The Secret Diary of J. R. Hartley

J. R. HartleyMonday

This morning was interesting. I shall iterate further and in no small detail.

"I would like a copy of 'Fly Fishing' by J. R. Hartley, please".

"I understand sir. I'll put them (sorry, IT) in a brown paper bag for you."

Unfortunately, when I left the bookshop, I discovered that I had purchased a packet of condoms. Worse still, they were rum and butter flavoured ones. I myself am teetotal so I feel a moral dilemma on the horizon.The next shop I entered greeted me with a large inflatable Bart Simpson. "I would like a copy of 'Fly Fishing' by J.R. Hartley please" I said to the made-up tart behind the counter.

She looked at me and then gave me a tin of edible underwear. It cost me all of five guineas. I think she was calling me a dirty old man to another lady working in the shop.

I decided to try a different approach at this point. I entered a tobacconist and asked my fated question once more. "I would like a copy of 'Fly Fishing' by J.R. Hartley please."

The gentleman looked at me and explained to me that I should "Bugger off", as I am a "senile old sod" and that it was a "newsagents".

And so I was left out on the street. I ate the underwear and sucked on the rum and butter condoms for my brunch and then had an idea. I threw myself in the river and pretended to be a piece of wood for a while. It was a funny old day, on the whole. Later on I tried to write a song about Richard Gere.

It went like this...

My name's Richard Gere,
People Say I'm Rubbish
Well that is not true,
'Cos I am a Buddhist.

Nobody liked it so I forgot all about it and after that, denied ever writing it. I don't care if a pop star makes a fortune out of it. I won't say anything at all.

J. R. HartleyTuesday

I went to Betty's funeral this morning. It was a good do. The darts match at the end was particularly entertaining. No one laid any bets. (Although the vicar laid Betty). Someone told me an amusing anecdote about Richard Madeley, in which he opened a supermarket, and when they went inside all of the shelves were empty. I didn't get it.

J. R. HartleyWednesday

I went to Alice's funeral this morning. Not as good as Betty's but better than Simon's Going back in again party. Good old Simon. Announcing that he was a heterosexual was a complete surprise to everyone (especially Jason, his wife) I can tell you.

J. R. HartleyThursday

I considered suicide this morning. In the end I had Semolina. This is a dilemma in which I find myself occasionally. Luckily Semolina usually wins out. I decide to buy a newspaper today. I come back with a tennis racket, three ounces of kelp and a wine rack. What a day. Why can't people understand me? Maybe I should stop speaking Serbo-Croatian for a while. Later on I made up a whole new joke to tell my friends:

There were two parrots sitting in a tree in Africa. One parrot turned to the other and said "It isn't easy being a parrot."The other parrot turned and replied "It isn't easy being a parrot". I wish I'd tried suicide, now.

J. R. HartleyFriday

Went to Patrick's funeral today. The water skiing was very entertaining. I wish Patrick was there, but they had lost the body and we had to make do with a sparrow that someone had picked up off the road on the way in. Fred made a fool of himself with the salmon quiche. Everyone laughed (except for Chef, who called him a cunt).

J. R. HartleySaturday

Thought about sex today, just to see if I still could. I didn't get much else done at all, I'm afraid.

J. R. HartleySunday

Went to church. Someone had decided it would be a good idea to put some rock songs in with the hymns. We sang "Praise be to God, as we are Worms", "Oh Glorious Saviour, we are not worthy of being shat upon by your Hamster" and "Anarchy in the UK" by The Sex Pistols. Jerry dropped off at the end. He is still there in the church now for all I know. What a week.

© Lunchtime