As an aspiring writer, my big breakthrough piece of fiction is still unwritten, I have always wanted to visit the Cheltenham Literature Festival. The chance to hob-nob with fellow unpublished sorts and to see in the flesh real authors would be happiness unbound.
Mingling at social gatherings with the lit-set I would forgo the glasses of bubbly on the trays and demand a beer from the Jeeves-like waiter. After all, With Faulks’ powers faltering, I’m the next big thing in town. I’d also ask Jeeves for the big daddy of vol-au-vents, a scotch pie. And I’d tell him to drown the pastry with Bertie Worcester sauce.
At last I could encounter the enfant terrible, though he’s a devilish 66, of this world. The man that has never uttered a cliché, Martin Amis. According to Kingsley, as a toddler Martin’s first word was “orthodontist”. I would hold my own with this master of words. “Marty, there are more Keefs in your books than teeth in a pool of piranha.” One nil up I would run to the corner flag and crouch into a shielding position. All the time watching my opponent like a …dammit, hawk.
The ghost of Shakespeare is never far away and I’d bring the greatest dead writer up to speed with modern times. “Yo, Speare, What about Melania of House Trump and Michele of House Obama? A plagiarism on both their houses.”
In ghostly overtones, the white as a sheet Willy, a cowardly custard of a Casper, would reply in his customary blank verse and iambic pentameter style.
Whooo, always is my works paraphras’d, whoo
Yet the whole truth has not, whoo whoo, will out
My block, my block, curtailed my writing, so
Much that I left it to, you-hoo, Marlowe
That would be time for me to disappear in case the embittered apparition of Marlowe turns up with a dagger in the library.
Couldn’t believe my eyes when I read of this year’s participants at the Cheltenham festival . One in particular stood out as tougher than the rest. He is, The Maestro of the two-footed tackle, The maverick wild card on Question Time that sits in the funny chair, The Tolstoy of Twitter, The Long-Haired Lovable Rogue from Liverpool and he will be talking about his forthcoming autobiography. The gentleman’s name is Joey Barton.
JB is one of our own: a Teddy Bear, a Dan Dare, a chocolate éclair,
a Tony Blair, A Fred Astaire, a jump scare, a fun fair, a bus fare, a kite flying in the air- A Ranger.
With Joey now part of the world’s most successful football club, Glasgow Rangers, I don’t need to go to Cheltenham. I’ll see him on Monday at the next match. The jury’s out on the literary merits of his autobiography so I’ll get him to sign my programme instead.