Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Day Grayson Slapper Helped Me Design My Kitchen


Saturday September 15th 2007 — a day I’ll never forget.


I’d travelled down South with some of the lads from The Ruptured Stallion to see Curvaceous Stilton take on Trudy Hair Warehouse Lads Brilliant.

As we took our seats, the crowd looked ready to rock like nits at an AC/DC gig, and from the moment the ref blew his whistle, we knew we were in for a treat.

Five minutes into the game, and I’d already consumed two hot dogs and downed a passion fruit smoothie. Game on.

Then, just as things were getting going, Davide Dix Entrees was brought down a couple of yards outside the Trudy Hair box. The physios ran onto the field with a stretcher, along with the Frenchman’s personal stripper, and began spraying him with muscle relaxant and cologne.

That’s when I spotted Slapper, edging over to a bunch of disabled kids clamouring for autographs. Precisely the same disabled kids whose seats we’d nicked.

‘Hey, Grayson,’ I cried, ‘over here, mate.’




Within a matter of seconds, I found myself face to face with one of the greatest centre forwards the world has ever known, and with trembling hands, plucked a rolled-up B&Q catalogue from the back pocket of my jeans, turned to the whitest available page and handed the big guy a biro.

‘You want me to sign a toilet?’ he remarked, his expression quizzical.

‘Yeah, sorry.’ I replied. ‘I’m planning my dream kitchen and it’s all I’ve got.’

‘You want to get your skates on,’ he said, inscribing SLAPPER on a slimline cistern. ‘Their sale ends in a couple of weeks. And have you seen the laminate offer on page fifty seven?’ I indicated no with the frankfurter poking from my gob. ‘Here we are, look,’ he said, flipping to the spot. ‘All of these are half price and come with free fitting. Are you looking for something with a marble effect? Wood? Or just a plain colour?’

‘Marble effect,’ I replied, chomping. ‘The missus wants a sort of Roman palace look.’

‘Aaaaaah,’ beamed Slapper, ‘then I know just the taps for you.’ Adjusting his shorts, he indicated a set of fixtures and fittings the wife and I had overlooked. ‘Order before next Friday and you could win a weekend away for three.’

‘Are they proper metal?’ I asked, ‘only some of the ones we looked at in MFI were plastic.’

‘Nah, mate. B&Q only use the best materials. Says here they’re an A grade stainless steel alloy sourced from Denmark. So you can’t go far wrong.’

I studied the pictures. Such a vast range. ‘Which one do you think...’

‘If it’s a Roman effect you’re after,’ replied Slapper with some confidence, ‘I’d go for these ones here. They’re a classic style, durable and clearly marked with shards of red and blue mosaic.’

‘Hmmmmm...’

‘Or you could try this Caesar and Brutus set. Christians and lions? Russell Crowe?’

‘Wow. They’re classy.’

‘Yeah, and they come with a ten year guarantee.’

As the crowd let out a huge roar, I brought up the calculator app on my mobile.

‘So...roughly eight feet of the laminate at twenty quid a foot times 50%—’

I dearly wanted to price up the whole kitchen and telephone an order there and then, but a loud whistle rang out from behind the mighty striker. Dix Entrees now sat cross legged glugging from a 25cl bottle of Pelforth Brune, and at the edge of the scrum gathered around him, some of the Trudy Hair lads were pushing the Stilton captain vigourously.

‘Listen mate,’ said Slapper, ‘I’d better get over there and hit someone.’ He dug his hand in the pocket of his shorts and pulled out a small card. ‘If you need a plumber, I seriously recommend this guy.’

Beaming with admiration, I watched him cross to the ensuing melee and lay out a couple of defenders. Tempted though I was with the taps, in the end, of course, I had to go with the wife’s original choice. Thanks to Slapper, however, I persuaded her to shell out an extra fifty quid on a Caligula towel rail embossed with images of Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis. And I had the autograph blown up and made into a blind over the kitchen sink.

We lost the game that day, but whenever I replay footage of the brawl as I sit in my luxury Romanesque kitchen, I can’t help thinking that, in some small way, we won.

12 comments:

fairyhedgehog said...

That's very, very funny. I even understood parts of it.

writtenwyrdd said...

Funny as always, Whirlio.

Bevie said...

I love the image of two "rough and tough" guys talking kitchens and baths in the midst of a brawl.

Scarlet-Blue said...

Pah! Well I have a Kirk Douglas tea cosy...
Sx

Kiersten said...

You are so, so weird.

I'm glad.

writtenwyrdd said...

Although I fear I must point out that the 'best' faucets are solid brass according to my plumber. given that the cost of the do-it-myself bath fixture was the same as the all metal one he could get for me, and mine was all sorts of plastic inside, I believe he may have had a point...

McKoala said...

I have no idea what it means. I do know I never want to see that kitchen.

Robin S. said...

The Caligula towel rail - that's where I was sold.

And who knows, Whirl? You may well have some Roman in you somewhere, so the fittings - well - fit.

Robin S. said...

P.S. I dated a guy once whose name was Grayson. I kept picturing him as old, whne really, he was only twenty at the time.

Bevie said...

Happy Easter, Whirl. Hope your day is going wonderfully.

Whirlochre said...

Thanks for checking in, chums — and apols for not being mutually bloggoid but it's something of a family Easter. Plus — I'm stuffed. Thank heaven I don't like waffeure thin mints.

One amusing story from my day so far. S-o-W ends up in tears over a minor trifle and is (rightly) dubbed a drama queen by his mum.

More tears follow.

'What's the matter?' I ask.

Feebly, he replies, 'I'm a drama king.'

Back later...

JaneyV said...

The levels on which I love this are so many and varied I don't know where to start. The Hubby approaches DIY with the same primal testosterone surge as the average football hooligan. The Saturdays I have spent traipsing from B&Q to Wickes to Homebase and back to B&Q again to compare tiles are numbered in the hundreds.

If only we had found a towel with Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis in the bath, my joy would've been complete.

Thank you Whirl. ;0)