Of all the things I never thought I would hear myself say, “I was somewhat disappointed that Kitchener had never sent me the large black dildo” would be right up there on the leaderboard. But there you are, that just goes to show how unpredictable life is, because that is exactly how I was feeling recently. Perhaps I should explain that the above mentioned dildo was the one used in the movie “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and it was owed to me because I had won a bet with Kitch when the Springboks trounced England on their three test tour here earlier this year.
But the prize dildo was not forthcoming, if you will pardon the phrase, and with the demise/migration of the blogs I had no way of contacting the old jingoist. I had always imagined his upper class affectations to be something of a sham, and I now imagined him in a council flat in South Lambeth getting ready to go to the job centre and then on to the Fat Parrot pub with his welfare cheque to spend the evening drinking and laughing at the silly Count Czardas for expecting him to honour a bet.
It was just after this that I found myself in Asia Minor (for reasons I will not go into here) and on a journey into the remote and desert-like tribal lands between Samarkand and Protokol, late in the afternoon, I was on a small kopjie when I heard a voice call out “I say, old pip, would you mind awfully passing me that water bottle ?”. There was a British Army Guardsman lying behind a bush; he had been shot in the leg and the side that morning, and with his water bottle just out of reach, he was sunburnt, dirty and thirsty.
I passed him the bottle, and after watching him staunch his thirst in small sips, I gave him a sip of 10 Year Old MacAllan Whisky from my hip flask, and I tried to make him comfortable and we chatted into the dusk as I kept him company in those grim last few hours on this plane as life ebbs away, and when nobody should be alone.
“Ever so grateful, old bean” he said, his manners never leaving him despite the pain. We talked of his life, his schooling at Gordonstoun, his time at Cambridge (a rugby blue and a boxing half blue) and his career in the guards.
It was only much later, as darkness neared, that something he said alerted me to the fact that he blogged on a South African sports website, and a few more questions ascertained that yes, this was indeed Horatio Kitchener from the sports blogs.
I buried his body that night in a shallow, lonely grave, and said a small prayer. Just one of the soldiers who laid down their life protecting the West’s interests in far way places, pawns in the Grand Game.
So, to who-ever goes through the fallen Guardsman’s belongings back in Blighty, when you find a large black dildo that was used in a Guy Ritchie movie, don’t worry to post it to me; it was just a silly bet on a silly rugby match, and so rather give it to somebody who will appreciate it.
At the going down of the sun, I will remember the old bastard, and I’ll raise a glass of whisky, and I will play “Always look on the Bright Side of Life, Brian” which he informed was his favourite song.
Adios, old Kitch.