Tony Blair the Wilderness Years 16

Tony “Bono” Blair is a bit confused. He believes he is the famed British Prime Minister of the same name, deposed after winning a third term. Things begin to look up for Tony when a letter arrives offering a position with McCreedie construction. Thinking he is taking over as CEO of a powerful NASDAQ company, Tony accepts the offer and travels to Scotland, hoping to meet the people, regain their trust, and use his new career as a springboard back into high office. The new career isn’t all Tony had hoped, and he finds himself building a cement runway at Ardrossan International Airport.

…Tony has a near miss involving McCreedie’s oncoming truck …he arrives at his new home …a humble bed and breakfast …and another nasty surprise …the story continues …

I wasn’t even shaken. I’d arrived in Ardrossan at a rather grubby looking bed and breakfast. I climbed the staircase of the large, but not spacious, old house with too many floors, too many doors, and too many ancient rooms. Paterson’s driving was worse than any I’d previously experienced. But hey! It would take more than a reckless act to make me jump the great ship UK.

Putting the suitcase down next to a polished table with a vase of flowers, I smoothed the ridges in the palm of my hand and felt the burden, the enormity of what I had to do. There was movement at the bottom of the staircase, and I leaned over the banister to look. Someone stepped behind a doorframe to hide, which was strange because when Paterson called out, no one answered.

A voice came from above.

“You can’t beat a game of chicken with the truck.”

But it was only Paterson at the top of three flights of stairs, taunting me with his childish game. Chicken was so uncool. You know, it just wasn’t a game I wanted to repeat in a hurry in spite of my admirable who-dares-wins, devil-take-the-hindmost, modern rap philosophy.

I picked up the suitcase, and someone moved into a shadow in the hallway. Someone was watching me from within the shadow. I spoke softly. I didn’t want to scare away any timid would-be Mr. Sheeps.

“Who’s there? Don’t be scared. I mean you no harm. My name is Blair, Tony Blair, and I’m here to help you. Stand up.”

There was no answer. Why a little person should be hiding from me of all people was a mystery, but I would find a bag of peanuts and use it to tempt them out when they were hungry.

I dragged my suitcase to the top of the flight of stairs and walked into a dull little room lined with nicotine-coloured woodchip wallpaper that was so, you know, ugh! I nearly chucked up. There wasn’t enough space for one person, let alone two. How could anyone live in such cramped conditions? It was obviously a cheap room for the poor, the brush salesman, the bible seller, the homeless person on the edge of society, and cool! I was just going to have to slum it too. That was what my rehabilitation was all about, experiencing the conditions I wished to change, and reaching out to the impoverished, the disenfranchised, the weak, the simple-minded with a bag of peanuts and a voter registration slip.

Behind the door, Paterson was occupying a candlewick bedspread wearing only boxer shorts and socks. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

“Welcome to the best little bed and breakfast in the whole of Scotland, sir.”

I stared at the tiny bed in disbelief. Double ugh!

“This isn’t a room, this is some kind of pill box.”

“There’s plenty of room, sir.”

I lifted the suitcase onto the bed and popped open the clasps. How could this be happening in the twenty-first century? I sat Mr. Nixon on the cushion next to Paterson. Paterson stared at Mr. Nixon. Mr. Nixon stared at Paterson.

I moved my giant pile of clothes onto the chair. The empty suitcase couldn’t stay on the bed, so I lowered it into the gap beside the bed. It wouldn’t fit, and I was beginning to feel my lower lip quiver. I stamped the floor. I really needed some angry time to work it off.

Paterson closed his eyes and started a yawn that grew in volume and intensity. Yawning was something I was going to have to attend to, that and small rooms in ancient houses. I lifted the suitcase and angled it, trying to slide it under the bed. It wouldn’t fit there either. I stood it under the window, but that meant I couldn’t reach my side of the bed. It was the smallest bedroom I’d ever encountered. I turned away and tripped over the suitcase, falling noisily and banging my noodle.

Paterson stopped yawning.

“Costs less than a single, sir.”

I rubbed my sore elbows. Paterson yawned again. I looked up and saw his hand slip inside his boxers. It started moving around in the most disgraceful way imaginable. There was no way I was going to allow that sort of thing to go on anywhere. I rolled my newspaper into a baton and slid across the floor like a commando. I was commander-in-chief, the training kicking in like a reflex. The pain of my sore elbows went straight to the brain. I struck the pillow next to Aristotle’s head. He sat up, and hit his head on the overhead lamp.

“What’s your problem, sir?”

“Trained killer. When the pain strikes, banzai, I lunge like a cobra.”

I struck the pillow again with an involuntary chop. Aristotle cowered on the bed.

“Well…snap out of it, sir.”

I was practicing my chopping blow in thin air when I heard a noise on the landing. I looked at the door. The handle turned. The door opened, and someone I recognised immediately appeared.

“Yoiks.”

“I do hope I’m not disturbing you two gentlemen. Coincidence is the work of the Lord. I believe we’ve met before Mr. Tony. The train? Tourist information? We’re so grateful to have you here at long last, sir. You’re the chosen one, and I’m Mrs. Harris, your new landlady.”

“And I’m Bono Blair, master of ceremonies, guiding light, founding father of liberalism, and I’m here to rescue you, the poor, poor people of Cool Britannia. Now, stand up and let’s cook on broadband, baby.”

Tony Blair: The Wilderness Years ISBN 1-4196-0573-9

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Dedicated To Me, Tony ‘Bono’ Blair.

Without Me, None Of This Could Have Been Possible.