Smoke skunk, not war
The diary of Emma D May
Sunday 08 February 1998
12.10am: Both sides eyeing each other warily from either side of club. Anna is trying to get Dylan to go home, I am attempting same with Lady Camilla. Both stubbornly refuse to leave. "I lived there first," says Dylan, plaintively. Camilla says she will be homeless if forced to move out, whereas Dylan has lots of friends in London. Dylan points out that her family has three homes, in London, Gloucestershire and South of France. Camilla proclaims she is a New Age traveller and cannot be forced to live a bourgeois existence.
12.40am: Negotiations worsening. Dylan shrieking at Camilla she is just using him as "a bit of rough". Camilla swiftly retaliates with how he is only shagging her for her inheritance of a quarter of a million quid. ("pounds 250,000!! I'd shag her for that," says Tinky Winky, who hasn't gone near a woman since 1987.) We clearly are only seconds away from total breakdown in communication. Just waiting for words: "You were always crap in bed anyway", followed by "I've been shagging [insert random person] for the last [insert hurtful length of time], so there."
1.10am: Camilla: "You were always crap in bed, anyway."
1.11am: Dylan: "I've been shagging someone else for the past three weeks, so there." Take cover. Camilla launches Hooch missile in Dylan-ish direction. Dylan grabs the speed she's clutching and chucks it all over floor. "Ouch!" says Anna, visibly pained.
1.45am: Drag Dylan off to chill-out room. Theory is that if encourage him to smoke enough skunk, that will form basis for peace talks because he will magically transform into "Make love not war" Dylan, a sort of Nineties Vietnam draft-dodger with no interest in fighting.
2.30am: Pre-talks talks conducted between me (representing Dylan) and Vikram (for Camilla), with Anna doing fine impression of Mo Mowlam. Dylan's pre-condition for talks about who owns the house is that Camilla takes back what she said about him being crap in bed. Camilla's is that Dylan never speaks to her again and gets his stuff out by the morning. Tell Vikram that don't think this very constructive. How can a precondition of talking about something be that the other person has to give into their demands before they even meet? Point out that following Hooch bottle incident decommissioning will also need to take place if there is to be any dialogue. Pre-talks talks break down. Mo Mowlam takes me to one side and tells me she doesn't believe I am really interested in peace. She's right. It's Dylan's flat, he's lived there for years - Camilla's just come in for a few weeks and decided she's got some right to annex it for her own. Wonder if making a Toff's Out banner will help or hinder the peace process.
4.00am: Have persuaded Camilla and Dylan to come to the talks table in the chill out room. Vikram gingerly suggests a peace wall, dividing flat between the two. Half of kitchen to Dylan, half to Camilla; one shelf in fridge to Dylan, one to Camilla; left-hand side of bed to Dylan, right- hand side to Camilla. "I always sleep on the right," shouts Dylan. "Do not!" says Camilla. Begin to sense fatal flaw in peace plan... Eventually Camilla says she can agree to partition, although will need initial band of troops to police no-man's land. Pacifist Dylan is in a rage. "But it's my bloody flat!" he keeps shouting. "I just want you and your coriander plants out of there as soon as possible." Mo sighs visibly and kicks off her shoes. Try suggesting they sign up to the Mitchell principles, but no-one can remember what they are and Camilla, toying menacingly with a second Hooch bottle, is patently intending to violate them anyway.
5.00am: Parties have agreed to temporary partition. Leave club exhausted. Agree to resume talks tomorrow.
7.30am: Phone rings back home. "Who gets the duvet?" says Dylan, tearfully. Hear sound of crashing crockery. It seems negotiations may have irretrievably broken down.
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