In vino veritas? You're darn tootin'
Friday 11 February 2005
"Hi, Adrian," I said. "How's everything?"
"It's outta sight, cat," he said. "Hey, do you dig the tea scene?"
While I was trying to work out what he meant by this, he steered me into a Russian Tea Room adjacent, and ordered me a pot of Earl Grey.
"I had you down for a latte man, Adrian," I said. "What's all this tea business?"
"Tea is the new scene, man. It's where it's at."
"And why are you talking in this strange 1950s hip style?"
Adrian's shoulders slumped for a moment. Then he recovered.
"I've been looking after the interests of an unreconstructed rock'n'roll star of the 1950s," he said, "and the way he talks has finally got to me. Sorry about that. I must watch it."
"And is tea really making a comeback?"
"You're darn tootin'," he said.
"Darn tootin'?" I said. "Darn tootin'?? That's not 1950s talk. That's 1930s jive talk! What's with you?"
"1930s was the era of tea," he said. "My tea clients are in love with the 1930s. They even like to talk 1930s lingo. Who am I to gainsay them?"
"Aren't you doing any work in the 21st century at all?" I said.
"You bet your sweet bippy," he said, and winced as he said it. "I've just been working with ..." - he looked round to make sure nobody was looking - "Robert Kilroy-Silk."
"Adrian! You should be ashamed of yourself."
"He came to me," shrugged Adrian. "Wanted a new name for his new party. Thought I could come up with one. Something a bit classical and classy."
"You are responsible for the name `Veritas'?"
"You don't like it?"
"It ... It reminds me of something they used to have written on those grand old marble urinals made by people like Doulton. Didn't they have `Veritas' written on them?"
"No, I think it was `Sanitas'."
"Well, same difference."
"Not at all! It just proves that one-word titles have always been winners! Have you noticed that trade unions are all tending to have one-word titles, also with Latin overtones? Like Amicus? Or Corus?"
"I think Corus is a construction company."
"Whatever," said Adrian, unabashed. "Then think of Equity. The actors' union. That's been around for years and years. One-word title. Latin. Doesn't mean much. Sounds great. Ideal."
"Still, Veritas ... People will immediately think of `In Vino Veritas', won't they?"
"Vino," mused Adrian. "That would be a great name for the journalists' union."
"There's already a wine bar in Fleet Street called El Vino," I said. "You couldn't use the same name."
"Don't be daft," said Adrian. "There are already a dozen firms called Veritas. All names and words have been used already. Occasionally you come across a new usage, admittedly. Not long ago I was asked to come up with a new name for an embattled pub group. I had a stroke of genius. Inn-Fighting!"
"Very good," I said. "I bet they didn't use it."
"No," he admitted. "Still, I have earmarked lots of other good words should any other institution come to me asking for a one-word title. Nullity. Quiddity. Probitas. Vanitas. Euphoria. Hysteria ... No, maybe, not Hysteria. But I have got one really good one lined up for the future. A name for a theatre union which would look solely after the interests of unemployed actors."
"It's good," I said.
"Solid, tooty," said Adrian happily.
I wonder what decade he had wandered into this time.
Life & Style blogs
A daily walk 'can add seven years to your life'
Your best friend as a teenager can determine how healthy you are as an adult
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus battery capacity will be weaker than predecessors, Apple leaks suggest
Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 1 Kermit the Frog has a new girlfriend named Denise
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
£22000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role is a mixture of office...
£17100 - £20900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...
£19000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...