Short

Party Wolf went to Tory Fest 2017 and has written about what he saw there

Yeah, we know it didn't really happen, but this is Fanfiction, okay?

Alex James was feeling nervous. He’d been to music festivals before, of course, but not one like this. At Glastonbury his padded Barbour tied around his waist had gotten him laughed out of the Stone Circle by a wicked Billy Bragg (although a lot of people joined in), but not here – here a jacket around the waist was as sensible as a cricket sweater around one’s shoulders. “My people,” he thought as he entered Tory Fest… “Boy, I’m going to sell some fucking cheese today!”

For David, this wasn’t his first rodeo, but he was still trying to hold it down like a boy who knew he was 6 today. He was extra excited to be showing off his new pal and suspected that others would be impressed that he’d been in a Brit-Rock band. Maybe he still was?

In a small circle that included David’s wife Samantha and a few others old boys, David held court with one eye on the main gate. Once Jeremy was here they’d all make a beeline for Tony Hadley in the Land Rover new band’s tent.

“So who are we all looking forward to seeing today, then?” struck up one ruddy-faced chum.

David smiled a knowing smile. Typically, everyone wanted to know his tips, he thought – he was the group’s real music head. Everyone tried their best to chime in with bands on the bill until David loudly proclaimed, “It’s just a shame that London Grammar aren’t playing – they’re really chill.” He felt particularly proud that he’d remembered to say “chill” in the present tense, even though it didn’t make sense. Samantha had noticed it too and was pleased for him, even if it had killed the conversation dead.

“David tells us you used to be in a band, Alex,” said another friend.

“Oh, yes, I did… Well, I still am… I think. I mainly make cheese now – that’s really my thing.” Fuelled by a mixture of nerves and business savvy in knowing that this was an ideal time to promote his cheeses, Alex launched into his cheese bit, and how he’d just invented a goat’s cheese that contained Smarties. David could see that his friends were smiling in a way that meant they’d stopped listening a long time ago and intervened. “Ah!” he yelled. “Text from Jeremy – ‘2 mins away.’”

“The Jezster!” called Samantha.

“Yeah, baby,” said another. “Now we’re getting started.”

“Good bless Jeremy,” said another. “He’s bringing me 200 Superkings for the weekend.”

“Jeremy?” said Alex. “Not Corbyn?”

Everyone collectively spluttered on their juices. David’s smile was one of embarrassment and secret glee that someone had said something so stupid.

“I’d like to hear you call him that,” someone said to House of Commons jeers loud enough for David to wish he’d thought of it.

He took Alex to one side.

“Hey, man,” he said. “Don’t feel bad about dropping the C bomb like that. I know you already know how daft it was. When we talk about Jez we mean Clarkson. It’s always Clarkson. He’ll be here any minute. You’ll love him… Oh, and Al, maybe curb the cheese chat today, yeah? Just relax. It’s all about the choons today, yeah?”

Alex nodded and nipped to the toilet to compose himself. Jeremy Clarkson. Mr Toad. Here! Fucking hell!!!

Clarkson blustered through the gate in typical fashion.

“Jez! Jez!” called David. “He hasn’t seen us…” Samantha calmed David with a hand on his arm.

“I’d say sorry for being late, if I was,” shouted Clarkson into the beaming faces in front of him. “I was having a right old back and forth with John McCririck in the car park. He’s such a mad old prick, but you gotta love him.” Everyone howled. “Cracking new gilet, Davey!” (He’d noticed.) “And how’s the wife of this absolute legend doing?”

“Hello Jeremy,” Samantha cooed as she hugged him a little too long.

“Bloody hell,” he yelled, all of a sudden, “look at this little squirt. What the fuck’s he got on!?” He nodded at a tall man bounding along in tweed shorts and matching jacket. How could David have failed to notice that Alex was in a short suit again? He was coming straight for them, of course, with a light powder around his nose – parmesan, probably.

“Jeremy, so nice to meet you,” he said, enthusiastically shaking Clarkson’s hand. Clarkson squeeze hard like a real man should. Alex almost instantly regretted his cool idea of covertly slipping him a Babybel in the shake. It was everywhere.  

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