Idle Eye 52 : The Name’s Nibs

MI6 building, Vauxhall Cross. Yesterday.

M:  Ah, Nibs! Thanks for coming in. Sit down, won’t you?

Nibs:  Thank you, Ma’am.

M:  Seems there’s a bit of fuss in Whitehall about this wretched peerage you’ve got. Makes a mockery of all the legitimate ones like Savile, apparently. Now, I’ve told the PM we’ll let it slide for diplomacy’s sake so I’ll hear no more of it from now on. Is that understood?

Nibs:  Implicitly.

M:  Shut the door on the way out, will you Nibs?

Nibs:  Of course.

Heads towards door but then turns back

Would it make a difference if I told you that the Treasury had nothing to do with it?

M:  Explain.

Nibs:  The peerage, Ma’am. I got it off of the internet.

M:  Don’t be ridiculous, Nibs. I don’t have time for this.

Nibs:  I’m afraid it’s true. eBay. £94.85. Last Christmas. I was the highest bidder by 75 pence.

M:  Damn you! You do realise this compromises our entire operation? Everything we hold dear?

Nibs:  I do, Ma’am.

M:  Then why, Nibs? This had better be good.

Nibs:  It is.

M:  I’m waiting.

Nibs:  It’s the budget cuts, Ma’am. Take a look at my expenses for the 2010-2011 period. What can you see?

M:  Well, you do seem to have eased off on Jägermeister and KY Jelly.

Nibs:  Marginally, yes. But what else?

M:  Hmmm… hard to say. Travel, perhaps?

Nibs:  Exactly! Last time Q handled finance I was on a bullshit train fighting that ugly gorilla with bad teeth. £94.85 lets me turn left on planes these days: It’s a no-brainer.

M:  Hold up. What are these endless entries saying Idle Hour Barnes?

Nibs:  Entertainment, Ma’am. With respect, perhaps you’ve forgotten how we do things in the field?

M:  I was entertaining at the Idle Hour when you were in school shorts. And if you think the sunday roast is going to slip through accounts without a public hearing, you are very much mistaken.

Nibs:  It’s just business, Ma’am. My business.

Cue exciting theme music alongside exciting graphics with bums’n’guns’n’bosoms under water and a couple of ducks from the Wetlands Centre chewing some grass

M:  Oh, and Nibs?

Nibs:  Yes, Ma’am?

M:  You’re fired. Hand your keys in at reception. This is the last time we shall ever meet. Goodbye, Mr Nibs.

Nibs:  Lord Nibs, Ma’am.

M:  Lord Nibs. Whatever. But £94.85! Really?

Nibs:  Yes, Ma’am. Off of the internet.

M:  Astonishing.

Nibs:  Indeed. And you get a certificate.

M:  A certificate?

Nibs:  Yes.

M:  Framed?

Nibs:  No, Ma’am.

M:  I see. So Nibs, you’re a nob now?

Nibs:  Yes, Ma’am. The name’s Nibs – Lord Nibs.

M:  Nob or not, get out, Nibs. Now!!!

Nibs:  Yes, Ma’am.

Disclaimer: The Director General of the Idle Eye would like to make it clear that any of the above insinuations pertaining to the dubious authenticity of Lord Thorp’s peerage are merely that and completely unfounded. And he’s not standing down, neither…

Idle Eye 48 : The Crucible

A couple of things have been bothering me this week. Firstly, this Jimmy Savile business is beginning to grate: Yes, it’s a given that everything that has come to light is abhorrent. Yes, the BBC screwed up. Yes, the victims all deserve an opportunity to move on. And yes, even the benefit of hindsight into another time with a very different moral compass does little to assuage his misdemeanours. But the cynic in me does question the merits of a media witch-hunt against a dead man, purposefully manufactured to whip up powerful emotions in those less than able to handle them. Remember the paedophilia scandal of 2000? When Newport pediatrician Yvette Cloete had ‘paedo’ graffitied onto her front door by her own neighbours? And if the deceased really are a legitimate target, where do we draw the line? Do we destroy the gravestones of Kenneth Williams and Joe Orton, both now institutions much loved by the general public? How about Pier Pasolini? Or why not Caligula? Come on, readers, I’m sure you can dig up another long gone family favourite with a dodgy track record.

The other thing is how to segue the above into an attractive advertisement for the Idle Hour. Tall order, granted, but that’s the task in hand and by hook or by crook I’ll find a way: It’s what I do. Now, please bear with me as I freeform in italics:

The Idle Hour is one of West London’s best kept secrets. It sells lovely wine and beer, serves great food and has a wonderful suntrap garden, ideal for all those lazy Sunday afternoons with the family. In no way does it condone any suspect behaviour with young ‘uns. Bang out of order, all that. And anyway, it just does booze’n’grub. Properly, with a touch of class. And no fiddling. Ever. And that’s a promise!

Those of you who know me and/or Nibs will implicitly understand the above seemingly blasé approach needs to be taken with a very large pinch of salt. Partly to simmer down the tone and partly to avoid litigation. But, as there is an increasingly large percentage of you that don’t, I shall attempt to paraphrase every politician wheeled onto Radio 4 to spread the word of whichever wretched party they happen to represent:

Let’s be perfectly clear about this: The Idle Eye blog does have, and has always had the best interests of the Idle Hour public house at heart. And if, for whatever reason, the former has strayed from its initial brief, it would like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.

So there you have it. A seemingly impossible remit brought about by the power of the written word. And, for any Sun readers who have managed to get this far without assistance, the address you’ll be looking for is as follows:

The Idle Eye Front Door,
No 10 Downing Street,
London SW1A 2AA

Thanks for your time xx

Idle Eye 47 : The Rag Trade-Off

Like most males of my age, I’m an uncomfortable clothes shopper. The very thought of leaving the warm nucleus of my flat for a brutal, strip-lit warehouse touting whichever vulgar garment happens to be fashionable right now is so appalling that I tend to hang onto the same tatty old shite attempting to cover my nakedness for one more glorious season rather than face the alternative. I’m not proud of it, far from it, but that’s the truth. And as every summer leaves what autumn finds, I have learned to recognise that 50/50 mix of pity and disgust buried deep beneath the permafrost of those I hold dearest. They try to disguise it, bless ‘em, but I know it’s there. And it hurts because I know they know I only have two sartorial settings: Dress to Impress, and Dress Down Weekday.

Take, for instance, my Bolongaro Trevor ‘God Save the King’ tee-shirt with its attendant heraldic symbols, furry-faced monarchs in period ellipse frames and mottled seriffed type. This fits neatly into the former category and gets outed whenever I need to dazzle ‘em. About twice a decade. Anyone who witnessed the annihilation of popular song performed by my brother and I at the Idle Hour last year may have spotted it, and my fervent prayer was that you’d be so impressed by the packaging, a closer inspection of the contents would have been unnecessary. And while we’re on the subject, could someone have a word with Nibs about that Union Jack jacket? We all know it’s a magnificent beast but there’s a fine line between Mo Farah and Jimmy Savile. As well he knows.

In the latter corner lies my John Lewis knee-length overcoat. This loyal lovely has been doing the rounds since the Boer War and was dyed black in 1926 in order to disguise the blood of fallen suffragettes and rotting stitches stolen from a roadside hospital in Ypres. If it were a tree it would be a Douglas Fir: Solid, stalwart, stoic. A bit like Jeremy Clarkson. The inside pockets, however, have frayed beyond repair (although this does have the advantage of easy access to my person for those essential ‘on the road’ adjustments).

Also worth mentioning are the unmentionables. Yes, it’s those grey Christmas 2003 boulder holders I never thought would last out the year, but like the Council Tax and Tesco Metro have managed to survive despite multilateral distain. Admittedly there’s not much to fall in love with here, but as the years have gone by they have formed an impressive crust on the inside elastic which has aided and abetted adhesion to the waistline. Sorry, ladies, he’s taken.

They say charity begins at home. And I have a bag marked the same which will never, ever see a shop marked the same. Because there’s always a couple more years left in there. At least a couple.