By the time you read this I should be in Iran... skiing. Yes, I know it's a bit of a weird weekend break, but I saw a picture of two women snowboarding in full burkhas, asked where it was, and now I'm off to have a look.
It does help that the ski resort isn't too far from the caviar-producing centre of the world, so it hits all the right buttons. Some people seem to be under the impression that this is something of a dangerous trip. I have pooh-poohed these suggestions, but you can never be too sure. So just in case, here are the ground rules.
If I'm taken hostage, I don't want any form of "celebrity" charity song calling for my release. I especially don't want such a song if it involves anyone from any TV music show, The Nolan Sisters, Kylie, Tony Blackburn, anyone from 'Big Brother', anything R&B and especially not Edith Bowman. Under really special circumstances, but only if it's a top tune, I wouldn't be too upset at something by The Cure, David Bowie or Prince... Anything else, forget it.
Similarly, as my status is still tentatively that of "comic", I don't want any big comedy-fest in my name. I don't want to end up in a cell watching a DVD that the Red Cross have sent me containing footage of Jimmy Carr, the two weirdos on 'The Friday Night Project' or Jonathan Ross waffling on. I wouldn't mind Shelly Berman doing something, oh and maybe Bill Hicks, but he's dead. Apart from that, nothing, nada, diddly-squat.
As for ribbons being tied around lamp posts and car bumpers, that scene's a bit crowded right now and I'm not sure if there's a colour left. I'd quite like something purple with a hint of Paisley if possible.
If anyone is going to send me messages on the BBC World Service, I'd like it not to be Terry Waite. Also, under no circumstances do I want Terry Waite to come and try to secure my release. The very thought of having to share captivity with him gives me the shivers. That's all I can think of for now. I'm not really worried about the trip – I just want to be prepared.
Don't get all down, worrying yourselves about this – there is a plus side if it does happen. Channel 4 might finally let me make another series of 'Trigger Happy TV'. I'd get a new shiny suit from the Iranian President like the ones he gave those UK sailors. I'd also get a cushy book deal with lucrative serialisation rights in the newspapers. I would be wheeled out (for a fee) to comment on all matters hostage-related from now until time immemorial. In fact, this could be just the break I need.
I hope I get to do a video... Not one of the ones with knives and throats, but one of the ones where I get to call Gordon Brown and George Bush imperialist bastards and sons of Satan and so on. I'd walk it. It'd be like a screen test really. I'd get publicity that would even make Ricky Gervais jealous. This is going to be great.
The only real negative is that I now have an Iranian entry visa in my passport. Once I've made all my money from the hostage cash-in, I'll pop over to Miami to stay in my new pad in South Beach. At Miami airport, I'll be stopped as usual. They'll notice I was born in the Lebanon and they'll take me to the special room like they always do. And they'll see the Iranian visa.
"Excuse me, sir, could you tell me what you were doing in Iran?"
"I was skiing."
"Bend over, sir, and relax while I put on my latex glove."
They might get so suspicious that I would be the victim of an extraordinary rendition to... Iran, where they'd get them to do me over and I'd be back at square one.
It's not easy, this travel lark. You really need to think about what you're doing and the potential implications. Luckily, I've done that, so I'm sure everything will be all right. See you next week, I hope. If not, Terry Waite can write my column while I'm "away". At least, that way, I'll definitely get it back when I return. Wish me luck.Reuse content