It’s been an interesting evening of election coverage so far. Less than three minutes after David Dimbleby announced the results of the exit poll, the couple in the flat next door reached orgasm extremely loudly. Groaning was involved. Which was nice. I’m not sure whether the two events — the political and the carnal — were linked, but if they were than I assume that my neighbours were simply overcome with sheer delight at the prediction that Labour would be returned to power with a hugely reduced majority.
If this newsflash had that much of an effect on them, just imagine what it was doing to Ann Widdecombe as she sat in the BBC studio being lightly grilled by Jeremy Paxman (“Oh, come on!! How can you call that a resounding success?”). Did anyone notice if she had her legs crossed?
Sorry, that’s a horrible thought. I shall cease and desist.
However, now I’ve piqued your curiosity, I sense that I’m going to have to explain the above. Well, you see, it’s all to do with the way in which the rooms in the neighbouring flat were rearranged when the place was completely gutted and rebuilt. Noise drifting through the walls has been a problem for a while, but now the tenant obviously has a new girlfriend and — and — well, they’re getting to know each other. Quite frequently. Quite loudly, too. And no, before you ask, I don’t hold a glass against the wall. I don’t need to — that’s the whole issue. In fact, being typically British, when I hear those unmistakeable sounds, I invariably find myself feeling incredibly embarrassed even about being in the privacy of my own flat. I go so far as to avert my eyes, although I’m not actually staring at anything in the first place.
I’ve wondered about putting a note through their front door, but it’s a delicate subject to raise, and I just wouldn’t know where to start:
Dear neighbours in Flat 3,
It is with no sense of relish and, indeed, more of a sense of slight distaste that I have to inform you that I can clearly hear your ecstatic moans when you, well, y’know … I would be extremely grateful if you could try and keep the noise down in future, as it doesn’t add much to the general ambience when I wake up to the sounds of copulating on what should be a peaceful and relaxing Sunday morning. Furthermore, I think you’re scaring the neighbourhood cats away.
Neighbour at Flat 3 next door
Besides, I’m so infuriatingly nice and considerate that I’d probably end up feeling guilty for forcing them into having sex rather more quietly, when it’s obvious that understatement isn’t really their idea of a good time when they’re, er, consumed by the moment. As it were.
Oh, wait a minute. I’m supposed to be writing about the election coverage, aren’t I?
So, yes, when my election viewing was interrupted by the sounds of ferocious shagging, I reluctantly decamped from my bedroom into the living-room. It was at that point that I realised two things:
1. The years when I could make it through an entire election night without a wink of sleep are long gone;
2. The early results come in very slowly. Very slowly indeed.
I don’t know how Sunderland South manages to get its votes counted so quickly at each election, but I wish some of the other constituencies would learn a thing or two from their efficiency, because I need to get to bed at a decent time and get at least six hours of sleep. But before I do I want meaningful results — and I want them now.
Inwardly, I was shouting at the TV screen, “Count faster, you bastards. Give me results. I crave results. How can I get a decent indication of the final outcome when only nine or ten safe Labour seats have declared. I’ve got work tomorrow, so I need to get to bed, damn you!”
Obviously, of course, I didn’t shout this out loud, because I might have disturbed the neighbours as they progressed lustily towards the heights of passion. That would never do.
Plus, there’s the unavoidable fact that although Peter Snow has undoubtedly found himself a permanent place in the nation’s heart as a sort of affable mad professor of elections, his swingometer routines are utterly pointless when you’ve got an exit poll that few people trust and only a handful of results to go on. All the swings just turn out to be so many roundabouts (if you’ll pardon the painfully awful pun; it is very late, and the thread of whatever I was trying to say deserted me long ago).
So those of you who were hoping that I might join the merry band of dedicated bloggers who are going to sit in front of their PCs until dawn, pummelling their keyboards with minute-by-minute updates of Labour losses, Conservative gains and Liberal Democrat no-shows (which is the way the night is shaping up at the moment, according to the pundits) are going to be disappointed. It’s a shame, because I was so hoping to see Oliver Letwin get dumped.
It’s 1.27am, Labour are on 69, the Tories — oops, I mean the Conservatives — on 4 and the Liberal Democrats on 3. There are still 568 seats to go, but that’s 568 too many for me. As I said before, they just need to count ‘em faster …