Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh, what a night!

Wow! In the words of the song, "Oh, what a night!" I'm still coming down from the buzz of it all. Over 180 people gathered at the second Dogs Dinner. And this time, apart from the organisers to greet them, there were also four of our four-legged friends; Laddie, a retired guide dog, a working dog called Fraser, and two youngsters still in training called Briar and Wallis. They must have wondered what on earth was going on.

As soon as everyone was seated, a finely tuned plan was put into action. First, it was up to me to set the tone for the evening with a few perceptive, cultured and rather philosophical words, which I had cunningly disguised as filthy, sexist abuse. I think I got away with it, although I'm not sure my mother-in-law would agree.
Before long the guests were tucking into their meals and starting to work in earnest on reducing the European wine lake. A tough job, but someone had to do it.

Filled with jive-juice and chocolate pud, some of the dresses, and no doubt trousers, were holding back rather more than they were designed to and there must have been a serious risk of a button popping and putting someone's eye out, but thankfully we didn’t add to the waiting list for guide dogs.

This, of course, explains my appearance in what could be construed as an incriminating photograph of me with my hands all over the chest of a rather well-endowed guest. For the record, I was merely trying to prevent an unseemly spillage, which might have embarrassed some of the other guests. Again, a tough job, but hey, no thanks required.

By now we were well-oiled and nothing was going to stop us strutting our stuff in front of the jazz band who filled the room with classy toe-tappers.

Having filled the guests’ stomachs, we quickly emptied their pockets and as the music died and people made their weary way home, we got down to the serious business of counting up the proceeds, which totalled an amazing £4'700.

As I said, wow! What a night!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Night Fever

Yikes. Only a few hours to go before the big event - Dogs Dinner 2. The last few days and weeks have been manic. Having spent months planning how to do it, the last few days have been spent wondering why.

Nerves are clearly getting the better of me. The other day I was emailing the hotel to confirm the wine order. I was about to click on 'send' when I heard my screen reader read what I had written - "One bottle of red and one bottle of shite per table'. Fortunately I managed to change this request and hopefully it's not a bad omen. That's what I call a close whave.

In som ways it seems strange asking people to donate money, even to a good cause like Guide Dogs, when there is so much financial doom and gloom around. However, I think we are probably doing our bit to prop up the local economy, judging by the number of people buying new dresses, handbags, shoes, jewellry, manicures, spray-tans and the like. And that's just the men.

There's not much more that I can do now, except finalise my speech. With such a diverse audience I'm not sure how cautious I have to be. On the one hand I have to be careful not to offend anyone, on the other hand, who doesn't like a good knob joke?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Regeneration Application

Open letter to Director General of the BBC

Dear (in more ways than one) DG,

Re: Time Travelling Vacancy

Following the recent news of David Tennants planned departure after the next series of ‘Doctor Who’, I wish to apply for the post.

Apart from the fact that I would be considerably cheaper to employ than Mr Tennant (my referees can confirm just how cheap I am), as a partially-sighted licence-fee payer I think it’s about time the BBC started to fulfil its duty under the Disability Equality Duty by including more disabled people in leading roles. Did I also mention how cheap I am?

Rather than seeing a non-seeing Doctor as problematic, why not use the vastly creative skills available within the BBC (you know, the ones who give us the flair, innovation and originality of programmes like ‘Strictly’ and ‘Weakest Link’) to use the VIP as a USP. For example, I could fight off the evil monsters with my sonic symbol cane and surely K-9 would make a fantastic guide-dog. Together, the metallic mutt and I would be an unstoppable pair.

Talking of which, I should point out that I would need to be intimately involved in the casting of any young Doctor’s assistant. I like to take a ‘hands-on’ approach to assessing the attributes of my co-stars and, before you get carried away with this liberal diversity nonsense, no, I don’t think it would be a good idea to introduce a male assistant at this time.

Perhaps my introduction could mark a new direction for the show. How about a new name, such as ‘Doctor Who-said-that?’ or ‘Doctor Where?’

My qualities for taking on such a role should not be over-estimated. I am accustomed to wearing slightly geaky clothes and appearing somewhat barking at times. I am also a seasoned time-traveller. Only a couple of weeks ago I travelled back a whole hour without anyone noticing. I also have experience of working in a higher education institution, so travelling back 20 or 30 years should present no problems to me.

I understand you may have reservations about taking such a big gamble. Perhaps you could use a day’s interest earned on Jonathan Ross’s unpaid salary to give me a trial run?

Yours hopefully