The incident referred to in The Bootnapper was just one in a string of such happenings from those days. Graeme and me shared a flat for a while after I moved from my address in the bootnapping incident. I was working as caretaker at a huge former pub that had been converted into a community centre and I got to live rent-free in the spacious flat under the roof. Graeme moved into the spare room and the party started (without Pink).
One Sunday morning after a particularly heavy Saturday night, we were talking in the kitchen when Graeme went towards the door. I asked him where he was going and he told me he was off to the toilet. “What for?” I said.
“‘Number two,” he said. I wasn’t having this so I pulled rank.
“Oh no, matey, I want to go as well and this is MY flat so I get to go first. I don”t want to be going in after you.”
We argued about who should have the first sitting and eventually decided that the most honourable way to settle the matter would be to fire up the old mega drive and have a game of EA Sports Ice Hockey. The first one to score a goal would be declared king, with the loser adopting the title heir to the throne.
He was USSR and I was Canada and we called the game the superbowl. It was a nervy contest with a few near misses, but finally, with an absolute fluke of a shot, I scored. As the light on the crossbar flashed and the siren sounded to confirm the goal, I gave him an ‘in your face’ gesture, while ignoring his protestations that he was under the impression it was best of three. I then went on a lap of honour round the living room and from the dining end I turned around to face him, arms held aloft in triumph. But when I looked, there he was, gone. I heard his feet running along the corridor towards the bathroom and a hearty cry of so long, sucker. I gave chase but I heard the door slam and the bolt go in. I had been denied what was rightfully mine and, to borrow from Steptoe & Son, although I had justice on my side, sadly he had the bolt on his side..
I went downstairs and used the icy cold toilet in the gents in the main hall.