one wooden spoon stirring my melancholy mood: despite my pro-European leanings, I simply hate to see Manchester Unitered being beaten by a smaller club (and let’s face it there are no bigger) in the League of Champions, as they are this evening.

So that’s it then? Hardly going to stand up in court as I lay down in bed. Hold on, just one more thing in me defence m’lud – the unsettling events that unfolded by day. Yes, something had been nagging at me more than the mothers of countless UK politicians (i.e. of invitation) or the entire Unitered team (i.e. of the disappeared). Why would someone with Swarthy Erick’s proven background in school cross-country (one way of briefly escaping Coldly Strange Grammar School) be attempting to conceal a race result surely no more than half as bad as mine? I thought back to the glimpse of paper attained within that Mersey Paradise. More like architect’s plans now I came to think about it. Just what had he and Patterson been doing there? Lunchtime I’m quizzing Tom Fatbottom, the eyewitness from the Jawed Rabbit who’d seen the two queer coves/rum sorts (please delete one, if not both, of these ‘amusing’ anachronisms) those weeks ago.

‘So these two chaps fighting by the side of the canal. Definitely out-of-towners were they Tom?’

‘Aye, but...’

‘But what?’

‘Ye’er an oot-of-tooner t’ me n’all BB’

I’m sorely tempted to whack the fella. There’s nothing worse than having to explain my proud Manchester heritage to strangers who believe me an imposter, just because I don’t say ‘arrighht?’ every five minutes.

‘So you’re saying the men ascertain the same level of recognition factor in your eyes as I, the Mankiest Manc in the village?’

‘Y’whaa?’ (yes, that too)

‘Thank you. You’ve answered my question, Tom, and now I must go brood and chin-stroke for a while.’

‘Winker.’ (I think he said)

And so whatever the result had been tonight, however startlingly reformed the political classes, I would still have been left with a problem, for how do you solve a problem like Swarthy Erick: how do you make him ‘sing’?

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