Stuart rang before he left Philly for a telephonic final check-in, and slipped into the conversation that he really didn’t want to be called The Prince, because ‘I’m really not Jappy’. (He brought 5 pairs of shoes for 7 days. You’re impartial; you be the judge.) Naturally, I shared this tidbit with the guys, who immediately renamed him ‘The Stepson Formerly Known as Prince’. I’m afraid this one is here to stay.
Pinkie, BooBoo, Cheese Boy and I drove to T5 at Heathrow to pick him up. In the proud, long-standing Weybridge tradition, we were all wearing Eagles shirts and carrying Eamonn’s Eagles pennant. Pinkie wore her new Donovan McNabb jersey that matches mine, and Boo was wearing my training camp shirt.
We got coffee at Costa (Pinkie graciously stole all the Sweet N’Low they had; Costa is the only place that seems to have it here). Not Boy, of course; we made him have tea. We were all worried about that morphing into a wanker thingy that happens at Heathrow if you’re a guy and you drink the coffee. I think it might be a bigger epidemic than Swine Flu.
I had spielkas and couldn’t sit still, wandering over to check the status board or out for a fag. I was worried. If they nailed Princie for smuggling in food and deported him, would I get to at least keep the Jews? I promised everybody Jews again this year at my Festa di Independenza barbecue.
There was this really cute guy sitting next to us at Costa, so I started chatting to him. With my keen powers of deduction, I recognized a fellow American. He had on a Yankee’s shirt, his accent (he was on his mobile) was pure Exit 75 of the Garden State, and he smiled at me so that definitely ruled out ‘British’. “Was there a ‘two fer’ sale somewhere on McNabb jerseys” he teased. “I should go to it.”
We explained about the proud Weybridge tradition (like the ‘Oxford’ one, but way cooler) and assured him that when we go to Philly in October the first thing we’re buying BooBoo is her own Donovan. Pinkie shared that she was wearing her Eagles knickers too (I guess in case we got strip searched by Immigration because it was a slow day for terrorists) but I restrained her from flashing them.
The guy was in the Air Force (US) stationed in England and was picking up his wife and kids after a visit home to Oklahoma. We started talking about foods we miss (because of the smuggling worry) and he said he gets to buy American stuff at the PX. How lucky is that? I decided maybe I should be looking for a Jewish Colonel or General or whatever instead of a Dermatologist. I mean I have nice skin except for the freckles, and I love Welch’s Grape Jelly, especially with extra crunchy Jif. We agreed that the positively worst ‘they totally fucked up that recipe’ food in England is pizza; they so get it wrong and then they eat it anyway, even if it’s got ham on it- with a knife and fork.
I glanced up, and there was Stuart coming through the doors! He made it! They didn’t find the Jews! He was schlepping two suitcases.
Of course we both cried. I introduced him to Pinkie and El Cheese-o and he hugged BooBoo, whom he’d met in Philly. He wanted a coffee, but we whisked him out of the terminal, explaining that we couldn’t take a chance on him turning into a wanker right before our powerless eyes.
Note to Costa: It might only affect British blokes, but I couldn’t take the risk. He’s staying for a whole week.
We drove to mine and Stuart presented me with the ‘Goodie Suircase’. Oh My God. Besides the lovely, lovely Jews, there were Hershey Bars, Durkee French Fried Onions, Lipton Onion Soup Mix, two giant bottles of Hidden Valley Ranch, and 500 Extra-Strength Tylenols. But that’s not all! Drum roll, please… There was a 10 lb slab of Habersetts scrapple. The sweetest stepson in Pennsylvania…the Mid Atlantic States… the entire Right Coast had gone to Costco. Everything was ‘family size’ (if your family is that lady who had the octuplets). And I’m not sharing any of it, except a few Jews at the barbecue for ‘special’ people like the Irish Lad.
The Stepson Formerly Known etc. reads the blog religiously and, unfortunately, believes almost all of it. “Do you know how to cook the scrapple?” he asked seriously. Pinkie and BooBoo started tittering (the cows). “Duh!” I retorted, mortally insulted. “Of course I bloody do!”
I took him for a stroll up the High Street and to get some lunch. It’s not like I was going to prepare anything myself, was it? Then he had a nap, because I had committed weeks ago to turning up for Film Club at Syn in the evening and I couldn’t back out. For one reason, it was my movie. I had to break the bad news that we were walking there, but he took it almost well.