It's always good to spend a couple of days in Essex. If you've got nowhere else to go, that is. But despite having a perfectly good flat, I voluntarily left my humble home on Thursday evening and made my way to my parents' house in Chelmsford, where my Big Sis is currently holed up, having done her bit for the hurricane relief effort by vacating her Texas home before the refugees arrived. New Orleans in the murder capital of the US, and she's not taking any chances.
Having been in Essex for the past two nights, I've had a chance to read the Chelmsford Weekly News, which makes the Shotley Noticeboard look like a 4 page leaflet. Oh hang on, it is a 4 page leaflet. Well anyway, as the title suggests, they've had a whole week to seek out the top news stories from across the region, and this week they've gone with this headline plastered across the front page in inch-high letters:
"GANG FORCE PENSIONER TO CRASH"
Which sounds quite exciting. Personally I was envisaging a gang of armed hoodlums with AK47s peppering a pensioner's car with bullets and causing it to flip over several times and crash in a huge fireball, before looting the wreckage and making off with their ill-gotten gains to buy some crack and pick up a couple of ho's.
Unfortunately the story was about a few teenagers on bicycles who distracted an old lady on a mobility scooter and caused her to bump into a bus stop. She wasn't hurt, but she did say "I've never been spoken to like that before", so it was obviously quite a vicious gang. Chelmsford's just not a safe place any more.
But on the bright side, the local vets are having an open day, where you can "Meet 'Thunder', the Essex FM dog".
Why have Essex FM got a dog? And why can't I read the words 'Essex' and 'dog' without thinking of Jodie Marsh?
Anyhoo, yesterday Big Sis and I drove down to Southend where we met our 6 year old niece from school. She greeted us by informing Sis that her Daddy's cleverer than she is, and telling me I've got a fat tummy. One of those is definitely a lie. But we took her home anyway, where I was forced to play Fishes (don't ask), and she wiped the floor with us at Scooby Doo.
Personally I was only there for the promise of a takeaway, but the half pound of sugar they'd clearly put in my curry soured the whole experience, and I was forced to buy chocolate on the way home to make up for the disappointment. Which is something I can get away with, seeing as I don't have a fat tummy, and I'm the cleverest member of the family.
Anyway, as I speak, I'm still in Chelmsford. It's the final classic of the horse racing season today, so naturally I can't be expected to drive home this afternoon. I also can't be expected to come up with anything original, so having tipped The Geezer three times on this blog in the past six months, I'm tipping him again in the St Leger. Get on now. He can't lose. Unless of course he does.