Sorry I’m late. Really, sorry. I did try to get this one in on time, even wrote a couple of drafts about an Idle Hour demon that kept me up at night (written at 1am) but Nibs gave it the thumbs down. And he was right to, in fairness. High on booze, wasabi peas and lack of sleep I bunged it all together like a fake Jackson Pollock and then tried to justify its brilliance in a heated follow-up call deep into the small hours:
Nibs: Look, you know I love what you do. You know I do. But come on! This one’s so…so…well, angry.
Me: Angry? Angry? You don’t geddijewewe? Corsets angry! Eye-mmaking a point about time and how weedon tavenuffuvvit. Angry? ARSE!
Nibs: Mate, why don’t you have another look at it in the morning. It’s late, I’m busy, Barnes is still chokka and you’re pissed.
Me: GnnNOT PISSED!
Nibs: I think you are, Bro.
Me: S’pose you think Charlie Brooker zangry then? Or your bezziemait Giles Coren? S…Spose Jonnoz Born wazzangry too? Eh? EH? But Bro…Bro…(whispers)…thazza point. Thazza holefuggin point.
Nibs: It’s a pub blog, Bro, not Look Back In Anger. I just need you to be the funny guy so I can get more customers in to buy beer and eat food. Bums on seats: It’s really that simple.
Me: Z’nuthin simplabout gudriting, man. Snot teasy making this shiddup every we…week y’no.
Nibs: I’m not saying it is easy. That’s why I pay you to write it. Otherwise I’d do it myself. But calm down, have a good night’s sleep and have another go tomorrow. You’ll thank me for it.
Sound of hysterical laughing in background
Me: Hang gone…(goes into kitchen. Vulgar swearing, shouting and stumbling followed by phone drop) Bro, you there?
Nibs: What’s up?
Me: Ursula sritten ‘Primadonna’ onna blackboard!
Nibs: (stifling further hysteria) She’s got a point, mate!
Me: Bar studs! BAR…SSTUDS! FUGG YORL! (Slams down phone and retires)
I woke up this morning still utterly convinced that my misunderstood work would stand the test of time. After all, Jesus had a bad ride, no? And Sophocles wasn’t exactly flying off the shelves in Ancient Greece. I even uploaded the bloody thing onto my phone so I could bask in my greatness on the train. And then I read it.
There is a fine line between genius and bollocks. The greatest minds our crowded planet has ever produced had the courage to surf this line, some close to the mark, others actually touching it. But no-one, not one, ever crossed it. And the ones that did have been consigned to the dustbin of history, their stories never to be passed on. Ever. And that’s as it should be. For they shall be cast out of the Kingdom of Heaven for trawling too wide a net. And trying to polish a doo-doo when they don’t.