Pass­ing ships in the night

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT - Peter Rosen­gard

SATUR­DAY, 7PM. The phone rang as I was work­ing on my new book, My 10 Great­est Life In­sur­ance Sales — to Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Genghis Khan, Henry VIII (“You’ve got to have ‘Wife Life’, Your Majesty! Have you ever thought what would hap­pen if one of your wives was be­headed? who’d do the cook­ing, take the kids to school?”) It was Si­mon, a jour­nal­ist friend, whose job is fly­ing round the world test­ing the lat­est As­ton Martin or see­ing if a watch, cost­ing as much as my flat, will tell the time strapped to his wrist in a lux­ury five-star ho­tel in Buenos Aires.

“Do you want to come to a party?” “I’m a life in­sur­ance sales­man, I never get in­vited any­where, so yes!”

Thirty min­utes later I’m on the huge roof ter­race of a pent­house suite of Clar­idge’s, with 200 very glam­orous look­ing people. I was cling­ing to the rail­ings talk­ing to a six foot tall Brazil­ian model, when she sud­denly looked faint. “It’s him!” she said. “Who?” “The hand­somest man in the world!” I turned to come face to face with David Gandy, the su­per­star male model from Es­sex.

“Ex­cuse me, David,” I said, “but I just can’t be­lieve that you are here too! There’s not enough room for the two hand­somest men in the world at the same party. I’m sorry, but one of us has got to leave.” I got a taxi home. Tues­day. Af­ter my usual three break­fasts at Clar­idge’s, I saw a tall young man with tou­sled long black hair and a black t- shirt walk by.

“Good morn­ing, are you in a band ?” I asked. “I’m Jack White,” he said. “He’s the big­gest rock star in the world,” my guest whis­pered. “Jack, I’m a huge fan... wel­come to Lon­don”.

Wed­nes­day. I read in the paper about a tiny pri­mary school in Cum­bria with only 13 pupils that had been put into spe­cial mea­sures by Of­sted for “racist and ho­mo­pho­bic bul­ly­ing.” All the chil­dren were un­der 12 and all were white.

Later, I got a call from a client who had just gone to pick up his 12-year-old daugh­ter’s new pass­port from the Pass­port Of­fice in Vic­to­ria. She’d writ­ten “Eng­land”as her place of birth.

“It doesn’t ex­ist,” said the woman be­hind the counter. “Sorry... what doesn’t ex­ist? “Eng­land,” she said.

“What are you talk­ing about?” he asked. “Eng­land,” she said, “There ‘s no such coun­try as Eng­land — it’s the UK.”

Fri­day. I read that Ge­orge Clooney is very up­set with the Daily Mail which had run a story about his Le­banese fu­ture mother-in-law not want­ing him to marry her beau­ti­ful in­tel­li­gent lawyer daugh­ter.

“Why couldn’t she marry a Druze?” his fu­ture mother-in-law had sup­pos­edly said. “She’s not even a Druze!” Ge­orge said. Good for him. She never looked Druish to me.

One of us had to leave the party. Guess who went home?

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