Seriously though, you won't believe the kind of things people are doing for me. Sending huge packages filled with things that might help, flying from abroad to visit, sorting out a car service to take me to and from the hospital, calling Charles Worthington's PA to find out who'd be the best person to do my pre-chemo haircut... ah-may-zing. (Though I still wait in hope of seeing my name on a blimp, in a newspaper or on a scoreboard at the baseball, Ferris Bueller-style. Or getting a visit from a celebrity well-wisher, a la David Soul in Little Britain [but A-list only and pre-baldness, right?].)
It's all so staggeringly lovely – and a massive help to boot – but up to what point should I accept it? I've sometimes felt so overwhelmed that I've been compelled to make it stop, but then people say that, while they can't take some of the treatment off my hands for me, they want to do whatever else they can to help. They say they're doing it because they love me and that, if I weren't so nice in the first place, they wouldn't want to bother.
But I worry that actually they've got it all wrong, and that their spectacular efforts are wasted. I'm really not always that nice.
It's not like I've ever shot or stabbed or smacked anyone (does hair-pulling count?). And I can honestly tell you that I've never cheated on a fella. (Any of them. Yes, even you – more fool me eh?) All that said, I can be a real grumpy/selfish/bitchy/lazy/stubborn/sensitive/
manipulative/cheeky cow when I want to. I got the right hump when Princess Diana died and ruined my 18th birthday. I once used someone's office for a purpose other than work. I hardly ever make a brew for my colleagues. I'm late for everything. I've taken refunds on clothes that I've worn. I've lied on my CV. I've cadged more fags than I've bought. I bunked more uni lectures than I went to, and made up poor excuses to get my deadlines extended. I once helped a mate steal a carpet from an Indian restaurant. (And a rival team's footy kit from their changing room. And a fridge from someone else's digs. Bloody students.)
I lie as well. Mostly in a situation where it'll later embarrass the arse off someone. Like the time I told P that OutKast were from Pontypridd, then watched as he tried to persuade other people of the same. Or when I called my brother J in a rage, incensed that the New Year Honours list included a knighthood for Vernon Kay, in recognition of his charity work. (Sir Vernon Kay! Apparently the more ludicrous the lie, the better the result.) Or in Freshers Week when I began a rumour that I'd turned down a place in the Spice Girls to get a degree. Or the day I told some kids at school that my Dad was an ex-Derby County player (why I thought that would make me any cooler, I don't know). And then there was that night when J was having a house party, so I got my mate to call him up, pretending to be the police reporting a noise complaint. The result was magnificent: J's mates have never let him forget it, and it still makes me feel fantastic.
See? Not. That. Nice. But a few things you had to hear, nonetheless.