Monday, 31 May 2010

For the sake of the sick kids

I don’t like losing. I was in the running to be the face of Finn Air, but lost out to that Imran Hakim. You know, the lad with the teddy bears and the scruffy shoes. I was told he has a softer and more positive image – which is why he now flies first class to Shanghai for nothing and has his face on all the billboards and I don’t.

After a bit of research into my brand equity; which roughly translates as taking Lisa Morton to lunch, and asking her what everyone says about me, she bluntly told me I come across as sexist, arrogant and, frankly, “a selfish oaf”. It cut me to the quick did that, and if she wasn’t such a looker I’d have slapped her: just ask Andy Spinoza what happened when he told me what I didn’t want to hear. Alright, I take the sexist and arrogant on the chin, but I’m not selfish. I pay my tax. I cooperate with the investigators and do my bit for charity. Trouble is, I just don’t talk about it enough.

That’s why I decided to devote the last month to good causes.

I put a team in the Premiership Cook Off for the Five Stars Appeal – something to do with sick kids, always a winner with me. It was also at my local, Panacea in Alderley Edge. What a great night.

All the footy boys were there: Wayne Bridge, Shaun Wright-Philips, Robbie “Sav” Savage, some Africans from Stoke and a load of foreign lads from City who’ve been practising like mad as they don’t get to play much since the Ab Dabs started buying players like kids buy Panini stickers.

The only problem with having footballers at events is the auction. Usually the winner is me, winding up the lawyers and bankers by upping the bidding on all these prizes that “money can’t buy”. Not this time, the football lads are rabidly competitive, and they can afford it. Ickle Shaun coughed up £4K to be bullied by Ricky Hatton for the day.

Speaking of competition, once I heard that Rob “John Terry” Cotton was doing his 10k runs in ten countries I had to have a piece of that action. I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t hard work, but I did my bit. And just to show I wasn’t going to be outdone by Imran Hakim, Tony “Mach” Machin, Mike Perls or any of the rest of them I knocked off an extra one in Abersoch when we got back. All the way round, as my joints ached and my heart pounded, I was told to focus on the kids and what it means to them. I couldn’t bring myself to do that, but when I’m the poster boy for a major European airline, then all the pain will have been worth it.

You can still donate here.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Fly away

Well, who saw that coming? As Tony Tighe (he’s grrrrrrreat, geddit?) or maybe it was Mark “Fast” Boler said in the bar at Mere, you can’t go implementing anti-terrorist measures against the Icelandic government without them exacting some sort of revenge, and it’s not like the Cod Wars this time, or like when they went bust and Chris “Purple” Ronnie had to give up his sports shops. They only went and blew up a volcano.

I reckon it all looks like an insurance job. I mean, Iceland goes bust and the island catches fire. Yeah, right. We've all been there before haven't we?

Actually, one of the lads had a bet running that the whole explosion thing was something to do with Russian mobsters getting their own back after their dodgy dosh had been frozen, but I for one am not going public with that sort of slur on the Ivans, I don’t really fancy keeling over in Yo! Sushi! after a tuna and polonium II wrap.

Timing is everything and as luck would have it, the RC Solutions mob had just got back from a team-building session in Banus when the skies got closed down – I wanted to be back over for the Beefy Botham walk in Manchester - so we all had a good laugh at the muppets kipping down in airports and moaning about their “holiday of a lifetime” being ruined. Pass the tissues.

That Mick with the cheap planes where you have to pay to use the bog was funny, refusing to stump up for hotel stays and he had a point to be fair – if you book on Tightarse Tours why should you get the Presidential Suite just because there’s a bit of a delay? The week was a breeze for us, frankly. Took the chopper down to Abersoch for the weekend, job’s a good un.

It’s at times of crisis that the best of breed set themselves apart and my good mate Lawrence “Jonesy” Jones of UKFast took the man of the match prize home. Jonesy and his lads were due over at some “hosting conference” in Verbier – it’s in the Swiss Alps, for the benefit of poor people – but he got told his private jet couldn’t make the trip.

Jonesy’s made of stern stuff though, and commandeered a couple of Porsche Cayennes to do it by road. James “Kighty” Kight from Printerland bet him a quid he wouldn’t make it, which is all the encouragement anyone needs. At one point he had to throw a few quid to the French plod after misunderstanding the speed limit, but they made it to Dickie Branson’s gaff in time. Which when you see the pictures of his marketing girls in the hot tub you'll understand why.

Fair play to Jonesy, I’ll buy him a beer next time I’m at Sale Sharks, as they didn’t get relegated. And the planes are back flying so no harm done. Anyone know when Tony “Fordy” Ford’s next golf trip is?