Kevin Pietersen’s Diary: Dinner at Pastels

April 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

KP Day 1

A new day a new font. And why not. I am KP.

KP Day 2

Wingdings turns out to be unusable.

Anyway. India. I’m everywhere. It’s hard when most of the billboards you pass have your face on them. Where do I look?

KP Day 3

7pm: Team dinner at Pastels in Delhi. They’re all here. All of them.

Order a light ceviche starter and a lobster bisque for my main. Choose a glass of Chateau neuf du Pape to accompany: 2007 is a good vintage. (ref. GQ, iss. 66 Nov 2011)

The men all order beers. Monty orders a milk. I have to keep an eye on him, curious man.

Flower comes over and starts to talk about my bad run of form. I want to scream in his face really loudly. But of course I can’t. I just sit there and picture what his head would look like on a stick.

8.30pm: I finish my red wine then order an aperitif. Frangelico. Creamy….nutty….smooth….everything a man could ever desire in a drink.

9pm: Good it’s time to pay. Now I can get out of this place. Hold on. Team manager says he has forgotten his card.

What’s going on…..

9.05pm: No! Fuck you Swann!! He suggests we play card roulette. The players turn into a pack of baying hounds. I try and say no but I can’t. They’re all looking at me.

I remove my HSBC Platinum Card, put it into the hat. Finn’s the first one out—surprise, surprise. He gets his card and waves it in everyone’s faces, close. It’s an Amex Blue. Free travel insurance, membership to Radisson Hotels Group and an instant 1000 airmiles—it’s all there. He must be on a good contract.

Next is Strauss. He has a Coutts.

One-by-one each man takes his card out of the hat.

They all have a mixture of Amex Blue or HSBC Black or above. All have reward schemes attached to them. Loyalty bonuses and foreign travel privileges come as standard. I am exploding with jealousy until Bresnan pulls out a Halifax debit card. Thank God. Below me.

Belly is fourth from last. He throws both arms into the air and cheers wildly. I look at him. What would it take Belly, what would it take….

Now there’s three of us left. It’s Swann.

Fuck me. It’s an Amex Black.

Weapons-grade titanium. Gold leaf letterings, curlicue font.  1.1g weight. Monogrammed. No, no wait. It’s a third-dimensional hologram. I gaze at it in horror. My fists are clenched tightly under the table. Nothing could have prepared me for this.

“This, my friends, will get you entry into the Casino in Monaco.”

I reach out to touch it but he’s already put it back into his pocket.

“How did you…?”

“Tut tut tut Kevin. That’s for me to know and you to find out.”

Last two. Trott and I.

I glance at the bill again. Two thousand and twenty pounds. The sweat pours down my back. I sense the room has locked its eyes onto me. Cannot show weakness. Trott looks unperturbed. His dull monotonous features are perfectly still, unable to comprehend the severity of the situation. Well then come on you snake. Let’s see what you’ve got.

Suddenly Strauss pulls out the card.

O my God. Thank you. It’s an HSBC Platinum. I will dedicate my next century to you. I reach out for it but Strauss stops me.

“Wait up KP. Wait up. This isn’t your card.”

“Yes, yes, that is my card.”

“No, no it’s not. It belongs to…..Mr Jonathan Trotts.”

He reaches over and hands it to him.

“What. YOU have an HSBC Platinum?”

“Ah I’m rall sorry Kivan.”

The table erupts into chants.

“KP KP KP KP.”

They all have vengeance in their eyes. They all want me to pay. I swallow and look carefully over the bill. $418,99 for the lobster,$ 92,99 for the glass of red. Everything is as it should be. Wait. Wait a minute, $7.99 for the frangelico! You must be kidding. Why?

I want to argue the point but my voice catches in my throat. I daren’t say anything.

I hand the card over to Strauss, my hand is shaking. The waitress comes over and puts it in her machine. Could I pretend to forget my code?

Perhaps. Perhaps. It could work, men often lose their memories. Don’t they?

No. Who am I trying to kid. I am afraid that this is it. They would never believe me. I punch in the numerals 1116 (my initials). It’s done.

Postscript

I call at Belly’s later that evening and drive him to a cash machine.


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