Friday, January 16, 2009

Monkey News: La Princesse à Paris

Obliviously inspired by Carl Pilkington's 'Monkey News' segments on the Ricky Gervais podcasts, a dysfunctional nearby (in so many ways) to Pilkington, Carl Dilkington, began sending missives to me. Here is his first attempt to 'flesh out' (on) the genre. (c. May 2006)

Alright mates,

Got some monkey news that you may not have heard yet. There's nothing new going on right now, as you well know, but this is news from the past sort of thing. You can't really air it on any shows, because it may be sort of controversial and that, and it hasn't really been let out into the open much cos of that. But that's why not everyone knows it. More like some underground monkey news, if you get my drift. So anyway, without further ado:

This goes way back to 1997, in Paris. There was this photo journalist who had a bit of a gig there and needed some wheels to get him around town. He's got a few notches 'gainst his license, so he goes to a private car service, trying to get a car to take him around for his gig, but it already being pretty late in the evening, the woman there was like, "No, we haven't any drivers left tonight, they're all gone home by now" and that.

He tries to talk her into it, asking if there might not be someone she could call up or summat. He says it's kind of an emergency, and he's got some important work to do. So at first, she's not having it, but he keeps going on an on, so finally she gives in. "Well," she says, "there's one bloke might do it." The photographer is all like, yeah yeah, I'll have him, and she goes on, "But there's only one problem".

The photographer's pretty antsy by now, "Alright, whatever. I'll take him, what's the problem?"

"Well," she says, "he doesn't drive a car."

The photographer is rightly puzzled. He asks her what he does drive, and she says a motorcycle. It's got a sidecar on it, she says, you can go along for the ride and still take your pictures. The photographer isn't too happy with that, but there was nowt else to do at that point, so he tells her to sign him up.

They sort it out, right, and half an hour later, the photographer is speeding along on his way down the Paris streets. He finds he rather likes this arrangement, cos all he has to do to get the driver in the right direction is tug at either corner of the driver's biking vest, and he would turn that way. Soon enough, he sees a limo driving past them and he gets the driver to follow it. While they're catching up, he rummages in his photo bag, pulling out his cameras and flashes and batteries and whatnot.

Finally the bike pulls up alongside the limo, and the photographer tells the driver to maintain speed. He points his camera at the tinted window at the back seats of the limo ... but all of a sudden the window comes down. He's a little shocked, cos he didn't expect them in the limo to respond, right? So he lowers his camera, just to get a second take and that. It's Princess Diana, sitting right there, staring back at him! He knew who it was going be. No surprises there. But he didn't expect her to pull her window down to take a good look at him and all.

So Diana takes a good look at him, right, at then she pulls the window up again. Just before her face disappears behind the tinted screen, she turns to her driver and mumbles summat. Diana's driver turns around to look at the motorcycle. He sees the photographer, who by this time is looking right bamboozled. Her driver then looks along the sidecar and to the front of the motorcycle.

Last thing Princess Di's driver sees - it's a monkey driving that bike.

Alright then, that's the coverage of the fact as best I know it. I know there's tons of people out there who prolly won't believe it, and may even be offended. But that's how the News works, innit?

Carl Dilkington,
Dartford, Kent

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