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14.5.16

The Man in the Moon




Dashing down Vine Street. Fatty says that, as we are on Vine Street, it would be culturally delinquent not to call into the famed Vine Street pub, the Man in the Moon, find out more about this legendary pub and have one of its famous traditional lunches. I tell Fatty that you can’t have one lunches, it doesn’t make sense, Fatty agrees and says that he will order many lunches instead of one, this makes sense, but we are on a desperately urgent mission and can’t stop for any purpose, already we have been seriously hindered by pulling Rory and any further delay would have irredeemably serious consequences. However, Fatty is quite right, to pass by the Man in the Moon and not to learn more about its very interesting name would be utterly reprehensible,

In the bar, we find that the proprietor, Mickey Finn, is a very friendly and helpful and he is happy to tell us about the intriguing history of the Man in the Moon, to help us concentrate on Mickey’s absorbing tale, Juan orders a crate of Scapa Special Reserve, ale for everybody who wants it, twenty six lunches and some peanuts. We offer a toast to Mickey and his wonderful pub and share the peanuts out between ourselves while Fatty tucks into the food.

Seeing Rory lying on the floor, I remember his existence and kick him until he regains consciousness and starts moaning. I tell him to pull himself together and stop bleeding and remind him that, very soon, he will be going on a hunt and he will have to ride a horse but, as he can’t ride a horse, he will be thrown off or fall off and, because he doesn’t know what he is doing, he will get his legs entangled in the reins and be dragged by his feet for a very long way at high speed over bumpy ground, then, when the horse does eventually stop, it will kick him and stamp on him, which is why, to prepare him for this, we just pulled him by his ankles along long cobbled streets and gave him a good kicking, so he should be grateful for the lessons and stop complaining.

George says that, at least, Rory is pretending to behave like a proper English person who thinks that complaining about a problem fixes the problem. Juan says that that is because they are all stupid and lazy, but I point out that, to be fair, normally, when they complain about something, somebody else fixes it, so complaining can be a good, even a noble thing to do. Rory interrupts us by groaning and complaining about broken ribs or some trivia, I tell him to shut up and remind him that, in the hunting society, he will be expected to at least pretend to be a man, and to prove it, when he thrown from a horse and dragged backwards through hedges and walls, the first thing he has to do is get back up on the horse, pretend nothing happened and whistle a cheery tune, to prove that he is having a great day. Rory shouts that he is English, and a man, and he doesn’t have to prove it, and he can’t ride a horse so he isn’t going to ride a horse, so he won’t fall off a horse, so he won't be dragged behind a horse and he can’t whistle. We ignore him and order more Scotch.

Rory won’t stop complaining, saying that he wanted to become a secret agent because he thought it would be a good thing to do, but it’s not. I tell Rory that, if I could, I would tell him a secret, then he will feel like a secret agent, furtive and sneaky and scared, if that would help him, but I don’t know any secrets. Fatty says that he knows the secret of quickly cooking a perfect haggis and Juan says he knows the secret of making Australian wine taste palatable, Rory says they are stupid secrets. I tell Rory that he won’t think they are stupid when he is Australia and suddenly wants a really good haggis with wine that doesn’t taste like the fermented gastric juices found in the rotting intestines of a long dead cat. George says that, like me, he doesn’t know anything secret, so he can’t help. Tam says he can help because he knows lots of secrets and he explains that, when he was a priest, lots of people confessed lots of fascinating and secret things to him, for example, Lady Frances Eliza Greenall confessed to being the author of the scandalous ‘Miss Whippy’ books. Rory is horrified and tells Tam that it is utterly wrong to reveal the secrets of the confessional. Juan says that there’s nothing wrong with the ‘Miss Whippy’ books, ‘Confessions of Miss Whippy’ is a great read and ‘Miss Whippy and the Pantry Maid’ is a classic. I tell Juan to shut his mouth. Tam says that Lady Frances didn’t tell him this while giving confession, she told him at a cocktail party when she was blind drunk.

Rory shouts that he doesn’t know what anybody is talking about, Fatty calms him down by knocking him unconscious, then, ordering a few bottles of Aberfeldy Private Reserve, for the road, we drink toast after toast to Mickey Finn, our wonderful proprietor, from whom we have learned so much about whatever pub this is, then, dragging Rory behind us, shouting our appreciation, singing obscene songs and being sick, we stumble around in confusion, as fast as we possibly can.


Professor Humperdink’s Diary