Harold is recovering at home, following an unfortunate ‘mishap’ at last night’s soirée.
As I mentioned yesterday, Bernard and I were invited round for a little light refreshment and some ‘magic’. Bernard was on his best behaviour, at least until his third glass of wine, when he grew somewhat excited, and began to hold forth on the evils of fast food and how it was ruining the nation’s health.
At this point, Harold, in an attempt to change the subject, offered to show us a ‘new trick’ he had purchased on the internet. He asked Bernard to pick a card, made the card vanish and, after a certain amount of to-ing and fro-ing with which I won’t bore you, made it reappear inside a jar of pickled onions sitting on a shelf in his kitchen.
Bernard was astounded and said he needed another drink to recover. I would have been more impressed had the card been signed or otherwise identified in some way. It occurred to me that it probably wasn’t the same card at all, but just one that looked like the one Bernard had chosen. I didn’t like to mention this, of course, especially after Harold told us the trick had cost him a hundred pounds. He added that it would be going straight into his ‘cabaret act’, though he might replace the pickled onions with a lemon, for what he called ‘technical’ reasons.
He then asked Bernard for the loan of a £20 note. At this point, Bernard said something about ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be’, and that money had ruined more friendships than he cared to recall. Harold reassured him that by ‘loan’ he simply meant for the duration of the trick. This didn’t seem to reassure Bernard at all, who claimed to have left the house without his wallet.
In the end, Harold had to produce his own £20 note and asked Bernard to write down the serial number. Unfortunately, as well as coming out without any cash, Bernard had also come out without his reading glasses. It took him three goes before he got the number right, and even then one of his sixes looked like a four.
Harold folded the note into halves, quarters and finally eighths, then took out a box of matches and struck one. The entire package exploded in a fiery ball and set light to his hair. (I’m guessing he’d switched it for something that was meant to catch fire, but not so dramatically.)
Being an old soldier, and used to dealing with the unexpected, Bernard threw a glass of liquid over Harold in a bid to extinguish the flames. As the glass contained a large measure of Pinot Gris, his action had the opposite effect to that intended, and Harold was forced to run into the kitchen and throw himself under a tap.
Cut a long story short, we had to take Harold to casualty where he was anointed with all sorts of oils and balms and pronounced to be a very lucky man, though it will be several weeks before his hair grows back.
Mrs C was fast asleep by the time we got home. Bernard and I have decided to keep the adventure a secret from her. She’s never trusted Harold since the incident with the rabbit pie. Heaven knows how she would react to the thought that we might be living next door to a potential arsonist.
Thought for the Day
‘A man who can smile when things go wrong has probably just thought of someone he can blame it on.’
Robert the Bruce (1274-1329)