01 January 2011


The barbecue chapter will strike a chord - I mean set up a wail - with yon Zacharia Works of Drifter's Parish.

With TX-born Georgina born in San Antone within the sounds of Jim Bowie finding bone for his steel, and Spitfire Anna born Hong Kong, I want my gals to have all the chatter when they find themselves in convo with a rich man in need of a good wife. OK, strike the 'good'.

And dude! not to say 'Pon my soul, here in the Dec 18th edition of The Economist is all the Cliffs Notes cheatsheet a maiden could need.

Fire in the Hole - and I did NOT know that 'barbecue' is a noun, not a verb.

Elegy to the British Pub

[by my troth but I do pull orf decorative posts, what?]

Now I think of it - and it's perfect for "'ZonGrep ~ The Musical" - a killer cameo would be me in Full Faugh Fauntleroy Faggoty Frasing, in convo with some good ol' boy but reeling off alla data from the Econo' piece.

Meanwhile, Zach in parlance with some tweed-'n-watch-fob toff gent spouting deep knowledge of Le Pub Anglais.

Works: "Absolutely, Lord Wood - but do you know the Nacogdoches Arms off Crofton? Well, they do a lovely drop of Woutsa Perkulier".

Actually, forget Master Works because he's the spitting double of Jake Gyllenhaal's louche layabout elder beat-up elder brother - so fuck him, bird-puller par X-cellence.

And 'forget' his hot sister, too ~ that gurl needs a bending over and 6 o'the best.

But I digress.

Speaking of digressions, but still on pub chat and the favourite for the 2:30 at the Curragh, I was staying as a highly privileged guest at Glenveagh in the days when the saintèd Henry McIlhenny still owned it.

The mega-financier Charles Clore came to lunch, after which we were all off to the races in which Charlie had a horse running, on which of course we were all duty-bound to plonk our £s.

We being unmoneyed aristos [present company very much excluded], we resented CC's wealth and many a snooty sarcastic Etonian tones were there behind his Savile Row suited derrière.

Come the big race, Clore sent his minder down to place his bet on his own nag.

Me being the young 'un, and my dad wanting to show friendly, I was chosen to be 'runner' for the money.

Dad made sure that I had all bets precisely recorded against each name, and no wonder ~ there were some heavy 19-hand horse-fleshistas in the party - many of whom resented having to bet on cheval clore and hence lose money out of noblesse oblige politeness.

Every time I tell this - and i'm sure I've bored you with this unlikely tale here before - I feel I'm inventing.

Remember, O Ye Elders, this was in my salad days when the juice of the grape was new to me.

Down I went to the betting offices with a veritable WAD of notes, and duly joined the queue.

Now - and who knows? - say that Clore's ride was called 'Julie Vick' and suppose there was a rank outsider @ 40-1 against called 'Duly Pricked' - well, befuddled by bubbly I prolly stood in line long enough to be mesmorised by all those before me muttering:

"Begorrah, Dermot! Can ye imagine any eedjit placin' his bawbies on fokkin' 'Duly Pricked'?"

"By the prick of St Patrick! Will you lookit them odds against that Pricked carthorse?"

Fuck me if I didn't plonk the whole lot on DP.

"Are sure you want to do that?", asked the kindly colleen behind the glass.

"Yesh," I slurred proudly, "I know the owner."

"Well, God rest his soul."

The race ran. 'Julie Pricked' stumbled home thanks to cockups by the rest of the field.

"Oh, bad luck, Charlie," went up the cry.

'Shall I collect the money now,' I simpered.

Pitying looks

'No, Christopher, you see, you see you only make money when - Good God almighty! Patrick! Gavin! Look at this ...'


'So shall I go and get the money?'

"No fucking way ... there must be ... Jamie, get some of the boys to go down with you and collect the winnings. No you sit tight, Chris - and will someone give this boy a glass of champagne?!"

The really ironic amusing thing was that, after that, no matter how I protested, these top-notch trainers and owners and hoss savvy types kept taking me aside and whispering

'Yes yes, I know you know nothing, damn'd right, light under bushel and all that, but what do fancy for the 5:30?

I'd thought 'Bezos Bedazzled' but you got the Clore horse bang to rights, no clogs for this muddy running - what's the word from the stables, hm? What've YOU got your farthing on? 'Joy of Jehanne'?

Go on, old boy - I won't tell. Don't want to spoil the odds, what?'

The best part was old man Clore at drinks later ~ bright button eyes boring into mine,

"Fair do, I've run some stings in my time, well done - but I'll have you".


[Thinks bubble]:

'Hmm ... cute, but a little young ...

On t'other hand, I'm off to India tomorrer.

Nah, Holmesie and me are buddies.

I know that rattlesnake, years from now he'll shove it in some effing blog and I'll be looking at 10 years' porridge in San Bezos.

I'll be the one yelling 'get 'em orf!' on "Lady Ga Ga 'live' at Paclatraz".

Best stay in da queues ~ so where is this dude's frickin' stuff?

Give the Holmesette 'nuther 9 years.


Simon Baddeley said...

Lovely story. I was at Newmarket races in 1964 with an undergrad friend who'd invited me along to meet her parents who owned horses. As a favour to her guest she introduced me to a little fellow who rode for the family. Gordon Richards - for it was he - gently asked for my programme and ticked winners and places for the afternoon. I won £125 - which I sprinkled around my rooms when I got back to college. Never again. If I'd been a proper gambler I'd be living off my well invested winnings to this day.

Corfucius said...

good one. the coat of arms i included was tribute to roderick more o'ferral.
he was the one who took most offence at clore and his gorillas.

RMoF gave us lunch at his place. on entering, first thing clore noticed on crossing the doorway was the family heritage carpet.

'very nice,' was his comment. 'how much it cost?'

roddie lost an eye hunting, bristle from steed's whatever they call it down the neck. the spirit went out of him after that. super chap of the old school, treated everyone the same, mark of a gent.