Dom Joly: Before You Go

On the naked night patrol
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The Independent Online

Lobsters! They're everywhere!" This was the latest 3am cry from my nervous sleeper of a wife the other night. To be worried about lobsters down here in Gloucestershire, close to being the most land-locked place in the country, is a little odd, even for Stacey. I can only assume that she was worrying about the extraordinary price of the barnacled bastards in the plush gastrodomes that surround our country idyll. Nevertheless I was dispatched off on one of my naked night patrols round the grounds to see if I could spot any crustacean intruders. I think she assumes that my naked patrol will scare off anything that comes across me in the dark. In the case of lobsters, she might be correct as I have consumed so many of their tribe that I am probably regularly named as a serial killer on the lobster kingdom's equivalent of Crimewatch.

I finally returned to bed, not having come across a single member of the seafood platter club, to find Stacey asleep again. I suppose that I am secretly quite pleased that she feels that I am some sort of protector. It does, however, sometimes annoy me, having to step carefully over the sleeping body of my dog, Huxley. He doesn't wake up for anything at night and yet barks at every car that passes the house in the daytime. He clearly assumes that he works on a nine-to-five basis and so, until I bring up the subject of flexi-time, he feels free to snooze at night.

I had a period recently when I was very into paintball. Well, I bought four paintball guns with all the accessories but then remembered that I don't have any friends. I tried to play it with the kids for a while but Stacey felt that it was unfair as Jackson has yet to learn to walk and Parker is only four. Nevertheless, I kept two guns constantly loaded under my bed for a while until Stacey thought she heard a voice on the footpath late at night. I crept up and let the strange voice have it with both barrels thinking it was a paparazzo. It turned out to be the local district councillor trying to get reception on his mobile phone. I actually received quite a slew of congratulatory cards after the event, but the poor man was peppered with orange and red welts for four or five days afterwards.

He also happens to be on the local planning committee and I'm sure that this had something to do with their refusal of my application to open a small Dom Joly museum in one of my outbuildings. Their excuse was that they didn't feel that the project was a "viable commercial concern". This just shows how out of touch with popular culture and "young" Britain these old farts are. I'm cool though. I know what I'm doing with my career. Who held out and said no to turning on the Lechlade Christmas lights for two years running, knowing something bigger would pop up? Yes. Say hello to this year's official Cirencester-Christmas-light-turner-onner! Who knows, next year could be Oxford, even Cheltenham? If the museum was open, there could be audio-visual displays of events like these, so people could see them again and again without having to be invited for dinner at mine.

I could feel the blast of a mushroom cloud rise over nearby Fairford as Sharon Davies received the news from her agent that I'd snatched the lights from under her nose. She's clearly been after that gig since she moved down here, using the steam fair and fun runs as calling cards. Well, she'll probably get Fairford now but everyone there will actually wish that they were in Cirencester with the hip crowd.

It might be Davies who keeps turning on my motion-sensitive security lights. They've gone off four times in the last three nights so something's out there. Actually, come to think of it, wasn't she a swimmer? It all makes perfect sense now. Using her aquatic skills she could easily have swum here up the river dressed as a lobster. Maybe Stacey did see something after all. Davies must have dived into my pool when I came out to investigate and then scuttled back to Fairford afterwards. I've got an old lobster pot in the garage, might do a bit of fishing in the river, see what I can catch. *

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