First of all, let's cut to the chase: All those folk who presumed I was off to Amsterdam to fill my boots whoremongering don't know Flashy, and I believe an apology is in order. In fact, you'd better fall to your knees and weep for forgiveness. You won't receive a jot, but the sight would do me the power of good.
I know what you're thinking, gentle Reader: Our hero Flash in the vice capital of the world, with totty on tap and he doesn't touch a drop? Well, I freely admit that 'virtue' and 'saving grace' are two characteristics that I glory in not possessing a single ounce of. But the day I pay for it is the day I hang up my stirrups and finally retire to stud. Besides, it was that damned cold that I just couldn't get a 'perk-on'. If I hadn't taken my jacket, it would probably have been the end of me.
It very nearly was for Sir Archie Leach. I'm sure he won't mind me telling you as long as you promise to stifle your guffaws and feign anguish. For a moment I thought he'd popped his clogs and let's face it - if you're gonna pop 'em, Amsterdam is the best place for it.
One minute we were sat in a bar agreeing odds on who would be the first to saddle one up (the smart money being on me, naturally), the next minute Archie was up and making a dash for the exit. 'By thunder, he's keen', thinks I before giving chase. If he was going to be the first to perform the Capital Act, I wanted to see him go in with my own eyes before settling any bets.
Well, he got as far as one of the madame's booth windows, but handing over 50 big ones was, for once, the last thing on his mind. He'd been sampling some of the local herblife, and had puffed away with merry abandonment to the astonishment of the town's more regular patrons, before deciding that a bit of fresh air would be just the ticket to clear the old noggin and thus avoid a potential 'white-out' situation.
Doctor Flashman, an old hand at such things, tried to bring him round first with sound reason and then with a little violence, before Archie's eyes disappeared into his skull and he collapsed in a heap convulsing like a freshly neutered whippet. It crossed my mind to make a bolt for it. After all - propped up by a tart's window would be a fine Rock 'n Roll end by anyone's standards. But the old hound owed me a pint, so I did the gentlemanly thing and checked his wallet for signs of life. There's no quicker way of bringing a chap to his senses and he was soon back on his feet staring wildly into space at Lord knows what. Suffice to say, the long trek back to the hotel made 'Dawn Of The Dead' look like the Teddy Bear's Picnic. Avoiding falling into the stinking canals and maniac cyclists at every turn ain't easy at the best of times. Throw in a few dozen coloured hoodlums asking if you wanted Charlie, and you can understand why our staggering patient started to experience flashbacks to Nam.
He's a tough old egg though is our Archie, and not 12 hours later he was back down the rat-runs, sniffing out a likely trollop. His search proved fruitless however, as the Sunday Selection ranged from rancid to rank.
My advice if you're planning a trip to this illicit den of iniquity is this: Only visit the sex shows if you enjoy watching seven different varieties of the missionary position, and if you must take in a peep show, the reason it's only 2 Euros is because marigolds ain't provided and you're very likely to break your neck slipping on Manjuice.
It's a beach holiday next time, methinks.
FLASHMAN STRIKES AGAIN!
Paul Rodgers is not the best thing since fried Fred.