27 November 2009


There is a toff of the old school who visits Pagoda Corfuciosa and whose numéro I have bang to rights.

He is an ancien copain de Maman so it behoves moi to behaves, but I have been waiting my chance to pounce.

His trick is to accept a drink and then sit on t'patio, creased of stride and Hushed of Puppie, holding forth on the ways of the world.

A smarm here, a smørm there, an aristo flick of the forelock, a navvie's tug at the cav twill'd foreskin.

Sam is pathetically friendly which infuriates me and Old School knows it and pets Sambo more.

Then at some point he looks at his glass and notices that he could do with a 'tad more ice'.

"No, don't get up - I know where it is."

What he does is also chug a 'tad' more malt into his glass.

I've sometimes felt like observing,

"Eύρηκα! A mere three chunks of ice and the level risethed so ..."

But I am too impeccably raised and, besides, Mater would look askance at such unhostly rudeness.

Alors - M'sieur swanned up t'other soir and I did the honours with drinks and nibbles and we listened to the Sage of Sgombou solve the dilemmas of the world.

Come the time when the ice had melted, up he got and trotted inside but came back with a strained look and curiously modest goblet of the amber.

When *I* got up to tilt the bottle - tiens! No bottle.

I hunted around and thought OK, Sam must've nicked it and when I turned, there it was down with the Apelia flagons down on the floor. Tee hee. Forgetful me.

No one can eke out a glass of Pouilly like mum and she leaves it to me to do refills, so I let chummie suffer as I checked email and ripped the new Mitropanos before finally taking the bottle out and offering a refill - of which I poured a lot less than he himself would have snaffled.

His look as I pulled back after an 'economic' measure ...

"A steady hand, I see, Christoforos."

I nodded, my features a Jeevesian mask of inscrutability.

War. I love such games and play them well most of the time. Eagerness is my downfall, rushing it, thinking I can initiate.

But if I bide it and wait for the cards to fall, I can spot the moment in an instant and my move is instinctive and spot-on.

1 comment :

Simon Baddeley said...

E.M.Forster wrote it as right as I know: 'All invitations must proceed from heaven perhaps; perhaps it is futile for men to initiate their own unity, they do but widen the gulfs between them by the attempt.'