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The Liverpool Embassy

Our Day Out in that London for Uncle Joe, Sharp Frankie Mac and the gang

Published on January 27th 2011.

The Liverpool Embassy

BARRY Bodgeit could see the blue lights as he turned into Liverpool Street, London. He wished he was back on London Rd, Liverpool.

“I just can’t get my head around the fact that the buses are red,” he’d told Uncle Joe as they’d lain in bed the night before at their bed and breakfast “I keep thinking they are fire engines.”

Uncle Joe hadn’t replied, he’d just rolled over, broke wind, and then wafted it with his feet towards Barry’s face.

“Why couldn’t we have separate beds?” Barry had said from behind his hand “I hate having to top and tail like this.”

“Because we went and blew the accommodation budget in China that’s why, now shut your pipes and just be glad I ain’t made you sleep in da car with Sharp Frankie Mac.”

He’d barely managed to sleep all night, what with Uncle Joe screaming (he’d had night terrors since the last budget report). He just wanted to get back on the motorway back up north, assuming his Fiat Cinquecento hadn’t been clamped.

They’d arrived at the new Liverpool Embassy at ten o’clock that morning, after getting lost while trying to avoid the congestion charge. Sharp Frankie, had ruined the carpet in the car after he had spilled water from his fish tank.

“Who takes a fish tank when they are working away?” Barry had shouted when he saw the water in the foot well. Sharp Frankie had sucked on that damn toothpick and adjusted his white Homburg.

“Dey is for my feet, dey eats the dead skin, maybe you want to take a swim wid da fishes Barry?”

Barry had gulped and ignored him, he was scared of Sharp Frankie. The lines on his pinstripe suit made his eyes do funny things and feel queer. Those teeth were so white they reminded him of full beam headlights, and every time he’d looked in his rear view mirror, Sharp Frankie had winked and said: “Keep edging left.”

So Barry had.

Now, as he walked back from the shops, with his wet left foot, he was expecting the worst.

“What’s happened?” he asked one of the hod carriers they had brought with them to build the Embassy. They were re-assembling the house from Madryn Street and it had taken days. Someone had labelled the bricks in the wrong order when they took it down in the middle of the night and the poor bricklayers, being from Liverpool, where out of practice building anything.

“Ringo fell off the roof,” replied the brickie.

“Oh no! Is he okay?”

“I don’t know, he landed on his nose, apparently he is just repeating peace and love over and over.”

“Have you seen Uncle Joe?”

The builder pointed into the house and Barry took a deep breath ready to break the bad news.

He found Uncle Joe and Sharp Frankie in the living room trying to hang a picture of Howard Kendall.

“Erm, Uncle Joe, I’ve some bad news.”

“We already heard, Ringo fell off da roof,” said Uncle Joe without looking around.

“Guess we’ll have to find some other bum to drum up some business,” said Sharp Frankie, flashing those brilliant, shark-like teeth.

“It’s not that,” Barry shuddered as he spoke, aware that Uncle Joe was holding a hammer “I couldn’t get the Ferrero Rochers for the party.”

“What? How da hell am I gonna to have an ambassador’s party without dem? Dey is da sort of classy tings deese guys eat!” Uncle Joe yelled.

“It’s okay,” Barry whimpered “I’ve bought some Maltesers, we can give them those.”

Uncle Joe approached menacingly.

“How is we gonna to stack dem on da trays? Dey is round ya idiot!”

“Do you want me to whack him boss?” said Frankie,

“I’ll file the bottoms!” Barry retorted.

“I swears to God, Barry, one of dees days... Did you get the sausage rolls?”

“I couldn’t find a Sayers,” replied Barry, squirming.

“How da hell couldn’t you find a Sayers?”

“They don’t seem to have them here.”

“Are you crazy? Whaddya mean dey ain’t got Sayers? How da hell do dey get der pasties?”

Barry could feel tears welling up.

“They have a shop called Harrods, the girl there didn’t know what I was talking about. I told her we were having a party and she sold me some London party food.”

“Dis better be good,” the hammer spun in Uncle Joe’s hand,

Barry fumbled in the smart green carrier bag. “I’ve got some expensive hors d’oeuvre’s...”

“I know where you can get them cheap,” interrupted Sharp Frankie.

“...and some sushi,” added Barry.

“Wad da hell are dey?” Uncle Joe demanded.

“Erm, raw fish and canapés.”

Uncle Joe exploded.

“We ain’t got no money for the gas! How da hell are we gonna be able to cook da fish and the peas?”

“I could wire the meter,” said Sharp Frankie, but Uncle Joe waved him away, “Dey can eat da peas cold, stick da fish in Frankie’s tank an we can say dey is from da Mersey.”

“But they are dead,” said Barry

“And?” replied Uncle Joe dismissively. “I gots to get ready for da party, we got royalty comin' and I wants to look my best.”

Uncle Joe and Sharp Frankie went off to get changed leaving Barry to finish hanging the pictures, he’d barely managed to stick Pete Price up when Uncle Joe came back in, resplendent in his uniform.

“She's here!” shouted a voice from outside. It was Radio Roger. They’d let him be the doorman because he had loaned them the red carpet from his hallway to use.

Barry looked out the window as the panzer pulled up in the middle of the road; and cursed himself for not moving the Cinquecento. He felt a surge of excitement as he watched the chauffeur open the door and a thigh length pair of rubber boots emerge.

She walked up the steps, past the Bettaware catalogue and into the hallway,“Thank you for coming, it's a rare pleasure,” bowed Uncle Joe.

“I am the weakest link,” Anne Robinson replied, her stiletto digging into Uncle Joe's hand.

“Now behave or I'll sling my tea over you. Is Boris here yet?”

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Exiled scouserJanuary 25th 2011.

Hilarious. Though I imagine there will be one or two poe faces in the city renowned for its sense of humour. keep doing the do.

Jolly RogerJanuary 25th 2011.

Is this about me? Please let it be.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2011.

I thought it was about me?

Roger JollyJanuary 25th 2011.

Bastard piss flaps. I was sure it was about me.

Prof. ChucklebuttyJanuary 25th 2011.

It's all very well poking fun at our city leaders but this article does raise a serious point.

Depending upon the type of savoury required, I would say that although Sayers has the edge on your general pasty, in my view Greggs sausage rolls are far superior, having a much lighter pastry and a firmer fuller flavour sausage meat filling.

The Greggs sausage roll also has a slight gelatine moisture which greatly adds to the texture. Now I happen to know from experience of several Greggs outlets in London, so perhaps a little advance research on behalf of the council would be advisable in future.

For the record, the traditional pasty served in Greggs has a rather pleasant pepper after taste but suffers from the content being often far too moist. The traditional Sayers pasty can of course vary, It is far better when they stick to the chunkier vegetable mix but in some shops it seems pot luck and you can end up with a variation on corned beef hash, which i find less satisfying.

I suppose I really can't end without mentioning the Sausage and Bean pasty; a relative newcomer.

A bold experiment, but in my opinion, this concoction no place in civilised society and certainly not in higher social circles. I would not wish to see our city leaders shouting to Princes Michael of Kent, "Here you are girl, get yer laughin' gear round that!" as they throw them like a discus to VIPs. (Very Impressive Pasty)

I am currently advising Lord Storey on all matters relating to short crust and flakiness.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2011.

The sausage and bean pasty is currently being used as a form of primitive fusion power in Chinese Submarines, such is its ability to remain incredibly hot for days after its production.
It's been suggested in some quarters that a tray of them left outside the Sayers on Walton Vale has contributed to causing the recent floods in Australia.

Veronica Bakewell.January 25th 2011.

I do feel Confidentials' editor has been a little slack, here. Typo's abound, most notably in the reference to Radio Roger. Mr Bakewell assures me it should be Radio Todger and, being something of an authority in these matters, he should know.

A Sayer's FundamentalistJanuary 26th 2011.

There was a sort of pasty revolution in Sayers branches in the early 1990s. The traditional meat & spud, vegetable and cheese & spud varieties were joined by outlandish new ones like corned beef and even pizza pasties.

I had assumed they'd all died out like the jumbo vegetarian sausage roll with soya sausagemeat filling that disappeared from Sayers' counter display several years ago.

And why is it so difficult these days to buy that Sayers' classic, the custard slice? So often these days one has to make do with a hard little square thing that jets the custard onto one's lapels even under the gentlest jaw-pressure.

Frankie's number twoJanuary 26th 2011.


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