Tuesday 18 September 2007

More balls

I had a pint recently with another Journal columnist, who told me that he opens the paper every Tuesday with a shaking hand, in case I have stolen his idea for the week. In the way that one can so easily steal someone else’s parking space by simply driving into it before them.

I told him to think himself lucky. I open The Journal with a shaking hand every single day. But then I am an alcoholic.

I only appreciated the true horror of his position on Saturday, when I found that our beloved Wife in the North had filled half a page with an account of the Conservatives’ Grand Ball I had attended the previous weekend, for the sole purpose of having something to write about.

Of course, I should have covered it last Tuesday, but was unable to do so owing to the massive hangover that I was nursing for 48 hours after the event.

Still, I feel I can’t simply let it go. These things may be a regular event in the O’Reilly household, but the last one I attended was a May Ball at my college in Cambridge 30 years ago. They served swan, because they can. It isn’t up to much. Say what you like about the grimness of life Up North, but we certainly have better ingredients. As well as bigger breasts.

Because Judith O’Reilly, not being a paid-up, die-hard Tory like myself, has unfortunately blown the cover on our secret weapons. We have a massive advantage in the bust department. (And we’ll have no jokes about that being where George Osborne would lead us.) The phone lines have apparently been red hot all week as Alan Beith has desperately contacted glamour modelling agencies in an attempt to shore up his campaign team. But in his heart he must know he’s doomed. Mention Jordan to him and it’s a penny to a pound he’ll think you’re wanting a serious discussion about the geopolitics of the Middle East.

The world’s largest unsupported bosom wasn’t actually at my table at the Ball. Its owner was located in the grander surroundings of the castle itself, surrounded by assessors from a well-known Book of Records. But there was a fine if slightly less ambitious display in my corner of the adjoining marquee. Maybe the organisers of the Alwinton Show might like to consider making this an additional category, between the giant leeks and the dressed sticks, to maintain public interest in the face of the livestock movement ban.

The fact that one of the blokes on my table had a shaven head confused the picture a little as the evening wore on, but apart from that it was just heavenly. I fell madly in love with a lady opposite, but I don’t think it can have been reciprocated as I definitely gave her my card and I’ve been checking my answering service and emails every ten minutes for well over a week now, with precisely no result.

Of course, she might have been put off by my accidental presence in the epicentre of the scandalous kissing incident. Where I live, you don’t often see two attractive women snogging each other, unless you caught the Theatre Royal’s recent production of Aspects of Love. In Dave’s inclusive new Tory party, we take this sort of thing in our stride. Though obviously it’s a bit discouraging for the lucky chaps who had brought the participants along as their partners. Rather like being the England football coach and having your promising new signing turn up for his first training session dressed in whites and pads, with a bat gripped under his arm.

So there you have it. We Conservatives have larger breasts, racier girls and bigger Balls. Oh, and better policies, obviously. Come on Gordon, don’t be shy. Bring that election on.

Originally published in The Journal, Newcastle upon Tyne.

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