Dom Joly: Hippos, hookers and the late Lucky-Ducky

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The Independent Online

There's a thin line between "loving wife" and "overly protective". I rolled into my swanky West End Hotel one evening this week after another champagne-fuelled paparazzi mission and rang Stacey, but she was watching something awful on TV and said she'd ring me right back. The next thing I remember, it was morning. I rang Stacey, who sounded a bit weird. She asked me if I was aware of what had happened the night before. She'd rung my mobile - no reply. She'd then got the hotel to ring my room - no reply. She'd then strong-armed the hotel into sending a "security guard" into my room, convinced I was choking on my own vomit. Thank God I'd put away my crack pipe and ushered the Georgian hookers out of my room. Imagine the phone call...

That chisel-jawed receptionist who claims he's actually an actor: " Hello, Mrs Joly. I'm ringing from the overpriced, soulless West End hotel where your husband currently pays £5.50 should he fancy a KitKat."

Stacey: "Is he dead?"

Chisel-jawed receptionist: "Far from it. Actually, he's very, very wide-eyed, and very wide, wide awake. In fact, he's actually got some... young friends in the room with him."

Stacey: "Women? Are there women in the room?"

Chisel-jawed receptionist: "Well... they're more young girls really. Is he a teacher of some sort? The girls both have gym slips on and he has a cane."

The grim reality, however, was far worse. The thought of a security guard entering to find a naked me sprawled out on my bed snoring like a hippo. Oh the shame! If I was that security guard (it won't be long now), I wouldn't have been able to resist slipping out my mobile and taking a picture. Then I'd just send it to one friend, who'd just send it to two mates, etc. And then suddenly my bum is the most popular mobile screen-saver in Guildford.

Maybe I've just been a paparazzo too long and other people don't think this way?

I am also secretly quite chuffed as to how much concern Stacey shows for my welfare. Especially considering the huge life insurance policy that she's insisted on me taking out recently. I was a little upset at such a random request but then a couple of weird accidents happened to me and I realised she was probably right. I was coming down the stairs one morning and I slipped on some roller skates and just managed not to break my neck. Then, while I was driving into Cirencester, I realised that my brakes weren't working. I managed to stop by ramming my pick-up into a tree. When I spoke to the garage they said that the wires had been cut... those pesky kids, they're so naughty.

I recounted all this to Stacey and she laughed and laughed. To make up for it she has booked me a surprise holiday: she's put my name down for an extreme skydiving course in Bulgaria. Apparently, the instructors are not as experienced as in other places, but that's why she got it so cheap. That's what I love about her: she's always thinking about money.

When I got home from London this week the house was a veritable hive of activity, as we had acquired a new pet: a week-old duckling that Jackson had named "Lucky-Ducky". A builder had found her on the road and brought her in. The kids fell in love and were building her living quarters in the garden. She was certainly quite cute. Stacey took me out for an overnight surprise to Barnsley House (they were having a Fugu supper, some deadly poisonous Japanese fish that has to be cooked just right; or else) and I have to admit that I was missing the dumb chum already. Sadly, when we got back the next day, the kids were in tears. Lucky-Ducky had died in the night. Unlucky ducky.

I tried to call the vet to find out what went wrong, but my mobile was jammed by all this spam of some naked guy in a hotel room surrounded by a bunch of laughing security men. Jesus, does anyone really want to see this kind of stuff?

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