Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Idler's Tour of Asia


Dan phones on his hands-free to see how I got on.

‘I’m exhausted. The bloke was completely knackering to be with.’

‘But did he have a job for you?’

‘No, not really. Not at the moment. And possibly never. I couldn’t quite work out whether he was winding me up with all his ‘eh, Eliza, eh, ehs’ or whether he was quite impressed. He was sort of grinning inanely at me and kept leaning across the desk to tell me things.’

‘And to get a closer look down your front?’

‘Possibly. But he was quite rude about my age, considering he’s far older. He kept asking about my energy levels and I pretended they were like a 21-year-old’s, but frankly I feel worn out after half an hour sitting in his office. I’d like to do The Idler’s Tour of Asia.’

‘That would be great, because then you wouldn’t have to go to Asia at all. You could do it all from your armchair. Maybe you could do a… what’s it called… a webinar. I’d be on for that.' Dan is warming to his theme. 'You’d have to make sure everybody had a webcam so you could see they were paying attention and not wandering off to make a cup of tea…”Stay with the group, please.”’

‘Would I have to have an umbrella or a flag?’

‘Yes, and you could all wear baseball caps with the name of the tour on the front.’

‘I’ve been wondering about the baseball caps. As long as they’re not yellow string nylon.’

‘And people would receive an Idler’s Tour kit with two mini packs a day,' Dan continues, 'and they’d have to attend two sessions a day for a week so that people would actually have to dedicate some time to it…’

‘And there’d be spices and a make-your-own pad thai kit in the pack…’ I suggest.

‘”Sachet 1,”’ says Dan, ‘”Open at the beginning of the Monday morning session.”’

‘Cow poo,’ I say. ‘”Please tread in contents of Sachet 1”.’

‘Before they start,’ says Dan, ’they’d have to turn the oven on and put a pan of water in it and as the session starts, they’d have to open the oven door and stick their head in. It could be very interactive in that way.’

‘Sachet 2,’ I say. ‘Drains. Tip contents of Sachet 2 into pan in oven.’

‘And then you could have a sachet of mosquitoes or tsetse fly, and on Day 2 or 3 you could ask, "How did you sleep last night?" And then you’d know whether they’d been throwing themselves into the tour properly.’ Dan breaks off. ‘Eurgh! Somebody’s tipped a whole load of Sachet 1 on the Candlebury Roundabout. Hang on, just closing the windows.’

‘So what do you think I could charge?’

‘Oooh. 500 quid?’

‘Flights excluded.'

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