In vino veritas? You're darn tootin'

I was up in London yesterday, doing my best to boost the tourist figures for the old place, when who should I bump into but my old friend Adrian Wardour-Street, the premier PR publicist.

"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."

"Unemployed actors?"

"Negative Equity!"

"It's good," I said.

"Solid, tooty," said Adrian happily.

I wonder what decade he had wandered into this time.

News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

    £15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

    Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

    Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

    Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

    £18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links