Friday, early hours. Next door.
Big A has fallen asleep on the sofa. There is no sign of the girls. Short Tony and I are tired of waiting up for them.
We decide to fetch them home and fall out into the dark night. The hundred yard journey to Big A’s house in stretched to a couple of miles in our particular zig zag fashion.
The house is quiet, the curtains drawn. We are still cross about being fed this ridiculous ‘cosmetics party’ spiel.
As we walk up the front drive I have an idea.
“Let’s see if we can find a gap in the curtains,” I suggest. “We might be able to catch them red-handed in their lewd outfits of shame.”
We tumble into the front garden and up to the large bay window. We are extremely quiet as only drunk people can be, with lots of whispering, giggling and hisses of ‘sshhh!!!’ There is no gap in the curtains, but a noise from within suggests that our plan has been rumbled.
“Quick!” cries Short Tony. “Into the bushes!”
We leap into the bushes.
The front door opens and a couple of people emerge. Phrases such as “I could have sworn I heard something” are bandied. The door closes again.
“Wouldn’t it be funny,” observes Short Tony, “if we rang the doorbell and then hid again?”
I consider this. I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of British comedy from the late seventies onwards including the UK stand-up scene, coupled with a single appearance at the Edinburgh Festival dressed in a tutu. However, ringing the doorbell and then hiding would clearly surpass anything that anybody had ever done in the name of being funny, ever in the world, ever.
Short Tony creeps out, tiptoes to the door, pushes the bell and then dives back into the bushes.
Again the door opens and there are confused noises, before the ladies retreat back inside.
We are beside ourselves with glee. The girls seem unable to work out what is happening. I reflect that they are clearly embarrassingly drunk, as I crouch sniggering in the rosemary bush with another grown man.
This is probably what Kevin Spacey was really up to.
“Right,” whispers Short Tony. “Your turn.”
I scuttle towards the front door.
[Five turns later]
“You know what?” I ask Short Tony, as once more the girls retreat inside in confusion. “We could do this all night and it wouldn’t become boring.”
[Three turns later]
They are scouring the front garden with a torch. But they are rubbish at finding us. We are like two Norfolk Andy McNabs, using our resourceful survival skills to remain hidden in the rosemary bush.
[Two turns later]
Blows from a large rubber torch rein down on my arms and upper body, as I struggle to protect my head. “You bastards, you bastards!” Mrs Big A keeps repeating. “We were really worried!” Our attempts at apologies intermingle with nervous laughter and howls of pain.
I hadn’t realised that they sold torches at Ann Summers parties. It is probably a Vag-lite.
The LTLP stands back from the scene with her arms folded, looking cross.
“You were a bit late,” I explain. “I came to fetch you home.”