Magazine article The Spectator

Bleak Omen

Magazine article The Spectator

Bleak Omen

Article excerpt

High life

Gstaad

What a way to start the new year. Back in jail. Yes, I've done it again, but this time only for an hour. It was the Radziwill wine that did me in, having dined with the Polish prince and his Greek princess prior to my arrest. I guess my 66-year-old liver ain't what it used to be. No sooner had I downed a bottle of an awfully good red, I was sloshed and needed some action. 'Hush' is the newest 'in' place of Gstaad, owned and operated by Jeffrey Moore, son of Roger, and the place was jumping with nubile things. In fact I was by far the oldest person there, but was soon shamed to a hasty migration by my daughter. Normally I would have walked to the Palace, but that particular night I happened to be driving my brand-new yellow Mini, so unwisely I decided to motor up the hill, literally a two-- minute drive. I never made it. What I did was reverse into a large tree rather hard, demolishing the rear of the Mini, never mind the poor tree. I am not a lawyer, but, literally speaking, this will be a hard one to prove. Drunken driving, after all, means going from point A to point B under the influence. In my case I went from point A to point minus A, all three yards.

Having inspected the damage, I left the car against the tree and walked to the Palace. I told Andrea the concierge what had happened, asked him to take care of it in the morning, and went down to the GreenGo nightclub for some more fun and games. At around five I decided to call it a night and walked home. Just as I was getting into my warm bed, my daughter informed me that I had two visitors: a man and a woman, both police officers with guns in their holsters. Although confused as to why they were there, I nevertheless asked them to join me for a nightcap. Both refused. `Have you had anything to drink?' was the first question. "Of course I have, do you think I always talk this way?' `You must come with us. You left the scene of an accident without informing the authorities,' or words to that effect. In view of the fact that no one else was involved except for the Mini and the tree, I begged to differ with the fuzz. Worse, while trying to charm the female cop, I made a romantic suggestion to her. Well, I never! Off we went to the hospital for a blood test and to the station which - predictably - had been shut tight since ten the previous evening. When I pointed this out, the two Sherlocks scratched their heads and drove me back to Palataki, where a welcoming committee was up in arms. …

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