Well, readers, what an interesting weekend I had. Operation Sword of Truth began in earnest and – I tell you what – I should have been a bloody spook. I’m a natural.
Operation Sword of Truth is the codename I have given to my plan to open my dear Mother’s eyes to the reality that Roger is a fascist maniac, like that bloke from the motor racing who goes with all the prozzies. His dad was the leader of the British Nazis and the apple never falls far from the tree, does it. Well, it did in my case because I’d never leave my wife and child and run off with the lollipop lady – who was nearly twice his age anyway – leaving my child at the mercy of all the other kids who take the piss out of him for his dad running of with the lollipop lady.
Most people look at lollipop ladies and think: "Ah, that's nice, a lollipop lady". It even sounds nice when you say it. Not me, though. I look at lollipop ladies and it's all I can do to stop myself screaming at them for being bow-legged, home-wrecking c*nts. I don't mind lollipop men, though, because I don't think many wives or mothers would run off with a lollipop man. I guess that makes me unusual because most people, if they're honest, look at lollipop men and think: "nonce".
By a bitter twist of fate, Mum ended up being the lollipop lady for a while – we had to make ends meet somehow, and she remains for me the only lollipop lady I've looked on with fondness – and the kids were so cruel to her about dad. That’s why I learned judo, at which I am a black belt, as you know, and not – as my mate Steve maintains – because watching Brian Jacks on Superstars gave me a stiffy. That’s just the kind of stupid shit Steve likes to say. And, as he well knows, I had been thinking about Jane Jarvis from school (she was the first girl to get boobs) while I was watching Superstars and Steve just happened to notice that I had a stiffy and that’s where that silly rumour began. Anyway, he told everyone at school, as if it wasn’t bad enough already, and I made it worse by saying it had nothing to do with Brian Jacks; I’d been thinking about Jane Jarvis’s new boobs. At which point her brother Ian beat me up. The humiliation continued, because Jane Jarvis let all the boys feel her boobs apart from me, and I asked really nicely. Even Ian Jarvis felt them – there was something wrong about that family. Like the Carpenters.
Sometimes I don’t know why I’m still friends with Steve. He did a lot of nasty things to me. Once when I was round his house for Sunday lunch he did a fart that smelled so bad that his Grandma threw up. He then blamed this on me and his mum took me home and told my mum that I was never going round there again with my filthy habits and no wonder my dad ran off with the lollipop lady if that was the kind of thing he had to put up with at home. Steve told everyone at school and nobody would sit near me for a whole term. Apart from Fat Alice, who was in pretty much the same boat as me; although she deserved it and I didn’t. Jesus Christ she fucking stank. Rancid. She did let me feel her boobs, though. They didn’t feel much different from the rest of her to be honest. But, when you’re that age, you take what you can get.
Anyway, I digress. Operation Sword of Truth, to bring any stragglers up to speed, involves me pretending to be a BNP/Fascist sympathiser in order to con Roger – my mother’s Nazi beau – into revealing his true colours so I can get my mum to leave him. He’s pretty sharp at keeping it hidden, I have to say. I guess you get good at keeping things hidden when you’ve got such dark secrets.
When I arrived in Lincoln, Mum said she thought we could all go for a curry in the evening. Here was my chance! “Can’t we have something British?” I said. “Why do we have to have foreign muck?” Here I smiled at Roger. Mum said: “But you love curry, dear.” And Roger said: “Actually Barry, it’s not muck, it’s got an AA Rosette and it’s listed in the top 100 restaurants of Lincoln. The city of Lincoln has become quite cosmopolitan,” he added, “which can only be a good thing.”
Christ, I thought. You’re good.
I could see that I was going to have to play a fairly long game here. Roger wasn’t about to let his gravy train be derailed that easily. So we went for a curry, although I had an omelette, which was bloody awful. I absolutely love curry, so you can see the kind of sacrifices I’m prepared to make so that Mum can be happy. Roger wolfed down his prawn dansak. He had mushroom pilau, and a peshwari nan. It looked magnificent.
I could tell that here was a match for me in every way. I even began to feel a grudging respect for him. He must detest curry, given his Griffinesque politics. It’s interesting that the word “Griffin” has two meanings, according to the Collins English Dictionary. The first is a beast with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion – ie an animal of mixed race – and the second is a person from Western Europe who moves to the Orient – ie an immigrant.
Alanis Morissette would have a field day with that. It’s way more ironic than ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife, which isn’t really ironic, it’s just a cutlery fuck-up.
As Roger and I left the restaurant (mum was inside, settling up. What kind of man is Roger, just letting the woman pay? Unbelievable) there was a woman begging, with a baby. She was clearly foreign. Roger, slick as you like, gave her a pound fifty.
There were two options open to me here. Option one was to lead with the: “There weren’t any homeless in Berlin in 1939. Whatever you think about Hitler, you can’t argue with that” line. This a bona fide racist opener, a fact I can vouch for because it was said to me by a black cab driver in London once. (I should point out for my overseas readers that the driver was white; it was the cab that was black. You don’t get a lot of black people musing on the impressive social achievements of Adolf Hitler. You don’t get a lot of black black cab drivers, either. Institutional racism is alive and well and it gets round town in a taxi.).
Option two would see me raise the problem of British homelessness. We’ve got a lot of homeless people here, and Griffin likes to say that we should look after our own, before we start giving handouts to bloody foreigners. I went with option two. Roger said: “She’s a young mother with a baby, Barry. It’s our duty to help her. How can you be so callous.”
I tried to change the subject. I said: “There’s never a bloody bin when you need one, is there. And you know why? Because of the Irish; that’s why. The litter on our streets is down to the Irish. No surrender, eh Roger?”
“There’s a bin right there, Barry.” Said Roger, pointing to a bin that I hadn’t seen. “What do you need to throw away?”
He had me here, and I had nothing to throw away. Out of desperation and in a moment of panic I said: “This watch. I’m sick of it.” And then I took off my watch and threw it in the bin. It was a lovely watch, Gill gave it to me for my birthday a few years back. But I couldn’t risk blowing my cover.
"That looked like a very expensive watch, Barry," said Roger. "Why did you throw it away?"
I said the only thing I could say:
"Bloody foreign, that's why." Roger looked me in the eye for a long time, while neither of us said anything. I thought we were about to get a breakthrough, but then Mum came out of the restaurant and we went home.
So now I’ve got to buy a new watch. Maybe when all this is over and the scales have fallen from Mum's eyes she'll be so grateful she'll buy me a really expensive one.