День рождения у меня ещё не наступил, а друзья и поклонницы уже шлют вовсю мадригалы, корзины с цветами и замысловатые коробки марципанов.
Вот даже Пашечка, мой изумительный лондонский денди, написал про меня сказку.
Sergei's Missing Toe
Living as a refugee in a small village in Montyblackchappie, Sergei used to spend his time rolling down the hill, waving to his friendly neighbours as he went past. Some would throw grapes at him, which on a good day he caught in his mouth. Sometimes, he would keep them in his pocket with the cucumbers, flattened but good enough for a cup of grapecucumber tea as the sun went down. It was only when he tried to play Russian roulette at the bottom of the hill with the cars on the road, betting against his own chances of survival, and then attempting to roll back up the hill, that the neighbours realised that at last they had found a true replacement finally, with the calibre and determination to be the new village idiot. Surely he would get a statue of himself in the harbour, little finger delicately poised drinking tea, leg outstretched trying to trip up a passing car. Toes were expendible and as he rationalised five, per foot were pretty much five too many. Fish bait he used to joke, until in one of the cute old town restaurants, a customer nearly choked on the Sea Bass, discovering a neatly pedicured toe, with the inscription in tiny Italics, Sergei forever. It just so happened at the same time, Sergei limped past, seemingly troubled by an injury to his foot in the toe area. It was a dead giveaway but in truth the restauranteur, once he'd greased his hand and arm with balsemic and shoved it down the throat of the rude, inconsiderate, narrow-mouthed customer, was secretly glad and proud it was his hand and his restaurant that retrieved it. This was the stuff of legends. The reason people would come to the restaurant, the miniature satatuettes of the toe in fake gold, that rubbed off on the hand when you touched it and you told kids not to put in their mouth for fear of lead poisening, that proliferated all the gift shops, each with the name of the restaurant, he was quick to ensure was added to the base, but 'Sergei's Missing Toe' was the inscription that everyone asked for, and the name the restaurant became known by. Classic marketing and branding, as far as toes go. And the envy of all the other restaurants. Owners of other restaurants, when business was bad, would look at their own feet and ask themselves, what if they sacrificed a toe...maybe two. Usually, this would be transferred to the nearest waiter, who nervoulsy went about their business, but to no avail. Very soon, you were nobody unless your restaurant had at least one limping waiter serving you, with his own Sergei toe story. This angered the original restaurant owner, who in his despair went to ever increasing lengths to extend the legend. A bigger toe statue hung outside the restaurant, so big it fell off and he got sued by the customer. No legend and no new statues with signs appeared coming out of tourists head that year. it is a fickle business knowing when to say that toe is big enough already. Secretly, behind closed doors at night, people played 'suck Sergei's toe' for auto-erotic, semi-erotic and complete avoidance of any semblance of sexual enlightenment games. It was the secret everyone shared, that no-one spoke of, only evidenced by the tell-tale look of smudged lipstick and a mouth that appeared to take on the shape of a half-swollen big toe. Shoe sales rocketed. And it was almost impossible to go on a beach without people staring at the big toe, commenting on its size, shape, its polish and its apparent freshness to passers by, who would simply say thank you. A beach was created in the shape of a toe with an S inlaid. It became popular with the nude sandles brigade very quickly, who ensured it was elitest by inspecting each toe for any trace of fish on entry to the beach.