Dolphin-herder Gyppo Byard has tagged me to come up with a list of things I regret doing. Such is my innate poise that there's nothing I really wish I hadn't done, or else my as-standard Memory Hole has excised it.
My life would have worked out differently if, say, I'd opted for Italian instead of Russian at college. I'd be mooching around the semiotics department of Bologna University in a shrug of Nazionali fumes, biker jackets and impatient young ladies, having arrived for a few months as a professore d'inglese 20 years earlier. But then this web blog wouldn't be half as fascinating:
"Il 27 settembre: Woke late, had a cornetto and a corretto. Off to college on my reconditioned East German moped. Taught 1970s football chants to the children of my colleagues. Lunch with one of the Gabriellas. I think she's seeing Donatella at three. So am I..."
Yes, my life has been one slender, Silurian step to Sartori after another. A career I'm glad I didn't pursue too far, however, was that of buffed boy toy for bored Tory ladies.
"Why on Earth not?" you ask. An attentive reader of this journal would conclude that this was my one true calling. The answer is that, like many pleasures in life, it can lead you into literally dark passages.
In 1980 the British left unbuttoned its collective dungarees in relief. James Callaghan, statesman and stevedore, stepped down as leader of the opposition Labour Party to be replaced by Socialist fantasist and trainee Welshman Michael Foot.
For the benefit of North American readers, Michael Foot looks like the scientist in 1950s B-movies who tries to reason with the monster before it pulls his Hush Puppies out through his nostrils and plays his scrotum like a banjo.
In a rare example of a science-fiction insight , this also summed up Mr Foot's approach to dealing with the Soviet Politburo, Argentine generals, the Mighty Mrs Thatcher and Trotskyist moles in his own ranks.
His tenure as Labour leader was rather like a model giving a handjob to a dying war veteran - noble but brief. Nonetheless, it excited Labour cadres who had long been frustrated by successive leaders' insistence on trying to win elections and then govern the country.
Now, at last, they could write prolix resolutions, hold old-school public meetings and march around colliery towns to their hearts' content and still win the 1983 election, because it was inconceivable that the British public would vote for Mrs Thatcher again. Foot was a codger, but La Thatch was Caligula in a corset.
We Welsh have survived so long next door to the World's most successful imperialists by developing a talent for mimickry. There's no mistaking a Fenian or a Scot, but who'd say that Michael Heseltine or John Prescott were Welsh? I therefore spent much of my sixth-form years preparing for power and influence by impersonating world leaders.
I had Brezhnev, Helmut Schmidt and Giscard d'Estaing ("Je voudrais remercier tous ceux et toutes celles qui ont voté pour moi"), but came into my own with Michael Foot. Once I got to university what had been a party piece became a nice little earner.
I got invited to Labour fundraisers as the warm-up act. I'd do some of his classics - "I am a peace-monger", "The Guilty Men", "A seraglio of eunuchs" - and sign off with "This Great Party of Ours" to the anachronistic strains of Shaky's "This Ole House". The workers, peasants and progressive studentry loved it.
Fortunately for me, so did the Labour Party machine. A couple of heavies from Ebbw Vale Labour Party dropped by my digs one day. "Mr Foot hears you're a funny man, but you also show him respect. Mr Foot likes that. Says you're a credit to your family. Knows where they live, does Mr Foot. Very clever, he is. You should try it, sometime."
I took that as both an imprimatur and a drawing of a red line in the sands of satire. No pratfalls, no donkey jackets, no mention of Mrs Gandhi and her State of Emergency. Kept it clean, I did, and everyone was happy.
But there's always someone who wants more. After a gig at the Llantwit Major Young Socialists, who threw their corduroy caps on stage in delirium after my "Mrs Thatcher should fly at once to the United Nations" high-wire finale, a young woman came to my dressing-room.
Despite her monkey boots and baggy t-shirt, there was something forced about her hectoring tone. She scattered a few too many "actualies" around the ends of sentences, the CND badge was inverted in homage to Mercedes-Benz, and her underwear seemed to fit.
"Do you do private performances?" she asked.
"You mean for Fabian Society home-reading clubs?"
"Er, yes, that sort of thing."
We agreed my standard fee for non-party-members/waged, and I turned up at the address the following evening with my boom-box and valise of props. My suspicions were aroused by the maid who answered the door, and could have bored through a safe by the time I was ushered into the drawing room. It was all too neat to be the home of a Bohemian Bollinger Bolshevik.
This was suburbia, and my hostess was a Tory.
She reclined in her Karen Millen on a récamier, pointed with lacquered nails to a mug of orange tea on the side table and whispered "Do his last Party Conference speech". I was rummaging about, already in character, for the spectacles and cane when she moaned "Do it in the donkey jacket".
"It's not a donkey jacket, it's a rather smart car coat," I snapped.
"Take me into public ownership!" she yelped, with a detonation of décolletage.
Word soon got around the Women's Institute, Rotarians and Monday Club luncheons. I sank into a literally seamy demimonde in which twinsets and pearls were hurled at my suede-shod feet in avalanches of Lawn Tennis lust.
"So you made plenty of money, but weren't you dying inside?" one might ask. Was I fuck. Imagine me up to my apricots most nights in a pavilion of Cheltenham Ladies' College PR gals, and I could justify it as some form of class warfare. Excellent.
And that's the way it would have stayed until 1983, when an ungrateful electorate opted for another Thatcherite handbagging instead of building a Britain fit for type-setters and treacle-miners to live in. Foot quit, and my career as international ladies' man would have followed him into the duffel bag of history.
But I had already abandoned this line in Tribunite temptation and returned to my studies. It happened after a cinq à sept in an episcopal palace, during which I'd been obliged to read from Foot's introduction to "The Martyrdom of Man" while pleasuring a matron clad only in a Benedictine wimple.
As I brushed my grey wig out over her glowing rump (£5 extra, £3 unwaged), she ventured "My husband was wondering whether you'd do Gerald Kaufman MP for him and a colleague." I made my excuses and left, never to put my privates through their paces for pounds sterling again.
It was time to move on, as thigh-priming passion was becoming raw routine not a delicate delight. I was barely able to recall the faces of the many ladies who'd gripped my spectacle frames in rages of ravishment, until an incident a few years ago brought them all rushing back like an open-mawed octopus of oestrogen.
I was waiting outside a radio studio for the red light to dim and a handsome female politician d'un certain âge to emerge. I had guided her through the workings of headphones, volume gages and the like, and expected to escort her back to Reception.
She appeared, and we juggled some vapid chat as the security guard took her temporary pass."Oh, and I think this might be yours too," she added, pressing what felt like a large coin into my palm. With that she was gone.
I turned the CND badge around in the light a few times, then slipped it into my fob pocket.