"Bollocks, Faye! Let's not start that again. Keep smiling and waving but I'm telling you, the bloody airport's THAT way!"
First of all, may I bid a fond farewell to all XX-chromosomed readers of these pathetic offerings - I fear you will not be stopping by in future. Why? Because it's Pither-The-Chauvinist-Pig Time!!
So, the 15 British members of the Iranian Tourist Board - sorry, sailors - held by the Iranians for just under a fortnight arrived back in London today (complete with goody bags, would you believe!). Hurrah! Welcome home, our brave lads and lasses (well, just lass, actually). That's one in the eye for Johnny Arab. God Save the Queen!
"Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame,
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame;
But work their woe, and thy renown.
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves:
Britons never shall be slaves."
Now it's time to put away the little Union Jacks, break up the street parties and calmly reflect on the last few days.
So, those nasty Shiites were lying, weren't they? They had kidnapped our gaggle of expert seafarers for absolutely no reason other than sheer Iranian naughtiness. Royal Navy spokesmen had, after all, appeared on our TV screens with "proof" that the sailors had been in Iraqi and not Iranian waters. They showed photos of scans and radar screens and the like which they claimed clearly indicated that the HMS Fuckwit had not strayed.
Wrong!!! It now appears that the Navy Larkers HAD INDEED trespassed into Iranian territorial waters. Does this come as a surprise to anyone out there? Well, it doesn't to Pither. Why? Try this one on and see if it's tight around the hips? There were fifteen people in the boat and one of them was a woman. The woman was a qualified boatswain and so would, in all probability, have been the navigator. You do the maths! What the fuck do you expect? I'm amazed they didn't actually end up sailing up the Thames!! I can almost hear the frenetic chat on board as the Iranian gunboats loomed up over the horizon. "Give me the fucking map, Faye! Jesus, woman, it's upside down!! Not only that, it's the wrong page! No, I'm not going to stop and ask someone. Oh great! Crying! That'll help."
I know you should avoid cliches like the plague but women and navigating go together like bacon and custard. The soon-to-be ex-Mrs Pither's complete lack of spatial awareness and map reading skills are almost legendary. Many's the holiday I have spent in Inverness, having booked a cottage for the week near Plymouth. Even when I think I have covered all the bases by pulling over to patiently point out on the map the route we need to take she then brings her other navigational no-no into play - dithering!
"Right, we're coming up to an island. Which exit do I take?"
"....so Brenda said that was just the way she parted her hair."
"Exit, woman, exit! Which exit?"
"Oh, yes, the map. Which page is it again?"
"Page 43! Quick! The island's getting very, VERY near!
"QUICK!! WHICH BLEEDIN' EXIT. HURRY UP!!"
"41..42...ah, here we are, 43. Now, which road are we on again?"
"THE BLOODY A449. HURRY UP, HURRY UP! WE'RE ON THE SODDIN' ISLAND!!"
"There isn't an A449. Oh no, hang on a bit, here it is."
"I'M TAKING THIS DAMN EXIT, I'VE GOT NO CHOICE NOW!!"
"Oh dear, you've gone the wrong way you know."
No, I'm sorry. It just does my head in. I shall, however, in a pathetic attempt not to be more of a sexist, send PEOPLE who cannot read maps to Grantham.
21 hours ago