I’ve decided that I caught this flu off Lenny Henry. I saw him for lunch with Hilary Bevan Jones at BAFTA the other week, and he insisted on hugging me. "Commit to the hug!" he bellowed, rubbing himself against me in ways I choose not to elaborate upon. I only found out later that he’d just gotten back from some heartbreaking tour of African death holes. Lenny is a large and hale man who can afford to pay other people to have his diseases for him. The likes of Biafran Poison Monkey Virus do not concern him. Me, on the other hand… not so much.
I did find out one fascinating thing from him that day. The BBC operates this section called something like BBC Hostiles — threat analysis and security for BBC employees in hotzones, red-line communications between the field and head office.
So Lenny Henry gave me a disgusting disease by forcing a committed man-hug upon me. But I did learn about the BBC black ops unit. So I suppose it evens out. Also, if you catch the death flu, you end up with hallucinatory terrordreams on the second night wherein Jeremy Paxman is M.
I am, finally, starting to feel better. But I’m still not going near Expo, and I’m still producing enough plumes of atomised muck to be infectious. Besides, the work’s piled up while I’ve been limp and crap. And on top of that, one of the girls’ rats has to go to the vet tomorrow morning for an operation to remove a tumour. (Which is a minor thing: rats are prone to tumours, and this one is small and mobile, they can just snip it out.) The name of the rat in question? Lenny. Wasn’t my idea, Lili named them. (She had lunch with him once and really liked him, I guess.)
Developing new comics ideas today, while I’ve got some mental clarity. Tomorrow and for the rest of the week, it’s back to finishing off outstanding comics jobs for various places. But today, because I’m feeling a bit better, I’m letting myself do the fun stuff: thinking of new things.