“It’s very kind of you to ask us to stay,” I thanked Short Tony, having turned up at his house with a six-pack of beer and a hungry expression. “Are there any cold ones? I’ll just sit down there, in the shade, out of the way.”

Short Tony sighed. “I’ll dig out the barbeque charcoal.”

“We could actually do with using up some food,” commented Mrs Short Tony. “My fridge-freezer is full of rook.”

I stared at her, wondering whether this was some form of password. Or a euphemism. The LTLP and I are close to the Short Tonies, but we are not into that sort of thing at all.

“Yessss?” I reply.

“Len the Fish brought it round,” she added, explaining all. “I was trying to work out how to cook it. But then Len mentioned he didn’t eat it, and frankly if Len doesn’t eat it then…” She left the sentence unfinished.

“I’m not sure I fancy it,” she continued, finishing the sentence.

“Oh, I’d be up for a bit of rook, I’m sure,” I said. “Rook pie? Isn’t that how you normally cook it?” I asked, coining a new definition of the word ‘normal’. “Whatever.”

We sat in the garden in the uncomfortable heat. 42357 hours later, the barbeque was ready. I helped myself to the home-made burgers, premium sausages and chicken pieces.

“This is delicious chicken,” I complimented Mrs Short Tony. “I can’t place the taste. How did you make it?”

“Oh that was Short Tony,” she replied, averting her eyes and changing the subject.