I REGARD Paul Pontone with an improbable fusion of envy and a certain sympathy. With his dad, Angelo, he runs the Rusticana in Hangover Street. Affectionately known as the Rustycan.
Any pasta-rooted restaurateur would want to own this eaterie tucked snugly just below street level. Most nights it bustles, then again most nights Angelo, as they say in Umbria, has a business-could-be-better girn.
Poor Paul. While I can be overcompensatory about the lasagne, he can be overcompensatory about Hibernian. Takes his son with their season tickets to Easter Road. He habitually lingers at the table for a wisp of Hibs-related gossip. Unlike the lasagne, it’s never hot. It’s all lukewarm these days.
Can’t help but feel sympathetic towards him because here’s a clean-living chap who lives for the day he can throw open the Rustycan’s doors and invite in as the ristorante’s guests a Hibernian team brandishing a aloft the Scottish Cup.
I have to say . . . never in your lifetime.
What the PM did next, talking from a sun lounger while the rebels rabble were storming Gaddafi’s personal pad. He had to be thinking: “Now that my Big Society is fast on the rocks, how can I try, yet again, to ingratiate myself with the public who aren’t falling for my guff? Oh, I know, I’ll call Tracey Emin and drag her into Downing Street. She’s the punters’ favourite.”
Call me Desperation Dave.
Afterwords . .
. . Mae West, who keeps rising from the grave, telling us: “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.”