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Letter to Steve Volk
Early Feb 1997

Dear Steve,

This is to say thank you for reading Tom’s script and to apologise for nagging you about it, however subtly I thought I was doing it. It is also in case he never writes back to thank you. He is a good boy but badly brought up. I blame the government personally.

Still, you are very honoured because he has never asked me to read his script. In fact I think he specifically asked me not to. This is what father-son relationships are all about.

In return I undertake to

a) read any script any son of yours ever writes

b) get an extra standby haggis for Saturday

c) let you drink as much whisky as you like

d) let you declaim as much Burns poetry as you like

e) provide financial backing for any scheme dreamt up by your friend Binkie up to the value of £1.50.

Big thrill next week- I have been invited to the premiere of Fierce Creatures, the new John Cleese film. Never been to a film premiere before. Never again. There is a party afterwards at the Natural History Museum. Maybe this time I won’t take my bicycle. I once bicycled through London in a dinner jacket to go to a dinner. Doesn’t matter if you get oil on black clothes. Incidentally, talking of oil, I had an odd session with my dentist in Widcombe yesterday. He was on crutches. Not a skiing accident but after an operation to shorten one leg. He had had one leg longer by three centimetres than the other since childhood and finally had taken the decision to get a bit of bone chopped out. The very idea makes my willy go funny, as Geoffrey Dickinson used to say. I am afraid it would take too long to explain who he was.

What was that about oil? Oh yes – the dentist told me he was now so used to wearing these protective gloves which stop him catching or spreading AIDS that he now uses them for all dirty household tasks, like oil changes and cleaning drains and weeding etc. Great idea, I said. I’ll sell you some, he said. So now I have a box of 100 very thin gloves for £6. Can’t think what to wear them for.

Has Pat seen the new sculpture by Igor Ustinov? I hope she does soon. I don’t know what to think about it until I hear what she thinks.

Thank you for reading this letter. Let me know what you think of it before I go to America.

your old chum
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