EPISODE 25 : The best mate with youth on his side

IT’S ridiculous Dave,” says my best friend Nick, thumping our fourth pint onto the table. “Taxpayers across the globe bail you guys out and then you just run the markets down again.”

“Don’t be naive,” I snap.

“Naive?” roars Nick, incredulously.

I’m feeling woozy. “We didn’t used to have this kind of conversation,” I mumble.

“What, twenty years ago you mean?” Nick slams his pint onto the table. Beer spills. “Before you were earning millions? No, I don’t suppose we did.”

We glare at one another. Then drink deeply and look darkly into our pints.

“What are we, married?” Nick asks.

We dissolve into laughter. I flick a beer-soaked peanut at Nick. It hits him on the chin. “Definitely married,” he says.

“You don’t understand me,” I wail.

“Yeah, it must be tough. Where to stash all the money each month.”

“Seriously,” I plead. “I’m about to turn forty. Twins on the way. A job where every day I wonder, ‘when will they find me out?’ It’s alright for you. Thirty-nine, free and single.”

“Just moisturise,” says Nick, stroking the smooth cheek of his preternaturally youthful face. Nick has somehow managed to avoid embroilment in full-time relationships and employment. A string of twenty-somethings, each seeming younger than the last and introduced as regular as clockwork, every six months. And some kind of job importing high quality teas. Actually, it’s not a job. It’s an online business. His business. He’s probably loaded. And happy.

“Sounds like you need a mid-life crisis. Get a fast car. Or have an affair. Or better still, both.”

“You were my best man,” I reply. “You can’t say that.” “No?” he asks, looking me in the eye.

To be continued nest week. For previous City Dad episodes visit www.cityam.com.