Acronyms, God how I hate acronyms. Usually stupid and generally meaningless along with mnemonics they stick in your head to remind you just how stupid you really are. Remember as kids in the parish school the all time classic, ARITHMETIC, A Red Indian Thought He Might Eat Tobacco In Church. What twaddle. Racist diatribe if ever there was one. I mean the only red Indians I knew were constantly having the shit shot out of them in country and western movies. Eat in church was a given no no and who in their right mind would want to eat tobacco for God sake. My dad used to smoke Cabin Cut, Ready Rolled, can I imagine dad hoeing into his tobacco after tea in the lounge, no way.
Anyway the one acronym that makes me tingle with pleasure is POTTY. The Potty Awards, the Priest Of The Tropical Year Awards and yes, I’m in the pipeline to win this year. See I’ve been invited to the Rectory to have dinner with the Bish and an important guest this Wednesday. Not next Wednesday or last Wednesday but the Wednesday before the Saturday night of the awards. Obviously the Bish wants to disclose that I’m this year’s winner so I can have my acceptance speech ready to rock. Oh yes, all 32 pages, ready to roll thanks to the kind Voice who helped me pen an appropriate dialogue.
I enter the Grand Dining Room at the Rectory. It’s dimly lit for the mood and a table is set for three with all of the plates and correct wine glasses. I can see this guest must be someone really special. Belinda informed me the night before that the Bish had asked her to prepare a special feast with an Indian theme, yummy, my favourite. Ah the beautiful Belinda, as the Head Caterer for the Rectory she does a brilliant job, in fact she does a brilliant head [Cut it, stop, Helvi here, now Sandy, best behaviour please, I’ve been waiting for this story, don’t spoil it, otherwise I’ll be round to stick a rollmop where the sun don’t shine] head nod, yes the nod of her head makes me shiver with anticipation.
The Bish approaches with someone by his side, a pale looking man in a flat cap “Sandy, I’d like you to meet Gordon, Gordon O’Donnell”, oh shit, it’s him, the man in the dream about his Stat-o-matic 4000 that he lent to that interminable bore Grigor Ian Chant “Yes we’ve met Bishop” I reply nervously, I mean it’s not every day you get to meet the creator of the universe. “Pleased to meet you Sandy, the Bish has told me lots about you” Gordon declares. Gee, I hope the Bish didn’t tell him about the affair with the housekeeper and my secret liaisons with Belinda. “Here’s the Stat-o-matic 4000 Your Exalted Being” I gush stupidly as I press the little gizmo in Gordon’s direction, “Please call me Gordon or Gordy, no need for formalities here” instructs Gordon as he pockets the device.
Belinda enters the room and as usual her appearance is enough to lighten any room and she directs us to the table. Food is served, Fish Pakoras and Vegetable Samosas to start plus some delightful Chardonnay from the Clare Valley. Mains are Rogan Josh, Chicken Tandoori, Palau Rice and sambals of banana in yoghurt, tomatoes with mint and hot mango chutney. All washed down with a Jim Barry Shiraz. Dessert follows as lemon ice cream and a Botrytis Riesling. I am savouring ever mouthful while the Bish and Gordon debate cricket and without the Stat-o-matic I can’t add anything much except “Oh, yes, Steve Woe was my favourite”. This stops the Bish and Gordon who after a pause burst out laughing “It’s Steve Waugh as in War” Oops. Anyway dinner finishes and the Bish goes off into another room to smoke that stinky stuff and Gordon ushers me into the study for a French Brandy that’s about 200 years old he just happened to find in his cellar and a cigar. How civilised. “Now Sandy, I’m sure you have some questions for me but first how do you feel about space travel?” Gordon asks. “Space travel? What about the Potty Awards?” I inquire lubricated by the fine wine. Gordon smiles “Don’t worry about them, that prick Basil Sauce will win this year. There are bigger plans afoot for you….”