I went to a pub quiz on Sunday. I don't know how I was roped into it. I guess that, deep down, I thought I'd be pretty good. This weird guy called Maximilian invited me on to his team. He's a friend of Ben's who is location hunting for a short movie we're making. When I say location hunting, he seems to know a vast number of very rich landowners across the UK and rings them all up to ask whether they've got a county that fits our needs. The director is a bit of a commie and doesn't like this set-up for some reason. I don't give a shit – just as long as we get somewhere to film for as little as possible. Why are movie directors always such left-wing assholes? Surely it's possible to find one that I get on with without having to go all the way back to Leni Riefenstahl? It's only a short movie anyway – it's not like anyone's ever going to pay to see it.
Maximilian (you can't call him Max, he thinks it's "common") drives me to this pub in Chelsea in his vintage Aston. It's depressing when the location finder has a better car than you, but what can you do? I really liked the pub. It had a totally different kind of scene from Notting Hill. Far more rugby shirts and a lot more money floating about. We sat down at a big corner table and waited for Maximilian's team to show up. By the bar there's three fat fucks in England shirts singing some "amusing" rugby song at two Australians. I don't get rugby. You guys give us hassle for having the "World" Series in baseball...
"How can it be a world series when there's only one country that plays..."
Listen up you morons. It's called the World Series after the World newspaper that first sponsored the Series. Rugby, however, is a game played by mentalist meatheads in which you are constantly beaten and humiliated by your ex-colonies (these being the only countries that play the game). On top of that, it must be the only game in the world where you can be totally annihilated by the opposition and then still end up in the final. How does that work?
You guys have already lost. You can't just carry on.
Also, Jonny Wilkinson as a national hero? I know you guys are short of charisma over here, but Jesus... the guy has had a lobotomy. I've watched lampstands with more exciting characters. He comes off the field and he's just got into the final and he is like: "Yes... it is very good... must go to the library..." You know I'm right on this. Anyone who doesn't fancy watching a bunch of porky beer monsters trundle around a French field on Saturday – all back to the Cooperdome for some cheesy cookies.
The quiz team joined us. They were a curious bunch – all posh, but not in a stylish way. I've still got to get my head round the fact that really posh people over here dress like hobos. Anyway, the quiz starts and these guys' heads start swelling in and out like huge electric pistons. The questions are unbelievable. Stuff about physics, classical music, cricket... Pretty soon I realise that I'm not going to be of any use here and slip away from the table as they're trying to work out a series of photographs of famous people. When I say famous, they might have been fairly well-known in 1906 but I didn't have a clue.
I slipped out of the pub and wandered down to Fulham Road where I knew a relatively cool bar that I could hide away in. Unbelievably, this had also turned into a rugby beerodrome. Before I could turn and leave there's a huge bunch of fat people singing "Baldie, baldie, who's going to slap the bald-headed monster?" at me!!! I'm not in the remotest worried about being a bald guy. Having a head this smooth has got me into a couple of places that these guys could only dream about. Having said that, the situation was pretty menacing, so I beat a dignified retreat, pretending that my cell had gone off.
Chelsea is no longer what it was, even a year ago. It used to have class. I realise that I'm not very far from Hugh Grant's house so I go ring on the door, just on the off-chance. He's in and in a very good mood. He ushers me into his seriously impressive lounge, where he'd got a fine bottle of Chivas open. We down a couple of tumblers and kick back. This is a lot better – Hugh is my idea of a classy Brit and he's got a wicked sense of humour. We get talking about directors and Grant is totally with me on this score.
I tell him about seeing a cut of Stardust, the new Matthew Vaughn vehicle. Let's just say this one won't be troubling the Academy, come Oscar time. And it's made even worse by a series of pointless cameos. Ricky Gervais is in it. He's fast becoming the movie equivalent of John Cleese. You know what I mean? You see a movie advertising the fact that Cleese is in it; what that actually means is that he'll come roaring over a hill for 10 seconds shouting "Helllooo" in that annoying way before grabbing the cheque and running off back to his shrink. I tell Hugh about this and he howls with laughter. Suddenly he looks at his watch and then flicks on his plasma.
"Sorry old man, I want to see the Argies getting whipped by South Africa."
I left him to it and went home. Anyone fancy it? Cooperdome, 8pm this Saturday? It'll be a blast. We can even play ball games if it feels right. Cooper Out.
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