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Saturday, 15 November 2008

TAPA OR TAPAS?

While two million suckers ring up the Bulli Restaurant to get a seat the annual tapas competition gets into swing here. Opening night was at the latest hotel with the usual mob including the Queen of Ligging, our mayor. He was found stuffing his face with a vol au vent or two while the rest of us tried to get a drink. Mr Mayor was overheard, over a deconstructed tortilla, saying that the tapa in question was in his estimation, 'estupenda', and the roof of his mouth told him it was of the best or highest quality and was, culinarily, very good. Fair play, but he didn't stop there. These small delicacies he went on to say, were, 'just one more element of improvement for the town, blah blah, can only be a good thing, promotion is what we need', you know the usual shite about how we can put our town on the map. Meanwhile, Mercedes upstairs can't go out in her wheelchair for tapas 'cos she hasn't got a pavement to ride on. I remember a night at the local theatre where he did go on about how great everything was and how the amateur dramatic society was probably the best in the universe and when someone starting clapping before he had finished I remarked to the woman next to me that I thought it a bit rude, the clapping bit of course. 'If somebody doesn't take the initiative he will go on all night' she replied.

With the mayor eating his head off, the rest of the townsfolk did the same and it was the usual gang warfare as they battled their way to the bar as if there were no tomorrow. People who had been let out for the first time ate and screamed like wolves as I and my companions tried to make ourselves understood without resorting to the same. I dug my heels in and refused to budge just to see if the rumpus would spill out into the street.

While I was contemplating the possibilities of this, several drivers were driving around town in a state of inebriation and were the next day quoted in the paper as driving in ' an irregular, hasty and audacious manner' which could put the rest of us at risk. With the town in a state of frenzy the police decided to surprise and arrest someone who was lurking in my road carrying one of my favourite words, 'estupefacientes'. That's drugs to you and me.

With everyone spinning around town I feel a night in wouldn't go amiss so it's off to bed with Kingsley or Jeremy Paxman or both if they are lucky. Let's hope the monkeys next door as Henderson has started to call them, don't wake us up with their incessant wailing and moaning and tossing of fruit peel and skin onto our terrace.

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