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A globe trotting bon vivant such as Edgar was naturally welcomed into the most exclusive coterie wherever he went, and in the old money society of north western United States, he was feted as royalty – a concept that he did little to dispel. Following his victory in the Grand Prix of New Jersey (one of the very few occasions when the Spagforth Styx failed to exhibit its usual tendency to self destruct), Edgar received an honorary doctorate in Bacchanalia from Princeton University, resulting in an avalanche of offers to attend all manner of glittering social occasions.
These of course generated introductions to affluent and influential pillars of industry, one of who was Count Domenico Blapperati, scion of the illustrious Grappa producing dynasty, the products of which Edgar was more than familiar. The young Count, bored with life aboard his 120 metre yacht Conoscenza Carnale, had hit upon the idea of producing his own line of luxury motor vehicles, beginning with the V-24 Blapperati Buttox. He also envisaged a line of exquisite and outrageously expensive licenced products – from wrist watches to luggage and motoring apparel. Count Blapperati was completely taken with Edgar’s aplomb and savoir-faire, and his legendary skill on the Grand Prix circuits of the world made him the obvious choice for a the role of brand ambassador. An arrangement was struck whereby Edgar would receive a Blapperati Buttox for his exclusive use in USA, plus an unlimited supply of the licenced products. In short order, Edgar and his extravagant conveyance, finished of course in Italian racing rosso, became a regular fixture on the garden party circuit – the sumptuous white leather passenger’s seat invariably occupied by a charming young lady. It seemed that la dolce vita had indeed become Edgar’s exclusive station. Even the Blapperati licenced products soon carried Edgar’s signature and personal endorsement, advertised in Vanity Fair and sold in up-market stores frequented by the glitterati.
But in a Latin version of The Rake’s Progress, this surreal world was effectively a candle in the wind, and the flame went out when the Count was exposed as a serial fraudster who was in reality Bluto Asparigato, completely unrelated to the Blapperati royalty and in fact a former process worker who made cistern washers in a factory in Naples – Napoli Dunniplug S.p.A. Simultaneous with the fall from grace of ‘The Count’, Edgar’s trinkets and vehicle were impounded while he himself faced allegations of complicity in the conspiracy. Never one to dwell on punctiliousness, Edgar beat a hasty retreat home to Giggleswick and busily covered his tracks, ticking off the experience to a brief but generously fulfilling dalliance, and assuming his former mantle of Grand Prix hero and all-round stout fellow.
RIGHT Edgar’s personal Blapperati Buttox on display in the Museu di Napoli.
ABOVE A range of Edgar-endorsed Blapperati licenced products.