“Come on, Guv, let’s get you home,” Sam Tyler tugged at Gene Hunt’s arm in a vain attempt to get him to move.
“It was a great party,” Gene muttered, “Why are you making me leave early?”
“We are not leaving early; the cleaners threw us out.”
“They shouldn’t have done that. I’ll complain to Dotty tomorrow.”
“You know, clicks the heels of her red shoes together and we all fly to Bolton. When she’s not leaning over her desk and yelling at drunks.”
“Sorry, Guv, I’m not following you at all.”
“Be difficult to follow me since I’m not going anywhere at the moment.”
“Perhaps you should. Look, just put one foot in front of the other.”
Gene lurched forwards and began to walk. It wasn’t in the direction Sam wanted to go in, but he put up with it, reasoning Gene would be easier to direct when he was moving, rather than leaning very firmly against a wall.
They had made some progress when Gene returned to his previous thoughts. “Yes, Dotty. With a dog called Toto.”
“That was Dorothy. And Kansas, not Bolton. And it’s Phyllis who leans over the desk at the front of the station and yells at drunks.”
“That’s right. She yelled at me.” Gene sounded triumphant.
“Probably because you were trying to kiss her.”
“Don’t know why she objected. I was holding some mistletoe.”
“It wasn’t mistletoe. It was a curly wurly.”
“It was all I could find.”
“Anyway, it didn’t work. Look, can we start going this way now?”
Sam pulled at Gene’s arm, but he only pulled back.
“Don’t know why you want to go that way. I’ve lived here longer than you, and I know which way we need to go.”
“But, Guv …”
“As I was telling that plonker Skelton, he won’t get anywhere by ignoring the obvious facts.”
“Was that before or after he passed out?”
“I wondered why he was lying under the desk. I couldn’t work out what he was saying either.”
“I think he was snoring.”
“Typical of the youth of today. No stamina.”
Gene started walking slightly faster and continued to ignore Sam’s attempts to get him to change direction.
Suddenly he slowed down and looked thoughtful. Sam hoped he was about to agree they were going the wrong way, but it turned out Gene was merely waiting for the thoughts in his head to catch up with them.
“And what happened to Carling? He disappeared, didn’t he?”
“Yes, with that new WPC.”
“What, that cracking red head? I thought she was going out with that sergeant from traffic.”
“She was. Although I somehow doubt she will be after tonight. The sergeant came in and nearly started a fight.”
“I like a good fight. How come I missed it?”
“It was probably about the same time you were trying to kiss Phyllis under the curly wurly.”
“It can’t have lasted long.”
“It didn’t. Fortunately, the protagonists were separated before anything could begin.”
“Shame. That would have been the perfect way to end the party.”
Sam shook his head.
At that moment, Gene stopped abruptly and looked around. “What are we doing here, Tyler?” he said. “This is where I used to live. We moved three months ago. You must be drunk if you’ve forgotten that.”
With that Gene strode off in the direction Sam had been trying to guide him into for the past ten minutes, leaving Sam hurrying in his wake.