Cooper Brown: He's Out There

'I'm just about to get started on a spare bottle of bourbon when there's a knock on the window'
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The Independent Online

Following my frisky interlude with the neighbour, Victoria realised that freezing me out was not bothering me that much, so she's switched tactics. She has now demanded that I come down to the cottage in the country every weekend. She's a smart cookie, that girl, and that's why the impending mini Cooper is going to be a world-beater. With our genes, what could go wrong? Expected birth date is around 10 March and things are getting very serious.

I drove down on Friday evening after a particularly heavy day at the office. Suddenly everyone wants Borat-type movies. Every comedian in the UK who can put on a moustache and talk down to poor people is being contacted and offered stupid amounts of cash to make a movie. Looks like the Brits are coming... into serious amounts of cash. Ricky Gervais is doing a movie in Australia where he pretends to be a lord and gets into all kinds of funny scrapes with idiot Australians. We've also got a project for Peter Kay where he plays an amateur entrant in the Tour de France who totally takes the piss out of the dumb French. There's a lot going on right now and, amazingly, it's cool to be British in the movie industry.

Anyway, I sit in four hours of traffic on the M4 and finally get to the cottage at about 10 in the evening. Victoria has already gone to bed and I've got nothing to do. I'm just about to get started on a spare bottle of bourbon when there's a knock on one of the stupid little windows. At first I think it's a peasant burglar and I get ready for action, but this face outside is waving and smiling, so I go to the door and this guy introduces himself as Victoria's younger brother, Hugo. I'd never met him before. I thought he was teaching at some school in New Zealand, but it turns out that he got the headmaster's daughter pregnant and got fired, so he's back in the UK. He seems quite a cool guy, if a little excitable, and he wants to go for a drink at the local pub. So we get in the Quattroporte, which he goes crazy about, and zoom down to the nearby village where there's a cute, old thatched pub which looks like it's just waiting for someone to set light to it. We push the door open and the whole place goes totally quiet and I'm sure that we're going to be lynched, until they recognise Hugo who, apparently, didn't used to have a beard. Everyone relaxes and we're suddenly at the centre of some weird village party. There's a couple of "chavs" playing wooden skittles in one corner and we end up drinking gallons of bitter courtesy of the landlord. It's strong stuff and I'm soon really tanked. I check my Tag and it's midnight. I ask Hugo about pubs closing down here. Apparently they can do what they like now and we sit in on what they call a "lock-in", where nobody else can come in but we can stay. We drink with the landlord and some of the people who work on the estate. Hugo is a total party animal and introduces me as his future brother-in-law. Everyone drinks several toasts to the impending arrival of a baby. I start to really enjoy myself and decide that the country might be fun after all.

We finally stagger out of the place at three in the morning. I tell Hugo that I don't have a key to my cottage and he tells me that there is one in the main house, which slightly annoys me, but it's useful right now. We stagger up the drive and get to the big wooden front door. This is when I realise that Hugo is a bit of a liability. He starts patting his pockets for the keys and finally admits that he never had any keys as he hasn't even told his parents that he's back yet. He's been delaying the inevitable as his dad is going to go mental that he left this job in New Zealand that he'd set up for him. I tell him not to worry as I am the new bad boy of the family and they'll be delighted to see him.

We go round the back where Hugo says there's a loose latch on a window. There isn't and, just as I'm thinking about sleeping in the car, Hugo suddenly picks up a huge metal thing that you use to scrape mud off your boots and hurls it through a big plate-glass window. Everything goes nuts. Security lights come on and a siren thing starts going, along with some strobey flashing alarm. Hugo starts laughing and runs off into the nearby woods howling like a wolf. He is clearly mentally unstable.

I'm trying to decide what to do when a window upstairs opens and I can see the bleary face of my father-in-law looking down at me. He sees the broken glass then me, and I think he's going to have an embolism. He goes bright red and tells me that this is the final straw and he actually is going to kill me. He disappears for a minute as I try to shout up what happened. Then, I swear to God, he comes back with a frickin' shotgun and starts loading the thing. I run round the corner, get into the Quattroporte and burn off. I'm totally stressed and very drunk so this is not the best idea and I don't even make it to the gates of the estate. I smash sideways into an oak tree that I didn't even see. I'm OK, the Quattroporte isn't. I decide to just sleep in the wreckage, all will be sorted in the morning. Hugo had better be there to sort shit out. His trust fund is paying for the repairs. Cooper out.

scoopercooper@gmail.com; www.myspace.com/scoopercooper

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