I was at Dan Turner’s house last night and … well … I wish I wasn’t.
It’s not that Dan is a less than charming host … it’s just … well, I’m sure those of you who’ve met Dan would agree he’s a pleasant, dapper man and I, like many of you, assumed his house would reflect his pleasant, dapper demeanour.
Jesus, I haven’t been in such a shit hole since my Swansea junkie squat days. Back then this sort of thing didn’t bother me, but I’m much more refined nowadays and like the little luxuries in life like … glass in the windows, central heating (or any kind of heating for that matter) and a carpet which doesn’t move of its own accord due to the indigenous life contained therein.
Dan’s house is one of those two storey Victorian terraces, so nice big rooms but it could have done with either a spot of industrial cleaning or perhaps a bit of burning down. Back when I was in my early twenties it seemed perfectly acceptable to replace a smashed window with a piece of cardboard but now I find it a little … scummy.
Not that Dan and his flatmate (who I think is called Chris … he looked like a Chris, anyway) were extremely gracious hosts and no expense was spent in making us feel at home. It’s been a long time since anyone served me a cup of tea in a pint glass stolen from the local pub, but I tried my best to be polite about the whole thing.
I was a little less impressed when I put the pint of tea down for a few seconds and roughly ten million fleas leapt in to practise their backstroke. Still, you know, people choose to live their lives in different ways and who am I to judge? I do wish though I hadn’t brought Mandy and Alice with me, or that we hadn’t agreed to spend the night.
Mandy went upstairs to put Alice to be and Chris, being the nice (if unwashed and fat) chap he is, volunteered to help while Dan gave me the tour of the house. A tour which involved considerable amount of detail and a rather in depth explanation of where every stain had come from.
There were a lot of them.
About an hour into the tour, we finally reach the kitchen, which, true to form, looks like Withnail & I refused to live there for hygiene reasons. There seemed to be a pot of something boiling on the stove, which was odd since the ring was turned off. Closer examination showed it wasn’t boiling, merely writhing with maggots.
And finally, what seemed to be the high point of the tour: Dan and Chris’ homemade beer.
Dan’s very proud of his home brew, something he and Chris have been making for years. By the look of it, in the same five gallon plastic bucket without once washing it inbetween. Floating on the surface were what at first I took to be blue Cheerios, but on closer inspection turned out to be mould and the thing stank to high heaven.
About this time I finally realised Chris has been ‘helping’ Mandy put Alice to bed upstairs for the best part of an hour. This seemed odd to me, Alice goes to sleep very quickly … what the fuck were they doing? I double checked the time on my phone (I rarely wear a watch any more) just to be certain … and dropped it into the prized homebrew.
Dan was fucking furious.
I swear a lot. Everyone knows that, but the string of obscenities which flew from Dan’s normally eloquent mouth shocked even me. Seriously, I had to look most of the words up when I got home.
He raved on and on about how I’d ruined the whole batch of the septic, stinking liquid and demanded I fish my phone out and pay for the raw materials for a new lot.
I was mortified, it seemed really important to him and … I like my phone. In fact, fuck his rancid booze, I want my phone back. So I’m up to my elbow in foul liquid, hoping Chris hasn’t murdered and eaten my wife and child while Dan hops around in the background waving a kitchen knife and threatening all sorts of unpleasantness unless I make good on his hooch … but I can’t find my phone.
I found plenty of other phones though … and watches, wallets, coins, an ornamental mantlepiece clock, necklaces, rings, an engraved fob-watch … in fact, very little of the murky alco-soup was actually homebrew. The contents of the bucket more closely resembled Fagin’s pockets and I was just wondering what the fuck was going on … when I woke up.
Another strange dream.
Anyway, in a mostly unconnected link, here’s the first sketch from Dan’s new sketch show: Splendid.