I didn't throw myself enthusiastically into the ’s Diamond Jubilee shindig back
And when I saw flashes of that televised concert outside Buckingham Palace starring staunch patriots Gary Barlow and Jimmy Carr (later exposed as tax avoiders), and Rolf Harris (later convicted as a child abuser), I was pleased that, like Prince Philip, I’d invented a bladder infection and swerved it.
But now, as she celebrates 70 years on the throne, it’s different. OK, the planned events such as the Big Jubilee Lunch, beacons being lit and trees being planted look about as appealing as watching a reality show called Ann Widdecombe and Mark Francois Go Dogging, but there’s a better option.
Yes, our beneficent government has given us a four-day holiday in June and told us to get out the trestle tables, stock up on drinks and party.
Not just that, the selfless Man of The People who runs the country this week reminded the millions of fun-deprived citizens who stayed indoors for two years to stop the spread of Covid, exactly what a party is. And I fully intend to follow Boris Johnson’s How To Party Guide to the letter.
I’ve sent out 100 invites to friends (sorry, people I work closely with) telling them to head to my garden (sorry, outdoor working space) to enjoy the great weather and, in case it gets out of hand, to BYOBE (bring your own bullsh** excuse). Oh, and to stop at The Co-op on the way and fill up a suitcase with wine.
I’m explaining that parties are work events so my dustman friend must constantly remove all bottles, my bouncer cousin must head-butt guests wearing inappropriate shoes and my sex-worker pal can feel free to entertain a punter on the kids’ swing, breaking it if she chooses.
I’ve booked a karaoke machine and will kick things off with a modern version of a Drifters classic: “Come on over to my place, hey folks we’re having a party, we’ll be working, working and working, baby, come on over tonight.” I’ll remind everyone that if one of my 95-year-old neighbours is burying her husband in isolation the next day, then pop open more champagne to let the old girl know that you don’t give a bugger about her pain.
Or, rather, you haven’t got time to worry about her pain as the DJ in the basement has cranked up the music and you’re persuading people to squat on the lawn and do “Oops Upside Your Head” (sorry, compare spreadsheets).
If it gets rowdy and the cops turn up, I will say I only invited guests to thank them for knowing me and I only stayed for 25 minutes. Then blame one of the kids and help the police handcuff them.
If my wife later spots a photo of me on Instagram playing tonsil tennis with her friend behind the shed, I will tell her I cannot comment on her allegation as it’s part of an ongoing investigation.
If she persists in demanding answers, I will eventually adopt a contrite expression and utter something that starts with “s” and ends in “y” and means so, so much. What? No, I won’t say “sorry”. Just “Sue Gray”.
Well, they’re the official party rules now, and I’m sticking to them.