The Special Forces/Needs Club

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The raisin de'être of this blog has become to not speak about running. I don't like to disappoint so about running I'm not speaking.

The first rule of Subversive Running is you do not speak about running.

About the consumption of an alcoholic beverage I have, and will continue to, speak however. Of course an over indulgence in alcohol can result in all manner of mishaps and you may remember me speaking about fighting with police dogs, abusing Jimmy Savile and running in my underwear. By the way, I may resurrect the Savile story in the strongly held belief that I will become a national hero for making one night of the Jingle Jangle sex offender's life a complete misery.

Anyway, this is another story of an overindulgence in alcohol that occurred just over a week ago. It began with an invitation from my pal, former soldier, former firefighter and current body guard, Boris, to accompany him to the Special Forces club to hear Simon Mann's tale of serving a 34 year jail sentence in Equatorial Guinea for trying (and failing) to overthrow the government.

Before I go on there's something you should know about the Special Forces's a club......for current and former members of the special forces. Although the term 'special forces' has undoubtedly become more inclusive in recent years, it still fails to recognise the membership status of the Pickled Liver Gang of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, a group of nefarious individuals of which I was a founder member.

Now Boris is a colourful character and a former Non-Commissioned Officer of the Parachute Regiment, but a member of the special forces he's not either.

So how did a pair of ne'er do wells like us get such an invitation? I don't know. I just grabbed the opportunity with both hands, chucked my suit and regimental tie on and hot footed it down to Harrods to meet Boris.

As I stood outside the Qatari owned department store in Knightsbridge I felt somewhat out of place surrounded by the increasingly rabid Christmas shoppers. It definitely feels that the celebration of Christ's birthday gets earlier every year and as that occurs so my bah humbug attitude becomes more deeply entrenched.

Then, across a crowded I street I saw an equally uncomfortable looking suited man. Boris.Hands were shaken, backs were slapped and the two of us trotted through the streets of Knightsbridge to arrive at an anonymous town house in a small back road. From the outside the building really did appear to be nothing more than one of many upmarket residences, that you would assume was Arab owned and lived in for about a week every year.

But once through the door it was like stepping into a museum of militaria. The walls were adorned with photographs and paintings of derring do and the dudes that do that. In a lounge off the hall sat two officer types wearing tightly knotted ties and with their bouffant hair Brylcreemed back. They were engaged deeply in conversation and I wondered  what acts of valour they were discussing (in reality they were probably chatting about the increasing cost of brogue shoes and corduroy trousers).

Boris led us up a winding staircase to a bar on the first floor. A bar. Immediately I felt quite at home.

'What are you drinking mate?' I asked.

'A nice cup of tea, I think,' replied Boris.

'Fuck off, tea!! BEER!' I insisted.

'Nah, beer has been properly fucking me up recently.'

'Wine then.' I insisted, and before Boris could resist two large glasses of red were on the bar in front of us. Now, there are two things that you should know about my relationship with El Vino:

1 I fuckin love it.
2 I drink it like beer. That's to say that there's none of that sipping nonsense, just full on quaffing.

And so the scene was set for a mishappening. Some three hours or so later Boris and I were reeling like David Blunkett on ice while some geezer was wittering on about the terrible conditions in an African prison (sorry Simon Mann, I'm sure your lecture was very interesting but we were blitzed).

At some stage that afternoon I had an unusual flash of common sense and decided that I needed to get home. Two taxis and a train eventually delivered me to my door and I was back in the bosom of Chez Waterman. Here's the deal: living without the company of another adult is not necessarily my chosen state of being. But a Staffordshire Bull Terrier wags his tail and is happy to see you regardless of the time of day or night, regardless of how long you've been away, regardless of how much of the household budget you've just spunked and regardless of your level of inebriation. As I recall from my former marriages, the same cannot be said for a wife.
Anyway, it was shortly after that I discovered that I had mislaid my jacket, tie and phone. The precise location of my car was a bit of a mystery too.

A sorry for myself phone call was made from my landline to Mrs Mac who proceeded to say most of the things that one might expect from a person mentioned in the preceding paragraph. After mourning the loss of my possessions I went to bed and slept like a dead man.

As is always the case, the morning brought daylight and the realisation that I'd better get things sorted. Report my phone as lost, buy a new regimental tie, and take a pair of jacketless suit trousers to the charity shop.......

Right, I've got to go to work......check in later for the end of the tale.

Back from work.....famous last words: on Tuesday I stated: 'I don't care if I never get deployed to a USAR incident ever again.' Today, at 09:30, guess what? That's right, I got deployed to a USAR incident.

Anyway, so there I was, in my pants in my bedroom telling Mrs Mac that my phone is now reported as lost and I'm about to skip off to the charity shop with a pair of strides that once had a matching jacket.

I open my wardrobe to retrieve a pair of Levi's and ........ What the fuck?? My jacket and tie are hanging up.

Memories of the afternoon's events slowly return and I recall staggering through the door and hanging up my jacket and tie.......I check my trouser pockets for my phone and realise it's absent. I reach into the inside breast pocket of my jacket that I believe is still on my back to discover no jacket.....then I realise my tie is no longer around my neck......the few seconds between hanging up jacket and tie and believing I'm still wearing them are lost in an alcoholic fug.

So, another mishap caused by an over indulgence in fermented grape juice. All I can say is that no one was hurt in this event and it provides a signpost for life.

Another thing I'd like to say is how boring must the life of a teetotaller be? Never fighting with police dogs, never running in your pants and never losing stuff that you were wearing just seconds ago.

And, of course, never making one evening of Jimmy Savile's life an utter misery.......I think I'll have to resurrect that Jimmy Savile post.



Anonymous said...

You should check out the Commando museum at Spean Bridge next time you are up that way. Plenty of evidence of military derring do, plus suitably lethal artefacts, and action man black 'n white photos to go with it. MtM