July 1st – But if you don’t care a feather or a fig, You may grow up to be a pig.

Cleaned myself: 0
Monkey see, monkey do: 0
Tics: pass.
Believe in God? No, but I invoked His name by accident.
YTLH: 2 in use. Slight stinging sensation in gums noticed.

I plucked up the courage to call Frances, ostensibly to check whether she’d be attending the festivities this weekend, but I’d planned to subvert the conversation towards my Pearl & Dean adverts. It was going (would have gone) OK, but for my mother’s husband’s intervention, when he searched me out in my hiding place and asked whether I’d seen his special flannel.

(Adopts American accent) ‘special flannels, derm-a-tol-o-gists, LOVE them.’ Winks at camera – reveals used flannel.

He mistook my shaking my head for not hearing him, so he rolled his eyes, raised his voice, and repeated, ‘My special flannel. She’s washed it and put it away somewhere. Has she put it in here?’

I thought I heard Frances giggle on the other end of the phone, and I did not want him to hear what I was going to say to her, so I baled before I found out by what means and with whom she was coming, and just before I externalised a ‘Please God forgive me.’

But she is coming, and so is Johnny Carver. That is not such bad news as it sounds, because his ego will see him bring up the best players he possibly can, and he may stand out as the only useless one on the pitch – there’s nowhere to hide when there’s only seven of you. Plus, it hasn’t rained for ages, so it’s an even money shot that the lumbering, top-heavy, ape will go over on his delicate ankles. Oh yes, a break, ignominy, and long-term incapacitation is not out of the question. Should events turn that way, I will volunteer to push his wheelchair. He should be warned though, I am am notoriously heavy handed when it comes to inserting catheters, and I’m what you’d call a very strict observer of social distancing when close to deep water.

On hearing the news, I took the liberty of booking agency staff to wait on attendees and deliver drinks. Hang the expense, Roger can thank me later for the initiative. It will save a crowd of people in the bar behaving uncovidly and more importantly it will save me the humiliation of becoming the de facto waiter to Big Eggo and his square-jawed soul brothers. I have also sought to persuade Roger to use a currently unemployed point to point commentator, or country-show announcer, so that it might give a bit of professional purpose to the event. Currently we have but the rugby, the bouncy castle, and two games lent to us by Big Tooth: one where you throw a horse shoe round a metal pole in the ground; and the other, where you lasso an inflatable cow. Me too. Oh and a tombola whereby the winner becomes the weekend owner of a sports car for a month. I firmly believe that the efficient distribution of beer is going to prove important.

BTW, how do you plan for a half-way out of pandemic event? If each of the sixteen teams brings supporters, we will look like a Dorset beach and risk becoming a national incident; if they don’t, more of a church fête-fund raiser, where everyone in the village has been abused by the previous priest. Here’s my dilemma as sorcerer’s apprentice: take Roger at his word, put no effort or expense into it, then be forever referred to as the idiot responsible for a pathetic and ill judged event; do the opposite and spend a lot of money that is not mine on something ‘that would have looked after itself.’ Exactly as Boris Spassky Johnson and Lord Jesus President Trump feel right now too, I imagine.

I think the answer lies in the soiled pants.