A Custard Puff Too Far ...
I nearly didn't make it to the Bards of New Brighton poetry session on Monday night ... because my crap car decided to die on the road to hell (M53) in south Wirral.
The AA Patrol Man found me clinging to a conifer where the highway divides - freezing my nuts off and having an asmtha attack.
I remember grabbing his arm and gushing tearfully: "This is a nightmare; I absolutely MUST get to a poetry meeting in Wallasey."
Quick as a flash, and with a grin big enough to accommodate a whole Burton's Wagon Wheel without blistering the chocolate-flavoured coating, he replied: "Now THAT'S what I call an emergency!"'
My clutch was kaput, apparently, so me and the Patrol Man deftly dumped the Ford KA (short for Kack) at a garage in Heswall.
Then it was onward, cleaving through the bejewelled night, till we reached the Magazine pub, New Brighton, where the Bards had started without me, with the singer-songwriter Guy Taunton MC-ing in my place.
It was a good night. There was magic in the air. There usually is.
People attended from all the other north Wirral poetry clubs, as did plenty of grizzled Bards veterans who've been coming since the early days.
Plus, the great Chris Co and Dave Bradley came from across the water, and the incandescent Isobel from Wigan. Marvellous.
It was such a good atmosphere that I considered it my duty to get disgustingly drunk, both at the Magazine, and later in the very bohemian La Gondola bar in Liscard (Wallasey "town centre").
So far today, I've eaten a fried breakfast, chicken pie and chips, two custard puffs, a meat feast pizza, a baked potato and a sweet mince pie.
But none of it has done any good.
The war I've waged all day with my hangover is lost.
Now I must climb to my bedchamber where a disturbing novel by Michel Houllebecq awaits me.
There will be no Radio 4 news for me tonight. I'm finding the BBC quite sinister in the wake of that Question Time show trial with Nick Griffin.