INTERVIEW STUDIO. WELL-TO-DO ELDERLY MAN (OLIVER) IS BEING INTERVIEWED.
...And where did the idea for the book start?
I'm afraid you've rather caught me on the hop. Bear with me a moment while I put on
Ah, you like to see who you're talking to.
No, I can't see a bloody thing in them. These are in fact reading glasses which helps
me to read the situation.
Okay, so the idea for the book...
It all came together one cold and frosty night as I was sitting under the fire. It was-
Sorry; under the fire? I'm sure you mean in front of the fire?
Yes, I don't mean that at all. I mean under the fire.
And why did you sit, as you call it, under the fire?
Well it was warm. We're talking the early years of one of the decades and it was
freezing, frigid weather. I'd burrowed a kind of foxhole underneath the grate and it
was that that got me thinking-
And when did the Cornelius epiphany come to you?
I'm coming to that in my own roundabout way. It was that that got me thinking about
all the Corneliai that I'd come into contact with. Two immediately stood out. As my
hair began to singe I came to the conclusion that all Corneliai were hotheads.
No, roasting heads. I was in the scouts with a chap called Cornelius Balfour. We
were about to set up camp when all the fire lighting equipment fell into a river but we
still managed to set a blazing fire by using his head as a match. A few years lat-
But how did you-
Let me continue my outlandish story. A few years later one of the wars broke out. I
was drafted and found myself in the same company as a Cornelius Carmody. Corny
was a lovely chap. He came in one day with his head shaved. The whole thing
completely shorn. His eyebrows, eyelashes, even his ears; as was the fashion at the
With his bald head shining in the moonlight we noticed a fairly detailed map
stretching from one ear to the other. We decided to follow it and found that it lead us
deep behind enemy lines just south of the Eagles Nest. Essentially we could use his
headquarters (points at head) to find their headquarters. On the darkest of nights his
head was used as a torch and when we were in grave danger we could fire him into
the night sky and use him as a flare. He was a true hero and you felt safe just knowing he
Back at our barracks a couple of months later he comes running up to me with his head
in flames. He was in a blind panic. I must have asked him sixty seven times what
was wrong with him but he wouldn't talk in the traditional fashion. It was all roaring
with him. About ten minutes later he dropped in a heap right in front of me.
Did you ever find out?
Find out what?
What was wrong with him?
If I were to guess I'd say mumps. There's not a day that goes by when I think about
the Corneliai that I don't think about them. I crawl under my fire and I shed two single tears.
One for each and wait for the searing heat of the fire to burn them off my
face. I feel it's what they would have wanted.
The book; Cornelius and I-
'-and Cornelius and I.
Yes I was just saying that. The book 'Cornelius and I-
You're not saying the second bit. It's Cornelius and I-
-And Cornelius and I.
You're still only saying it once. I even gave you a chance that time to see if you
would say it right.
I have the book in front of me, I know what it's called.
Well you obviously can't read.
INTERVIEWER TRIES NOT TO REACT TO THE INSULT.
Join us next week when I'll be speaking to-
It's 'Cornelius and I AND Cornelius and I.'
When I'll be speaking to Barry Siskin-
That's the name of my book. The one he couldn't say.
Barry Siskin, tells us about his book documenting his survival in the jungles of Peru
whilst suffering from eye bunions.
Available in all good bookshops...MINE...Cornelius and I and-
-Cornelius and I.
And Cornelius and I!