Got up at 2 after a well-earned twelve hour sleep, and went over to see Barbara to get some directions.
"I missed breakfast. Well; I slept for 12 hours"
"Yar. I saw your light on at 2"
Ok ... bit creepy now.
"By the way, you didn't close the gate with your remote when Trevor left yesterday."
Yeah? Well I play by my own rules!
"Please do that. I got this text message '3 black men, armed in a van, circulating the area'". Fuck. This shit's for real!
She gave me the directions and I walked through a lovely park to Lonehill Shopping Centre. There were no vans so I was fine.
Had a wander round. I even found a Virgin Active gym who said I could use the gym with my membership card. I'm sure I will ... at some point.
Then I went to Capello for a 300g fillet steak (never order 'medium', they think that means very well done) and went to pay them the £6 by card. My card was declined.
Luckily I had cash. When I got back to the guest house I Skype'd (is that what we say?) Egg.
"There was suspicious activity on your card so we put a security block on it. It was used on the Heathrow Express, at Terminal 5, then in Johannesburg"
"Did you not think that maybe .... I'D GONE ON HOLIDAY! Do I have to tell you before I go now?"
"We were going to send you a letter telling you why we'd blocked it"
Incidentally, I may not be a master criminal, but if I was, I doubt I'd flee the country after stealing one credit card, paying for the journey with that card.
And it's not the first time they've done this. A couple of years ago they decided that flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day was "suspicious activity". Cheers for making me feel like the romantic of the year, Egg.
BTW, As I left the shopping centre, Barbara rang me. "It's about to get dark. It's not safe to walk in the dark. I'm sending my son to get you." Five minutes later, her son's friend Miguel gave me a (short) lift home. Lovely, eh. You can tell me off all you want, Barbara.
At 7:30 there was a knock at my door. A guy wearing a Virgin Active Personal Trainer top was there. Bloody hell ... these guys are keen. Turns out his name is Tom and he's on at Carnival City with me.
"I take it they've warned you...." "Er ... sort of"
Oh shit. This could be carnage.
Joe then arrives in his Merc and drives us there at breakneck speed. He's right up the arse of every car, which is, according to him, acceptable here. He even laughs at how few road deaths we have in the UK. We saw five (seriously) post-accidents en route. FIVE!
Once inside Carnival City (A giant casino themed on a circus), Joe takes me to see Flashback. It's a bizarre show. It's exactly how I'd imagine Vegas to be ... if i could also allow for a budget cut in my imagination. A 40something Bonnie Tyler-type sings 80s songs accompanied by dancers, who then dance topless, before a guy in suspenders does Sweet Transvestite.
"We're on straight after this"
You're fucking kidding me!!! Now I get it.
As it plays out, the show goes really well. I think it helped that I used the line,
"I've never had to follow 6 topless dancers, a transvestite and a singing MILF before"
I say my goodbyes to the others acts I won't get to see and am driven back to MonteCasino by Ceephas.
One of the acts i won't see is an open mic called Alan Green (Not moonlighting from 5Live). He's a lovely guy who reminds me of the sort of person Terry Alderton would bring with him to his gig (bit obscure, I know). "I'm no good at maths, but you tell me 5 jokes and I'll remember them word for word". He then fucks up completely two jokes to me and Tom. Very funny.
On the way back I see a sign for "Bring a girl child to work day". I'll make a joke about Carnval City perhaps not being quite the place for that later. Ceephas doesn't laugh. Maybe not.
The Parker's gig goes well too. They like my opening line,
"It's nice to be here at your little drink drive club. Don't even try to lie to me. The car park's full and I don't see anyone drinking orange juice."
Just like the US (and if I'm honest, the Isle Of Man), drink driving is completely acceptable.
And that was pretty much that for Friday. All in all a pretty good day.