I telephone my friend Salvadore Vincent.

“Ring ring! Ring ring!”

NB that was not me talking, that was a special effect of the phone ringing.

Salvadore Vincent is my best friend (apart from of course the hundreds of you that read this, and Short Tony and Big A, and Unluckyman who is in South America so probably won’t see this anyway and so has gone down the pecking order a bit) and has guested on here before. We don’t see each other much these days as he lives off the beaten track in North West London.

“Hello?” he asks.

“Hullo,” I reply.

The pleasantries out of the way, I ask him my special favour. I lean against a wall in Fakenham town centre, holding my portable telephone like the Important Executive I am. But I need his help.

“Is your PC switched on? Could you go on to the Internet and find one of those lists of wedding anniversaries? You know – paper, cotton, that sort of thing?”

Salvadore starts tappity tapping away at the keyboard in the background.

“It’s just that I’m near some shops, which is unusual, and I don’t know what sort of thing to buy.”

Seconds later, the magic of the internet has delivered the information that I need. “I’ve got one!!!” he exclaims in excitement.

“That’s wonderful. So what sort of thing do I need to buy?”

“Which anniversary is it?”

“This is my second question. I was wondering if you can tell me in what year I got married.”

(A short pause).

“I’m not sure I can, no.”

I sigh into the phone. He is not being helpful after all.

In truth, I am a bit piqued. I spent loads on that wedding, and invited him, and there was a free bar and everything, and a really good band. But it seems that my special day meant so little to him that he can’t even remember when it was.

We chat about other things for a couple of minutes. But my heart is not in it.

It is sad when your friends let you down.

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