AKA - The Couples Massage
“And that’s when he gave me the signed photo of Noel Edmunds!” exclaims Matt proudly as we stroll through the Buda Castle area.
I know what you’re thinking. “Who the devil is this mysterious Matt fella, why has he been given a signed photo of Noel Edmunds and how can I also get my filthy mitts on one?”
Well allow me to explain, you impetuous young scamps.
1. Matt is a dear friend who has come to Budapest to visit myself, my pygmy wife and Mila (aka the spawn of our loins). He is a typical man from Caerphilly. And by that I mean that he’s married to a Mongolian and is currently being paid to learn Arabic full time. Ten a penny in Glamorgan.
2. He has been given a signed photo of Noel Edmunds by his Arabic teacher as an award for successfully passing his Arabic exam.
3. There are some beautiful signed photos of Noel available on eBay.
Anyway, now that’s out of the way, let’s get back to Matt and I strolling in the Buda Castle area. Matt is just about to elaborate on why his Arabic teacher is giving him signed photos of bearded men.
“Well.” Says Matt. “We often discuss what Noel Edmunds might do in any given situation. He is our go to third person. For example, last week, ‘Noel Edmunds does not like the United Nations because he hates democracy.’”
“Does he?” I ask.
“Probably.” Replies Matt.
I ponder this for a moment.
“I guess any man that refuses to change his hair style for the best part of forty years is likely to be anti-United Nations.”
Matt nods, sagely.
“I read a great description of Noel Edmonds the other day.” He says. “It described him as looking like a child’s sand drawing of Aslan.”
“Ha!” I blurt, whilst simultaneously making a mental note to cut back on my daily blurting.
Having decided that we’ve exhausted Noel for the moment, I attempt to steer the conversation down a different path. “How’s fatherhood?”
Matt has recently become the proud father to a gorgeous little half Welsh, half Mongolian lady.
“Yeah. Good. Pretty tiring, but good. How is it, one year on?”
I smile. I’m remembering this time last year when I shared a beer with another friend not far from where we are currently strolling. At the time I was a wet around the ears father while my friend was a seasoned pro having owned a two year old child for, well, two years. I remember listening to him harp on about fatherhood like a small boy listening to a grandad telling old war stories. I was in awe and very much mesmerised. He was my Obi Wan Kenobi. But now I am smiling as I’ve just realised that the apprentice has become the master. It is now Matt who is an eager, but inexperienced young padwan and I am the almighty Jedi master.
“I can’t remember the last time I had feeling in my face. That’s how tired I’ve been. Also, you know what I miss more than life itself? Lazy, rainy Sunday’s lying on the sofa, binge watching film after film.”
We both sigh and walk on. We’re heading to our couples massage that Zsuzsa has taken it upon herself to book us, as though it’s the most normal thing in the world for two male friends to do.
“I got turned away from my last massage.” says Matt. “Too hairy. Would use up too much oil apparently.”
“They turned you away?”
We arrive at the massage parlour.
“Would you like one room or separate rooms?” says the lady behind the counter.
“SEPARATE!” we holler in unison, a bit too loudly and a bit too quickly. We are then each led off to our own SEPARATE curtained cubicles.
“Nuiil 'Iidmundz la yuhibu altadlik” murmours Matt from behind his curtain.
“What does that mean?” I ask.
“Noel Edmunds does not like being massaged.”