Anyone who has ever met me or cast a weary eye over this blog will know that Thursday is a special day for me. For the past 20 years or so it has been the traditional meeting night of the Giovedi Club. An institution of dishevelled, disgraceful and dissolute fellows which meets once a week to eat pasta and steak and drink red wine and grappa.
Over the years the dedication of its members has become legendary. People have rearranged holidays, travelled through six foot snow drifts and generally overcome all sorts of obstacles to make a "meeting". Nowadays, however, it seems that things have changed - for the worse.
How's this for a list of excuses? One is on holiday (reasonable but badly planned), one has been ordered by his mother to go to her house for dinner (feeble), one is worried about his waistline (astonishing) and another is packing a case for a trip on Saturday (disgraceful). I'm not even going to start on the people who come along and "really can't manage such a big plate of pasta!".
Has the lure of the grappa become so weak? Is my company really so bad (possible, but not to be seriously contemplated)? Or, as I suspect, has our new recruitment drive brought in some thoroughly soft members?
The club would never have started if people worried about their weight! The boys of the old brigade would not have dreamed of using such a lengthy list of feeble excuses for their absence. Is it time to call the whole thing off? Tonight it is just myself and my dad keeping the Olympic flame alive. Emergency! Emergency! Can anyone out there save the Giovedi?