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MIDEM strikes

January 29, 2012

MIDEM is upon me, so it was important that I had a quiet day leading up to last night as my lawyer, Al Yiddley, was buying me dinner (no doubt at I my ultimate expense) to celebrate his appointment as my litigation lawyer in a High Court action to be launched very shortly. Thus the call from Currencies Direct Tony “I invented the internet” Coombs at 11 30 am to see if it was convenient to pop around for a cup of tea on the way back from Cap 3000, the local shopping centre was, whilst a welcome diversion from self-imposed temperance, was a dangerous impediment to me keeping a clear head for the evenings festivities, and then subsequently the fullest possible enjoyment of my lawyer taking me out to dinner.

My polite enquiry to Mr Coombs; “Will you have something a little stronger” issued one minute after midday was, I now realise, a statement exhibiting a particularly poor piece of situation management. Initially I thought one bottle of fizz would prove sufficient for him and his wife, the lovely fiery redhead Pat for them to feel that they fully celebrated my birthday. Even the second bottle between four of us seemed to be a scenario that I could drag back from the brink, but when I was forced by that nice lady decorator to open the third bottle, and with the Rioja flowing as well, I began to realise I had a problem.

His gift of some Cohiba Cuban cigars clouded my judgement and I stupidly allowed them to undermine my proposed evening activity by allowing myself the indulgence of entertaining them. However, as is something akin to normal, it was internet’s great one that entertained me.

It started with me asking if he was working on anything worthwhile. Internet 2 was his answer, although he was not big on detail, in fact he refused to supply any more details about what Internet 2 could bestow upon us than the internet we all know and love.

The fun started when we began to discuss the swimming pool he had promised his lovely wife he would install in the garden of their house near Grasse. So far, over a period of thirteen years  there seems that any numbers of “reasons” invented by our intrepid inventor which have conspired to allow him to renege on this promise. Can you imagine having a house on the Cote d’Azur with a large garden and sweeping views across tha valley and up to the hills, having a large terraced space ideally suited to the installation of a swimming pool, making a promise to your wife and young children that you would build one, and then finding every excuse under the sun not to give the go ahead for its construction.

The sort of pool that Tony should build?

This seemed like a rich seam of intrigue to mine. The art in these situations is like opening oysters. These tricky little blighters are best opened by sliding a knife into the heart of their being and then forcing them wide open with a series of twisting motions. Let me tell you that in situations such as these I am an artist. So a great deal of fun was had at the expense of our inventor but I have promised not to mention it again, much in the same vein as his promise to have a swimming pool.

And so to Cannes for dinner. Because of the earlier impromtu luncheon I was perhaps not at my best for dinner, or at least if I was then I do not recall the full details. I do recall that we had a drink at The Carlton bar which cost me a little under fifty euros, and then went for at nearby Pastis, a restaurant just behind the Dior shop on the Croisette for a ruinously expensive dinner, so expensive that I felt compelled to pay half the bill, which in itself was more than one would normally want to pay for dinner anywhere. My lawyers alter ego, Al Yiddley was in awesome form and very amusing but I am ashamed to say I recall little of the content except for one phrase “Mushy peadophile” which he used in a context I do not exactly recall and have been racking my brains to imagine any context at all in which it could be used without risking arrest. It will no doubt feature in The Sayings Of Al Yiddley website I intend to launch.

Chris France

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