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For no apparent reason, the shock resignation of Richard Torbay today has reminded Ross Jones of a conversation he heard recently at his local.

arthur_daley_tTHIS NEWS CYCLE thing is doing my head in.

Carr’s retractions, Turnbull’s NBN absurdities, Costello’s machinations, Crean’s leaking, Tony reading to children and on it goes — wash, dry and spin.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m under pressure, I go to the pub.

And so I did. Found myself a corner, took an sip of cold beer and flicked to the cryptic.

I thought it was a quiet corner, but no. A loudmouth with a foreign accent plonked himself at the next table and started talking to a bloke I couldn’t see, a portable panel of NRL betting posters obscuring my view of his companion. The companion must have had a soft voice, because I could only hear the loudmouth’s side of the conversation. I couldn’t help but hear the loudmouth’s side of the conversation.

It went like this:
Arfur, Arfur, wot ‘ave you done my son? When we was down the Winchester you tole me you was straight.

You’re a sly one, eh? Yeah, ta much, I’ll have a double. Ice, no water.

No, no, my son, I’m not taking the piss, I just don’t like water.

Eddie! Wotcha!

Arfur? Arfur? Why you under the table? No, it’s Romanian Eddie not Leb Eddie, it’s ok my son. Come on, up you come. There. Look, you’ve spilt vodka all over your nice suit. Gucci, right? Jacquard Stitching? Nice.

ArthurDaley
I know, my son, I know. My memory has gone to Harrods as well. Ask me what I drank yesterday, I couldn’t tell you. Well, okay, G&T. But a simple human can’t be expected to remember everything, can he? Have a brain like a camel ovverwise.

Tell me! I’ve been a director of so many companies I’ve lost count. Well, not so much companies, more firms — but in my manor they count.

Course I had shares in them! Just not in my name; gentlemen’s agreement.

No, I don’t know any either.

Donations? Look, my son, you are not alone in this regard. Now, now, don’t get all down in the mouf, it’ll all work out. Look at me, Jag, lockup, the works, you fink I haven’t made donations?

You know what I do when collared? Apologise unreservedly. I tell you, my son, it works every time.

How much? Two and a half million quid? Did I ever tell you I knew Ronnie Biggs? Yeah, just before he conked the train driver and fled to Australia. Oh, sorry, it’s ok, have another.

Her indoors? My son, yours can’t be worse then mine. Rules the house. Doesn’t believe a word I say!

No! That bad? You need a lockup, my son.

You are a sly one! What’s the address?



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