AA . . . On The Piss

150 150 Rob McGibbon

This is probably not going to mean much to most of you …

During a mid-week, pre-recycling collection day, high-speed flip through of my weekend newspaper supplements – a lazy reading timescale only available in hackland to those without desks to answer to or PAYE to collect – I contentedly nibbled, as always, on AA Gill’s Table Talk.

In his piece about Awana, he writes amusingly about taking a pee and I couldn’t help but recall the moment when the great man, he of pulchritudinous prose, goitred with soliped leitmotifs, crenellation and spittle, took one next to mee.

Now, don’t go thinking that AA is near the top of my all time best “Who took a piss next to you?” list, or anything, but it was a stand out (ooer) moment in the incalculable history of pissing moments. There I was, at Stamford Bridge at half time – must be three-plus years ago now – and he took up position at the bowl next to me. Gave me quite a fright. No, not that, just him, being so near, in a donkey jacket, chewing gum speedily, open-mouthed.

And, you know what, afterwards he didn’t wash his hands! Now, I can forgive any man for not washing his hands at a football stadium loo. Touch only what belongs to you in such a hub of effluvia, although, out of habit I managed to catch the end trail of water from an auto tap pressed by someone else, before slipping out the door, also activated by another. But AA strode out with not so much as a glimpse at the sinks and it made me wonder, as you do. So few blokes bother, you see.

Anyway, don’t let this put you off AA. I’m sure he is as rawly scrubbed as a surgeon when he’s at the tables of SW3 and W1. I read his latest book ‘Previous Convictions’ recently and it was excellent. So good in fact that it sent me back to ‘AA Gill Is Away’ which is even better.

It would be wrong of me to end my review of AA in the loo without delivering some degree of criticism. When I was doing the Press Gazette beat last year, I put in several requests for an interview – directly to him through the Sunday Times and also through his publicist at Orion. I have had ‘No’s’ from the best and the busiest of them, and it is never a problem. Letting a hack know the score is all that matters, we move on quickly. But there was never so much as a ‘No Thank You’ from AA or his people’s people.

In my book, that really is taking the piss.

Rating: One Star. AA Spill