Dear Cathy and Claire

I wonder if you can help me. I recently was asked to host a deluxe barbeque for some Scottish friends who live in a town called ‘Glasgow’, near Scotland. I live in London and had stocked up on decent cuts of meat, firelighters, barbeque coals (impregnated), vegetable kebabs and fish because some veggie always turns up unannounced.

As my wife is so quick to prepare her lovely potato and pasta salads and often brings the baked potatoes out before my BBQ is actually hot enough to start cooking, I took the precaution of stocking up on a few gas canisters and hundreds of gallons of fuel accelerant. She won’t mock me in front of my friends this time. Oh no.

Anyway, I just popped into a corner shop to buy 514 gas lighters, and guess what. My beautiful silver Mercedes got a ticket from a traffic warden and then got towed away. In the dead of night, in the heart of London, those blinking traffic wardens and damned wheel clampers are still working for their stupid commissions. Can you believe it ?

A friend, Ali Akbah, kindly lent me his black 4x4 Jeep for the jaunt to Glasgow and it was a long, tedious journey particularly as I wasn’t allowed to stop at service stations or smoke for some odd reason. Why - I was pretty relieved when I finally got to the safe house Uncle Mustafa’s house and could use his toilet. I cracked that old joke ‘Mustafa Wee’ but he didn’t get it.

Some of the very important guests for the BBQ were flying in from all around the world so I drove to Glasgow airport to meet them. Unfortunately, as I was so tired from the long drive, I lost control as I approached the terminal building. Instead of braking, I mistakenly hit the accelerator and crashed into the front of the terminal building and Ali’s lovely, brand new black Jeep caught fire.

Imagine my surprise, when I managed to leave the vehicle and tried, in vain (and excruciating pain for that matter) to save my 756 Birds-Eye (100% beef) Quarter Pounders. I felt pretty warm and sweaty and slowly became aware that was because my clothes and hair were on fire so tried to grab an ice-cold can of Grolsch from the boot to cool down.

Imagine my relief, when a friendly policeman came to my assistance and tried to drag me away from the vehicle into the terminal building to buy me a Coca Cola. I fought with him, pleading with him to help me retrieve my 128 portions of finest rump steak but no, he insisted on dragging me away to safety.

To add insult to injury, a Scottish BAA employee then waded in and started to attack me, raining in kicks and blows, talking in a language I couldn’t quite understand. It sounded like ‘Whityedaein? Yae dinna come to Glasgae and mess with the polis, you wee bawbag !’.

My questions are:

  • Will I make a full recovery from my burns ?
  • If I rearrange the BBQ for Monday 30 August 2018 (late August bank holiday), would you both be able to attend ?

Cathy & Claire reply: ‘Sadly, I have some bad news for you. Very bad news. You have 90 degree burns over all of your body. Your medical prognosis is not good. Even if you survive, you will be condemned to a life of skin grafts, complicated operations, expensive plastic surgery and you will have to learn to tolerate extreme levels of pain. You will also be horrendously disfigured for life. In fact, you are more likely to die than survive, particularly if the British authorities refuse you any medical treatment.’

‘In the unlikely event that you survive, Ali Akbah is not pleased with the state of his Jeep, the loss of his no-claims bonus and has issued a £20,000 contract on your life.’

‘PS. Cathy & myself would be delighted to attend the event if an alternate host (and venue) can be found. Just so you know, Claire is a recently converted vegetarian but still eats fish.’