13 AUGUST 1994, Page 34

Low life

More sex, please

Jeffrey Bernard

Acertain amount of loneliness is beginning to creep into my life — very dif- ferent from being alone, which I like and it has prompted me to put an adver- tisement into the personal columns of this journal, stating quite simply, 'Alcoholic, diabetic amputee seeks sympathy fuck.' I'm not sure that our editor would wear this final 'cry for help' and I suppose that any- one who might answer it would be as daft as a brush.

I have been pushed out this week a cou- ple of times and have to run the gauntlet of banter from the barrow boys in the market, usually about the prettiness of my nurses who do the pushing. Little do they know what bossy boots these pretty girls mostly are. They usually dump me in the Groucho Club and it is there, while sipping Absolut vodka, that I torture myself talking to and looking at two beautiful women, one of them a customer and the other a manager, and pointlessly wonder what might have been. A fruitless pastime.

It amazes me that Charlie Chaplin was able to bed such beauties in his seventies, especially considering that he wasn't very funny. Perhaps I am now considered to be harmless but it was quite a lot of fun, some time ago, to be dangerous.

And talking of sipping Absolut, the English agents for the stuff invited me to be one of the judges in a cocktail-making competition, the contestants being 22 cock- tail barmen from all over London. I was well aware that it could have been both foolish and dangerous for me to accept the invitation and that my pancreas might scream at the touch of just one of them. So I determined to take the smallest of sips enough just to taste the mixtures — and that way thought I might get away with it. But, however small the sips, just imagine drinking 22 cocktails, some of them quite foul, on the trot. Also, thanks to being stuck in my wheelchair and considering the length of the queue at the barbecue, I went all day without a bite, which was stupid for a diabetic.

With no more than three exceptions that I can think of, the cocktail is a fairly dis- gusting invention. Anyway the next day I was sick as a dog. Surprise, surprise. Per- haps it served me right for attempting to go slightly bent and award too high marks to the Groucho Club barman simply because he's a kind, helpful young man who lifts me up the two steps into the bar. Then, two days later, Smirnoff sent me the gift of a bottle of their new black label vodka' because a picture of me appeared in the Evening Standard with a bottle of their stuff in the foreground. I haven't tried it yet and I may at last have lost my nerve since those 22 successive cocktails.

It occurs to me, while I am polishing off the last of their red label vodka, that I should make more use of my friend, Irma Kurtz, who comes to see me every so often. She is, after all, an agony aunt and, although I am not in agony but just discom- fort, I should make more use of her advice. Francis Bacon once put it in a nutshell when he advised me, 'Just regard everything as being totally unimportant.' That was bull- shit though and there were many things that he regarded as having great importance and significance and not only his work. Perhaps Irma and I should swap problems although I don't think she has many, but how does anyone ever know about anyone else? Per- haps I should set up as an agony uncle except for the fact that the people who edit and run magazines, particularly women's ones, have the idea that men don't have any problems. They should be in my boot.

And now, to get my daily dose of injus- tice, I shall get the sainted Vera to push me to the Groucho Club so that I can look yet again at those young women who have the bad judgment to consort with advertising agency creeps. Bitter? No more than angostura.