Tony Grapebutt

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November 19, 2005 by cosmoakacitizensmith

It was just before the 1997 General Election. I had a hangover and had probably just got up. My mate, a journo, had received a tip-off.

“Do you want to go and meet Tony Blair? He’s doing a photo call at a cafe in town.”

Hell yeah! We’d had our eye on him for a while now. We weren’t fooled. We knew the score. Well before any of you lot, I can tell ya………

Off I traipsed into Brighton town centre to the cyber cafe. And there he was. Tony Blair. Hanging out with a few minders and a handful of bemused punters, including me and my mate. One of the punters started giving him some grief.

I was stuck for words. This was my big chance. What was I going to say?

Then I told my mate the grape story. According to inside information I had reliably received, Fettes public school, (which the then-future-PM used to attend), had a bizarre initiation ritual for new pupils. Apparently, they were required to walk across the gym hall bollock naked with a grape between their bare buttcheeks. If they dropped the grape at any point, they had to eat it.

“Let’s ask him if he dropped the grape!” said my mate.

But Tony had gone. Done one. Vanished into thin air. “He’s probably up the university doing a speech,” someone said.

So we went off up there and sure enough, there Tony was giving a speech. We sat right near his feet and watched all the smarm and charm and bollocks that would become a regular feature of UK life go on. Only it wasn’t sinister and appalling like it is now. It was just boring.

We were all ushered out of the hall. Tony stayed behind. I stood in the bar by the exit. I could see and hear a helicopter land and make ready to take him off, to Portsmouth from what I remember.

And suddenly, there he was coming towards me, the Right Honourable Tony Blair MP, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. What was I to say or do? Looking back, as I have many times, I see now I had my moment when I could have perhaps taken him out, saving us all a whole load of bother. And what did he say to me?

“I like your hat.”

I noticed, up close now, he had bizarre orange make up on. This was to help him look better on camera, allegedly. Feckin freak.

“Yeah it’s good innit?” I replied, “Look, it does this!” Whereupon I slapped the part of my hat immediately above my forehead. The device which had been implanted in it did its bidding.

That is to say, it squeaked. My friend had made it. She sold lots of them down the market.

“Yes, that’s very impressive isn’t it?” said Tony. And then a helicopter whisked him away.

A few years later, my mate, then working for the Big Issue, had an interview with Tony during the next election campaign. But Tony blew it out at the last minute.

So we never got to find out if he had to eat the grape.

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