Tony Blair the Wilderness Years 17

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 met up with an old friend and adversary in his new bed and breakfast in Scotland… now he faces an evening meal in alien territory… but he soon breaks free… Tony Blair’s continuing journey into the wilderness …

Mrs. Harris, my train lady, was a huge boost to my already well-endowed confidence. Mrs. Sheep. A fan base was developing, a following, even though the surroundings were like so old hat.

Speaking of which, I was waiting for a meal, trying to fit my knees below a small, round dining table underneath a drab painting of Ardrossan, next to a sideboard loaded with ghastly clothes-brushes from Arbroath, prim calendars from St. Andrews, flowery paperweights from Montrose—impossibly blue seaside places that were a million miles from my super, new holiday homes in Tuscany. Above all, it wasn’t MacDonald’s. There wasn’t a happening potential voter in sight. What was I doing in a provincial hell-hole? Reaching out to the people with a big, helping hand, that’s what.

I struck Aristotle’s knees below the table, and he shifted in his chair. I leaned forward.

“Knees, bud. Move ‘em. Let the daddy sit down.”

I heard a cough and turned round. Mrs. Harris was holding a tray of food that looked as though it dripped cholesterol. It would need its own health service for survival. Where was Lardie Prescott, my deputy PM, when I needed him to hoover some fat? Steak and kidney pie, potatoes, peas, gravy, several rounds of bread and butter, and tumblers of orange squash. I so missed my honest sundried tomatoes on rude ciabatta, rough and ready basil sauce, lashings of crude, workmanlike montepulciano quaffed amongst rustic Italianos laughing in their own funny language at my jokes.

Aristotle rubbed his hands together.

“Mrs. H. Tony was saying how much he’s enjoyed his first day here.”

“That’s good, Aristotle. It’s my pleasure. There you both go. Would you like to help yourselves from the tray?”

She placed the tray on the table and looked at the ceiling, putting her hands together.

“I trust you to say a small prayer to thank the Lord. So you won’t be needing me to lead.”

Aristotle looked amused.

“That’s right, we won’t. We’ll be saying them to ourselves, on the inside.”

But she closed her eyes anyway, and the steam faded. I sat on my hands, staring at the hole in the top of the pie, and feeling most ill at ease like I always did when anyone mentioned religious stuff.

Aristotle was keen to start too. His lips were stretched white over his teeth and his neck developed flying buttresses. He salivated until his jaw locked. She coughed and picked up a tea towel with Follow the Path of the Lord written on it.

“Thank you.”

She ducked through a small door in a panel under the stairs. Aristotle crashed into the food so the plate moved, the tablecloth rucked, and the table wobbled. He crouched over the food and exterminated it. He scraped the plate clean as though he was trying to remove the pattern. He threw his knife and fork down. I guess that was how the lower orders ate, and there was much room for improvement.

I finished too and leaned back, stretching and yawning with my hands behind my neck like a sleep deprived banshee. I stopped yawning and opened my eyes. Aristotle was looking straight through me.

“Mrs. H. I think you’ll find I’ve finished. Thank you.”

Mrs. Harris shuffled the plates onto the tray and peered at me again, lifting the tray.

“Will you be having pudding, Tony?”

But I so needed to find out like, what was going on. I so needed to collect the final instructions so I could, you know, complete my mercy mission. I so needed to know what sort of an uncool place Ardrossan was. I so needed to look outside Mrs. Harris’s bed and breakfast, to feel the lie of the land. Above all, I needed to reach the people before they went crazy through lack of representation. Picking up my Times newspaper, I backed away from the table colliding with a chair and moving round it, brandishing the paper with well-practised chopping blows to the chair. And oh boy, did I strut, did I mean business? Just watch my hips.

“No thank you, Mrs. Harris. I think I need to walk it off now. Puddings are for the faint-hearted, and my body is a temple.”

Mrs. Harris stared at me. Aristotle stood up, and moved next to her. I turned and opened a door. There was a sharp intake of breath. They looked at each other, but hey! I was going to push doors open.
You know, there was nothing unusual in the lounge, apart from oversized paintings of stags and rows of tartan clad cool-looking guardsmen standing on plastic bases from Edinburgh and St. Andrews, nothing unusual at all.

Aristotle and Mrs. Harris were at the door staring at me and shaking so the contents of the tray rattled. Pushing back the doors of bureaucracy and meeting the people was my number one priority. I needed to know where the nearest MacDonald’s was, and I had to be seen in it, with ordinary working folk, just like me, eating chips. I needed to develop a popular front. I went into the hall and checked my jaunty new baseball cap. Aristotle and Mrs. Harris appeared at the end of the hall and watched me open the front door. There was enough light left in the day, and I ran.

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Dedicated To Me, Tony ‘Bono’ Blair.

Without Me, None Of This Could Have Been Possible.