Lady and the tramp


Sunday 12.01am: Wandering down East-End backstreets looking for pub with convenient lock-in. Unfortunately, most seem to say "Closed due to crack dealing on premises", which, at least, is honest. "Glad to see Zero Tolerance is working somewhere," says Vikram. Feeling perturbed by peculiar changes in Dylan. Vikram reports sighting of boxer shorts drying in D's flat, suggesting that he is now washing his underwear. Anna claims that aftershave overpowering his usual Eau de Skunkweed scent.

12.20am: Eventually find pub which looks like has been transported wholesale from EastEnders set. Landlady suspiciously like Babs Windsor. Eye Dylan cautiously. He has ordered a glass of wine, for God's sake.

12.20am: Conversation stunted due to (a) raucous pub chorus of "Roll Out the Barrel" (b) fact we've been drinking since 11am (c) mysterious Dylan behaviour (d) EastEnders setting making us all maudlin about Bianca losing her baby. Keep wanting to tell Babs the barmaid how sorry we are. "You all right, Dylan?" says Vikram. New Dylan smiles beatifically at some mysterious warm feeling which, for once, appears not to be drug-induced.

1.30am: "There can only be one answer," says Anna, smacking the black ball triumphantly into the pool-table pocket. "Dylan's in love." Feel concerned that she may be trying to divert attention from her outburst at D's birthday party, where she confessed to having shagged Earl Spencer. "About the serial adulterer... " I say, casually. "I've, erm, decided 'Spencer Took Me In the University Debating Chamber Toilets' wasn't really worth the two grand," says Anna. Try not to look too relieved. "Good shag, though," she adds, regretfully. "Shame he was such a bastard." But then, that's what she always says.

2.15am: The Met have nothing on me and Anna. We've cajoled, bullied and emotionally blackmailed Dylan. We've played Good Cop Bad Cop, acted betrayed, said we're worried about him, said if he doesn't confess we'll be forced to start taking the piss out of him about the after-shave smell he is emitting... "It's just a new deodorant," says Dylan, casually, as if he were a perfectly normal person. "What happened to 'Nature's smells are the best' and 'Hair cleans itself'?" asks Vikram. New Dylan saved by the mobile. "Hello?" he says, too eagerly. Then, relieved: "Hi... fine... yeah, great." He has gone bright red. Anna snatches mobile. "Who is this, please?"

2.30am: "It was Camilla, that girl from Dylan's birthday party," Anna reports. "Now, Dylan," she says, switching into barrister mode. "Would it be fair to describe Camilla as your new 'lady friend'?" Dylan mumbles into his wine glass. "The court can't hear you," says Anna. "Yes," says Dylan, miserably. Vikram slaps him on the back in a primeval response triggered, presumably, by his Loaded gene.

3.30am: Start to feel worried about the whole Dylan-Camilla thing. What do her parents do? How many A-levels has she got? Does she think Dylan is one of those dreadlocked trustafarians who spend their twenties living in a squat and then inherit millions when grandma passes away? "Only met her for two minutes," says Vikram. "She seemed, erm, posh."

4am: Irritating winner-stays-on rules mean New Dylan now playing pool with scary East-End villain with "hate" tattooed on knuckles of left hand, but, worryingly, no sign of "love" on right. Where are Phil and Grant when you need them? "Can we meet her, then?" I ask Dylan, tentatively. He mis-cues, to Hate-Knuckles' delight. "Meet who?" says Dylan. "Next Saturday," says Anna, "we're all going out and Lady Camilla's coming too." Dylan looks perplexed. "How did you know she's a Lady?" Swear I can hear the EastEnders cliffhanger drumbeat sounding behind us as we all stand open-mouthed.

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