“Another drink, Sir?”
Boris, King of Oxford didn’t look like he needed another drink. He reclined in awkward repose upon a blue velvet 18th century chaise longue, resplendent in a silk Japanese robe and little else. Except for the crown, of course. One must not forget the crown. Boris never did. He turned his head towards the very nice man who was offering him another drink.
“A humble measure would suit me decorously, old bean!” Boris replied, with some enthusiasm.
His obliging companion was his permanently irritated butler, Snetterton. I say his butler – Snetterton had buttled at Blenheim Palace for over thirty years before King Boris had declared his sovereignty and booted out the Duke of Marlborough, claiming the estate as his own.
“And what form will the humble measure take this time, Sir?”
“Oh. Well – what was the last one?”
“The last one was a creme de menthe, Sir,” replied Snetterton, eyebrow twitching furiously. “The one before that, was a Pernod.”
Before the bemused Boris could answer, an almighty crash and shower of shattered glass erupted from the bay windows, encouraged no doubt by the trilby-wearing figure travelling through it apace. Boris sat up with a start, causing the silken robe to suppress yet less of his sturdy assemblage. Snetterton tutted.
“It would appear that Mr Nigel Farage is here to see you, Sir.”
“Farage! Bing-bang-bully-o for that! Well, if it’s Farage invading my supplicatory shack I suppose it had better be pints all round, what!”
Snetterton effectuated the most subtle eye roll known to man.
“Certainly, Sir. Two pints of what, would you suggest?”
“Chablis, if you will, Snetterton. Cheesy Nige! You bugger!” Boris flung his arms wide, inviting a manly embrace.
King Boris had devised the nickname ‘Cheesy Nige’ from frequent and deliberate mispronunciations of ‘Farage’ as ‘fromage’. Farage tolerated it, on the grounds that he had been called far worse.
While Snetterton retreated to the drinks cabinet, Nigel got uneasily to his feet and limped towards what he deemed to be a distinctly uninviting-looking Boris. Keen to avoid any physical contact, Nigel perched himself at the far end of the chaise longue and cast furtive glances in the direction of an industrious Snetterton.
“Quite an entrance you made there, chum,” remarked Boris. “That calls for a drink! Huzzah!”
“It was your bloody dogs!” Nigel cried. “They chased me all the way from the bloody carpark.”
“It’s not a carpark, you ridiculous peasant, it is a sweeping approach.”
Snetterton returned with two magnificent pints of Chablis and the mood improved immediately.
“So, what word have you from the blasted Other Place?” asked Boris, hardly noticing that a small pool of Chablis had gathered in his navel.
“Well, they nicked my dusters for a start!”
“But they definitely do have Blair. He is tied to a chair in the kitchen at Number Ten.”
Boris took another gulp of wine, managing to keep most of it in the region of his mouth.
“Aha! Just. As. I. Thought!” Boris punctuated his proclamation with wild jabs of his enormous fist. “But how to winkle him out! What’s the security situation like? Big burly buggers brandishing blunderbusses and whatnot?”
“Well, there’s a rather erratic woman with a broom,” replied Nigel. “And the Chancellor of the Exchequer looks like he’s got a good right hook on him. Left hook too, really.”
“Hmmm, well…” Boris huffed contemplatively for a brief moment. “I’m not sure we’re up to taking on brooms and the ilk. Definitely not Chancellors, either. Vicious bastards.”
“I thought you were on the verge of going to war with them?” spluttered Nigel, almost spilling his pint. But not quite. Those years in the tree had taught him to preserve every precious drop.
“We-ll…” huffs became harrumphs as Boris sought the appropriate terminology. “It is one thing to be on the verge of war, and quite another to be actually at war. I can see how the simpler sorts might confuse the two, but let me be clear – it really is quite straightforward.”
“So – you’re not going to war, then?”
“Listen, listen – you know how it is, don’t you, you old roister-doister?” Boris almost toppled as he reached over to slap Nigel amiably on the back. “Old Bozza had been on the sauce with some bumchums from the Bullingdon and things got a bit out of hand, you might say. Ended up ringing the PM – carpe diem – and before you can say boo to a kipper, I’ve gone and got the big gun out. And then I declared war. Bahahahahahaaa!”
Boris slapped his naked thigh and allowed himself several moments of self-indulgent guffawing.
“Yes, and it’s not like the good old days where the Government could just cover these things up,” said Nigel, nodding.
“God, I miss a good Government cover-up,” sighed Boris, whistfully.
“My favourite one was where they managed to suppress the fact that Cherie Blair and Pete Doherty were actually one person.”
“But anyway, it’s quite the pickle I now find in my sandwich – make no mistake about it!” Boris motioned for Snetterton to refill their glasses.
“Might I make a suggestion, Sir?” Snetterton asked, plucking his master’s glass rather forcefully from his hand. “If you are not going to war, then perhaps you should try the other method.”
“The other method?” Boris creased his brow, before it hit him. “Aha! Right you are! Well, that particular area is Bozza’s eminent dominion, I shall get right on it.”
A small groan from Snetterton.
“Sir, I was thinking of diplomacy.”
“Oh, that.” Boris dropped his shoulders just slightly. “No doubt I can incorporate elements of statecraft into my offensive, if I really am compelled to do so, but really, Snetterton, you should know me by now.”
“So what are you actually going to do?” Nigel asked, really getting into his stride with the Chablis, now.
“Why, I shall do no more than seduce the Prime Minister!” Boris roared, triumphantly. “By the loins of Eros, I shall settle our dispute not with the art of war but with the art of love. Well, the art of a naughty fumble, perhaps. Nonetheless, in the hands of King Boris she will be as that stuff that holds the windows in.”
“Don’t be so disgusting, Snetterton.”
“Are you really sure that will work?” Nigel squinted, doubtful.
“Absolutely it will!” Boris jumped to his feet. “Belts off, trousers down and diplomatic relations will be restored in less time than it takes to boil an egg. Huzzah!”
“Huzzah indeed, Sir.”