May the first 1997. I had been living in Liverpool for about 8 months and it was election day. Finally it seemed possible that Labour would defeat the Conservatives. But when the polling card came, it became apparent that I was still on the electoral roll in Lancaster. Oops!
Now, Labour were always going to win in the Liverpudlian constituency I was living in. But Lancaster and Wyre was a different matter entirely. There Elaine Kellett Bowman had been MP for ages and she was Conservative. It was quite a rural area and very conservative with a big and little 'c'.
So I didn't inform the registrar that I had moved, because I wanted to use my vote where it would count. So after work I drove back to Lancashire and voted. Late in the evening I drove home. The radio was already suggesting a landslide and I felt good. Regardless what you think if Tony Blair now, at the time it felt like the beginning of a new era.
I wanted to celebrate, and the off licence had closed, but there was a drive-through KFC on the route home. So I went and bought some celebratory fried chicken. After all, is there any better way to celebrate than by clogging up your arteries? It is relevant to both that question and to what happened next when I say that, at the time, I was single.
You see, I wanted a bargain bucket which, I believe, is enough for 4 people. But there was only me. If I'd been going to the chip shop I would have opted for the fakery of requesting differing levels of salt, vinegar and ketchup on the multiple portions. Because that is a convincing way a fat person can 'trick' a fast food place into selling them lots of food. Can't really do that with the bargain bucket though.
So, as I went through the drive-through, I attempted a form of method acting and tried to convey "married man with two kids at home" to the bored KFC employee. At this distant remove I can't remember if this extended to acting a little bit of decision making over what extras to have. If probably did. After all, you have to remember that some people want corn on the cob and some want baked beans.
And then I drove home and dished the food out to"the family", and we celebrated the labour victory.
And look how that turned out!
I ended up morbidly obese. And Tony Blair took us to war on the back of a pack of lies. At least I can lose the weight.