Sunday 12.01am: Having last-tube crisis in Soho. Either run now and get home in time for early night, ready for festive parental visitation tomorrow, or stay and have another quick drink. Or six. Parents due at midday and flat in a state of total chaos, millions of bottles and drug paraphernalia strewn everywhere, three weeks worth of dirty clothes in bedroom, kitchen certain to fail parental standards on health and safety. "L'all give you a hand," mutters Anna. "Chill out..."

12.50am: Seem to have missed tube. Better wait for everyone to get a cab. Try to ask Tinky-Winky, for assistance. "S'your parents, honey," he slurs. "Anyway, I've pulled."

2am: Parents due in 10 hours time. At which point they are expecting lunch. Quick mental calculation: tidy up time (1 hr); washing up (45 mins); extra cleaning to imply usually live in hygienic conditions (1 hr); visit to Sainsbury's and trip to bottle bank so parents don't think am alcoholic (45 mins); take cannabis plants round to neighbours (5 mins); chuck washing under bed (5 mins); remove T-W's copies of Boyz magazine, Robert Mapplethorpe posters ("but it's art, mum") etc from all over house (5 mins); fix doorbell to show now living in non-student, grown-up flat (15 mins); clear weeds from front garden (okay, maybe that's a bit over-ambitious). Total parental rehabilitation time: three hours, 55 minutes. Ten hours remaining, minus four hours rehabilitation equals six hours. Minus one hour to get home and go to bed, equals just under five hours sleep. "May as well stay up all night, then."

5.20am: Home sweet home. "Skin up," says Dylan.

7am: Sure, there's something I'm meant to do today, but just have a little sleep on the sofa first. Can't be that important. Somewhere on periphery of conscience, hear Tinky getting in.

11.02am: Wake up feeling awful. God, flat is in serious mess. Head banging. Need to sleep a bit more. Maybe skin up and then sleep rest of day. "Aren't your parents coming today?" asks Anna, sleepily, from under pile of coats. "Yes," I say calmly. "In about... 55 MINUTES!!!"

11.03am: Down three shots of Alka Seltzer in succession, followed by three tablespoons of instant coffee granules. Rubber gloves, bottle of bleach, hoover, big bin bag. Threaten to bleach/hoover up Anna, Dylan and Lady Camilla unless vacate property immediately. "Always wondered what it must be like to be inside a hoover bag," says Dylan. Tell him to piss off and, please, if he's a real friend, take everyone else, drug paraphernalia and four cannabis plants with him. Rest will fit in wardrobe.

11.45am: Chuck bleach all over bathroom. Leap in Tinky's car well over limit, no insurance ("M'lud... my client's parents were coming to visit!") and off to Sainsbury's where ditch everyone and bounce cheque. Experience Checkout Rage as OAP loses clubcard. "Look!" I want to shout. "It's only worth 2p off an Alton Towers ticket."

12.15pm: Table set, dinner in oven, flat looks like part of Ideal Home exhibition. Still feel sick, but can pretend it's an outbreak of London food poisoning.

12.20pm: Hear sounds of shagging from T-W's bedroom. Torn between discreet coughing and bursting in, grabbing them and throwing them into street naked, when phone rings. It's them. They're just round the corner. They're sorry they're late.

12.21pm: "Oh, hello dear." It's my mum. "We've been trying you all morning, but your phone's been off the hook. Your dad's not well." She coughs guiltily. "We think it's probably food poisoning." Try to sound disappointed. "Maybe some other time," I say, spotting a can of Stella peeping out from under the sofa and easing the ring-pull off. "Or maybe, next time, I should just save you the journey and come to you."

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