Dangerous Dave's equally dangerous friend, Steve Carter is giving a party at his far from humble abode, located in a village on the outskirts of Cardiff. This guy is pretentious with a capital P. He's the worst type of rich person, one that came from humble beginnings and feels like he has something to prove. One of Thatcher's children educated at the new breed of dumbed down university, which afforded the peasantry the opportunity to go out and make something of their life's. Steve is the type of guy that nobody actually likes but many people follow him around in the knowledge that he will share his mounds of cocaine and bottles of champagne with them if they tell him what he wants to hear.
It's a beautiful Saturday afternoon in July 2006 and my mate Toddy and I are driving down to Steve's party, with thoughts of free cocaine and champagne firmly etched on our minds. The party has a medieval theme with a strict fancy dress code. I have decided to wear a jester outfit which I actually have already lying in the wardrobe, awaiting such an occasion.
Toddy and I are chatting away and 4 hours have passed before we know it. As we drive through the outlying quaint little Welsh villages we crack open a beer to try and get ourselves in the mood. We eventually find "Castle Carter" and park up outside the gates. Dangerous Dave, who is living with Steve at the time, comes out to greet us and we chat to him whilst we don our outfits in the car. We then enter the back garden via a side entrance between the house and the granny flat.
The party has been going on all afternoon and consequently the huge back garden is alive with very drunken, very rowdy medieval characters. At the far end of the garden on the grass there is a huge inflatable castle with 2 fighting podiums in the middle of it. On the patio, there is a pig rotating on a spit, a table bearing lots of food and a huge, velvet seated, gold painted throne. Steve is dressed in a kings outfit complete with a crown and is sitting on the throne overseeing his kingdom and serfdom. As I stand for a quiet moment trying to take all this in, I hear a noise behind me and feel a hand slap down on my shoulder. I quickly spin around to be confronted by another jester. Unlike me, this jester has been drinking all day and judging by his loud and obnoxious behaviour he has some other issues going on. This guy is literally frothing from the mouth, falling around and speaking in such an inarticulate manner that it is impossible to know what he is saying. My concentrated efforts to read his lips are broken by the ringing of a bell to my left. The ringer of the bell is a guy dressed in a town crier outfit, who has been ordered by King Steve to make the public announcements all day. His announcement goes as follows, "Ladies and gentlemen, please prepare for today's main event THE B-A-T-T-L-E of the J-E-S-T-E-R's". At this news, the crowd erupt into a frenzy of cheering, the alcohol crazed jester punches the air and my arse drops to my feet.
Two minutes later I am on the podium, feeling stone cold sober and holding a large fighting baton in my hands. All I want to do is get this out of the way so that I can enjoy a few beers and some food. The town crier announces that on the count of three, he will ring his bell and the fight will commence. Three, two, one "rinnnggggg riinnnnggg", and we're off. I immediately batter the other jester with one hard clobbering thrust of the baton. His drunken state does not lend itself to such a hit and he falls straight off the podium. Unfortunately for me he falls forwards, lunging at me as he falls to the deck. I too am knocked from my podium and hit the inflatable castle with such force that I bounce up, somersault in the air, land on top of the castle wall and am consequently bounced with force, first 3 ft in the air and then 6ft to the ground. I land flat on my back, with a sickening crunch of my head on the hard floor. Once more the crowd erupt.
I know that I have hurt myself but pride kicks in and I am on my feet before I know it. I walk back towards the crowd with my head held high but avoiding their gaze. I'm heading straight for the buffet, when I detect from the sound of the crowd that they are not satisfied with this performance. They are chanting "jesters, jesters" as they demand a rematch. Rather foolishly I give in to their demands and take my place on the podium.
The town crier counts down, the bell rings and again I smash the jester with a blow which knocks him straight off his podium. What happens next is unbelievable! The jester falls forward, lunges at me and knocks me off my podium, I hit the bouncy surface, bounce in the air, hitting the top of the castle, propelling my 3 feet in the air before I crash down on the grass below, landing flat on my back. This sound familiar? It's a carbon copy of what has just happened not 5 minutes earlier. My head even hits the ground with the same intensity. Once more the crowd erupt.
This time I am down for slightly longer but my pride resurrects me. I walk towards them, head held high and arms triumphantly in the air. They cry out for more but I snub their demands and stride past them to get myself a well earned beer. I fear that I am slightly concussed and my ribs are in absolute agony. For the next half and hour I put up a show that all is good before retiring to a dark and quiet room upstairs, like a dog that is preparing to die.