Yesterday Archie rang to tell me that he had found a website that sent you free underwear. He had ordered six pairs — one for every day of the week, skipping Naked Sunday. Like a lot of rich people who were once poor he has held onto some curiously tight habits and has a genuine fondness for free things. “It’s probably not very good underwear,” he admitted. “But it’s free!” I had to wonder why the website was sending out free underwear and he said there was probably advertising printed on it.
“That is some very targeted advertising,” said I. “Who is going to see the underwear besides you and perhaps some drunk women?”
“It is probably just a web address,” he said.
“I only wonder what kind of web address is going to make the women stop what they’re doing & head to the computer.”
“Well I’ll find out soon,” he said gleefully. No hint of criticism really troubles the man unless he feels it has something to do with his appearance, in which case his brow furrows and his disposition clouds very quickly; I have seen the sulking come on like thunder over the mountains, then he digs his heels in like a child. Soon enough he is in despair and calling for old morphine doctors that haven’t been allowed to enter the state since the 40s.
So this is what it has come to after those long, drowsy ochre and umber years, awash in soft whisky… After all of the hours spent in hotel rooms with famous people; flutes of sparkling wine and free peanuts on Opening Nights with Barbra Streisand and Nancy Sinatra and Tom Jones et. al. Some velvet morning when he’s straight he’ll realise what he’s lost. I said as much and he became thoughtful. As he drew the words to him the clock ticked over. Finally he said, “You’re right, honey. So many old fond friends. A lotta them are gone now. I’d forgotten…” he sniffed. Then he said, “Do you think I should call Nancy Sinatra and tell her about the underwear?”
“Maybe not, Archie,” I said.
“But she might want to get some for herself.”
Conclusion: Brooks ended & Frankie returns from the mists.