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Andy Richardson: More to being bag carrier than... well... carrying bags

A grand adventure is at an end. For the past two months, I’ve been moonlighting as a late-night bag carrier for someone sufficiently well known to have been turned into his very own plastic doll.

The adventures of 'The Secret Bag Carrier'
The adventures of 'The Secret Bag Carrier'

I have slept in so many Premier Inns that I am convinced Lenny Henry is my brother while lilac now seems so normal that I’ll be installing it in the living room.

My Transit van is so filthy that within days someone will scrawl a joke in the grime while I’ve shed a very healthy half stone by carting boxes up flights of stairs as I’ve embraced the challenge of walking 10,000 steps a day while carrying a stranger’s mobile phone.

Don’t ask. It’s a long story.

I’ve become a regular five-to-niner, as business coaches say, except this hungry Horace is so enamoured of five-to-nining that he does it from three-til-twelve, after finishing the rather more important business of this, which runs from seven-til-three. Ah, isn’t life grand? You work all those years to pay off a mortgage then realise it wasn’t the mortgage you wanted to pay off – it was all for the love of it after all.

Of course, I ought to have taken tips from Sir Geoffrey Cox. Rather than whizzing about in a 2011 Ford Transit and sitting on grubby floors at the side of Stourbridge Town Hall, I should have swanned off to somewhere warmer than Falkirk and sat on a beach.

Oh, the very thought. Wouldn’t that be grand?

I should have earned more than six million quid so that I could buy a fleet of Bentleys, though given the size of the drive at the side of our house, I’d have to park them on the road, which would probably annoy the neighbours.

And I’m not sure the Bentleys would like it either.

Bag carrying is the title I use to refer to something a little more complicated in deference to my beloved father who insists it’s nothing grander.

Yeah, right. Try telling that to the stage manager when she’s asking what time her 500 paying punters are going to be entertained after the show’s not started on time.

But I have carried bags well, so well, in fact, that the man who was turned into his very own plastic doll declared he had never seen anyone simultaneously carry a pint of milk, a suit jacket and assorted bottles of alcohol with such aplomb. I shall add it to my CV. Though I might just stick at Bag Carrier. It has a ring to it, wouldn’t you agree?

Job titles are very much my thing. During a spell on a magazine in London, we decided it would be a wheeze to give ourselves imaginary titles for one monthly edition.

And so John became King Of The 25th Floor, Johnny became Keeper Of The Special Cigarettes, Paul became Chief Vibemaster while I lighted on Tea Boy. If you’re able to put yourself down, it saves others from having to do so.

Of course, there may be another outlet for my adventures. I’m thinking of opening my own Twitter account – oh, I know, kids, I’m so 2009 – which is called The Secret Bag Carrier.

There’s A Secret Drug Addict, so I can’t do that, and besides, I don’t do drugs. There’s A Secret Barrister, but I can’t do that either.

The Secret Tory, which offers such one-liners as: Public faith in politicians is at an all-time high. This jeopardises everything.

So I can’t do that, either, and besides, I’m not that funny.

And so Secret Bag Carrier it will be.

I’ll explain how stuff you sometimes read in the papers is, in fact, entirely fictitious. I’ll share tips on how to make the perfect cup of tea. I’ll explain the best way to carry paper bags in a large brown box. And I’ll offer close protection advice for those who might be intimated by 4ft 8in women from Exeter who’ve drunk rather too much shandy.

Until then, must dash. It’s the last night of the adventure and there are bags to carry.

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