The references in today's anecdote are likely to mean nothing to anyone apart from our British readers, so the rest of you may prefer to skip straight to the music. So might our British readers, to be honest.
I was in the queue for the security check at London City Airport yesterday morning and found myself standing behind our former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling, who in retrospect appears to be an economic genuis compared to the current holder of that position.
In preparation for being screened, Mr Darling was asked by security to remove his belt, which he did without any fuss. Thinking this was in some way symbolic, I leaned over to him and said, "I wonder how your successor would have responded to an instruction to loosen his belt". He gave a polite half-smile, replied "I don't know" and hurried away as quickly as he could.
A little later when I got on the plane to Edinburgh, I spied him sitting in seat 8A. He spied me at the same time and you could tell from the look on his face he was thinking "Here's that idiot". I enjoyed the look of alarm on his face when it became obvious that the idiot was sitting in 8B. He buried his head in his paper and, apart from when they brought the breakfast round, didn't look up again until we were safely at the other end.
As a memento of that encounter, here is a reggae tribute to that litle Darling pal of mine.
"Hello Darling" - Tippa Irie
"Darling Don't Do That" - Clancy Eccles
"Hush Darling" - Gregory Isaacs
"Goodbye Pretty Darling" - Basil Gabbidon
"Come Back Darling" - Johnny Osbourne