We are going on a summer hiatus until the Generalissimo wakes up from his little nap. I’d like to thank any and all who have stopped by these last few months to share in my adventures with the insane mustachioed one.
We will return in the fall; bigger, badder, and smelling slightly of stale box wine and nachos.
We rode the Tube back to Heathrow. Not even the Generalissimo’s friendship with the Queen could keep us from being expelled from the country. The cops never took their eyes off us until we boarded the plane. A representative from the U.S. Embassy stayed with us until our seatbelts were tight. The plane’s door sealed after he left.
We were in an emergency exit row, which meant plenty of legroom and a television monitor on a swing-arm that wouldn’t stay up. The flight attendant tried to tape it in place, but that didn’t hold for very long.
After sampling one of Cornish Bakehouse’smeat pasties, I wasn’t expecting much from their custard Danish. For starters, it was custard filled. I like custard, but as I’ve said many times before, Danishes should be cream cheese filled. Fruit should be used as a last resort, and in conjunction with the cheese. Custard? Never.
We’d been staying half a block away from the Tate Britain for nearly a week without going inside. So I did. Then I left. For such a large building, they really didn’t have much. Reminded me of a car dealership going out of business: only a few cars, forty or so employees wandering around with nothing to do besides pester the few customers, and plenty of parking.
I went back to the hotel and gathered the Generalissimos. Our flight wasn’t until later that evening, so we thought it’d be nice to take a stroll near Green Park. And by we, I meant they.
I woke up in my hotel room. No one had burst in during the night. Four uniform-wearing oddballs hadn’t broken in to watch me sleep. No one had pulled the fire alarm to, as el Capitán put it, “Test this fine establishments preparedness for battle!”
I got up. Took a shower (which at the City Inn is the equivalent of a roller coaster ride the way the pressure and temperature fluctuated without my input). Watched a little Top Gear. Hit the pub for a solo breakfast. Held myself to two undisturbed pints for once.
Three point two. That’s how many inches they added to the standard Mini’s wheelbase to create the Clubman. Doesn’t sound like much.
But it’s huge.
For starters, a real live person can fit in the back seat now. With me up front and comfy, Zak the Intern sat in back without complaining about loss of feeling in his extremities. The trunk goes from able to hold a measly ½ body to now about ¾ of one. Put the seats down, and they actually make a flat section instead of a ramp like in the regular Cooper. Plenty of space for a dog, a tent, and enough supplies to spend a week in the woods.
We even saw a young family test drive one before us. The child seat fit in the Clubman; not so much in the standard Cooper.
The Generalissimo inhaled. I stood to the side, watching. I felt the wind pick up as the District Line came our way. The warm night air pushed past us until the train screeched by. Free newspapers tumbled along the platform, collecting in corners and under benches.
The train stopped. The doors parted. A man in his twenties stepped out. I stepped in. The Capitáns followed.
The Generalissima was spending the day with some of her flight school pals at an undisclosed location. The Capitáns wanted to see a display of post-war propaganda comics at the Cartoon Museum. Which left me to chaperone the Generalissimo.
It will be grand! Two hip bachelors! Out on the town!
Neither of us was a bachelor, but confusing him ran the risk of spending an hour or two listening to him try and convince me otherwise.
If Wal-Mart is as American as apple pie and baseball, then Harrods is as British as spotted dick and cricket. So I had high hopes for their interpretation of our old friend, the cheese Danish. And they were were right on the money, sorta. Imagine a cellist that hits all the right notes but then decides to fart halfway through the performance. Yo-yo Ma would never think about breaking wind, so why ruin a Danish like this?
What am I talking about? Ill let the Generalissimo explain, as he did it so much more eloquently than I.
They put effing raisins in the effing cheese filling!
The Generalissimo's views are his own. So are the voices in his head. If you're offended by what he's said about a car you own, I'm terribly sorry. He, of course, is not. He's a total whack-job. My name is Walter Thurman, and my job is to accompany the Generalissimo in order to translate his words into English; I'm fluent in gibberish. If you'd like to have this job, I'll gladly hand it over, no questions asked. Some advice: wear a helmet.
About the Generalissimo:
Last known location - in a bunker outside Mount Vernon
Interests - antique bandoliers, fine boxed wine, mustaches (primarily his own), cars, fighting evil and villainy, soup, finding the world's finest cheese Danish, jacuzzi-ing, mirrored sunglasses, unicorns, prophecies, and of course his beloved counterpart the Generalissima
Favorite movie - Romancing the Stone
Favorite song - Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-lot
Ideal first date - Battling ones' enemies while sipping Cabernet from a plastic cup