This article is taken from the June 2022 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.
“Go on there, boy, eat up now.” Bozza is putting some brown sludge in my bowl, where he usually puts the steak that Lady JCB’s butler brings round. It doesn’t smell very nice.
“Now look, old son, it says here that top breeders recommend it,” he tells me, looking at the tin. “And so do I. Delicious reclaimed meat-type foodstuffs. Have a bit.” I give it another sniff, and turn back to Bozza. He looks tired. “You think you’ve got it bad,” he tells me. “Everyone’s cutting us off. The JCBs have stopped the food. They say I’m too hot to help at the moment.
“The kids in the press office aren’t filling the wine suitcase any more, because they’re spending all their money on fines or something. And even that mobile that Sergei or Igor or whoever it was gave me at the Winter Ball has stopped working.”
I have decided to look under Bozza’s desk, to see if there’s any food he forgot. “I already looked down there, lad,” he tells me. “Thought Rishi might have dropped a fifty when he was in here last week.”
I can smell something interesting. Maybe it’s coming from the bookcase.
“Herself’s alright, with the Aspinall gig. Keeps the kids in Boden. But a chap needs his own line of wonga. Bit of headroom in the total managed expenditure. For contingencies and what-not.”
It IS coming from the bookcase. Underneath it, if I can just reach.
“Wouldn’t have been so bad in the old days, of course. Somebody kicking up a stink because they think you promised to marry them? No problem. Bash a couple of columns out, tell GQ I’d driven a car, there’s ten grand before you know it. Now every time I want to knock out a piece about the new Porsche Cayenne and its scrotum-tightening accelerating oomph, everyone just says ‘Sue Gray this’ and ‘Lord Geidt that’. Wouldn’t even let me pitch a travel piece about my Ukraine jaunt. Men’s Health would have bought that in a shot.”
Got it! It’s a cocktail sausage from one of Cazza’s “Tuesday Booze-Day” parties last lockdown. You see, Bozza? Things are looking up already!
As told to Robert Hutton
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