John Gibson: Winner’s on a loser with the cutlery

Vito Alongi
Vito Alongi
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You’ll have observed, I rarely miss Michael Winner’s rantings in his weekend column. Like he seldom misses mine on the five days.

But he’s not perfect. He thinks he is. But he’s not. Winner, in fact, is imperfect and a gross imperfection is his technique at table with his cutlery.

All the more remarkable in that he loves to be seen in the world’s internationally-acclaimed restaurants. How embarrassing for his regular companion Geraldine, who has just torn him off a strip for holding his knife like a pen.

But Geraldine, dear, uncouth as it is, the pen grip is endemic, doubtless you’ve noticed. Sir Michael, though, is still at the cutting edge with brainwaves. He is advocating standardised rubber wheels for clattering suitcases.

You and I together, my son, we should get that patented. Meantime, it’s shalom from him and ta ta the noo from me while he’s ranting about getting hitched next month.

Jolly good show

Back in Elm Row at the jumpin’ Jolly after an enforced sabbatical, proprietor Vito Alongi confesses: “My big worry was Mona Lisa’s moustache. I wondered if it would be nicked by a customer for a souvenir. But it has survived unscathed.”

Regulars at the pizzeria see the mouser as an adornment on the outsize portrait of the lady with the enigmatic smile. Vito himself is smiling again.

Afterwords . .

. . . Occasionally I’m referred to as Writer in Residence at Holyrood, it brings a smile if not a denial. But my pyjamas have become somewhat threadbare and it’s hell when the water machine breaks down. Which is often.