I don't think I'd realised how bad it had actually become. I knew that somewhere in N W London The Tezter had been a little over exuberant recently, but I hadn't realised exactly how over exuberant that had been.
But there he was, at 9 in the morning, standing on the threshold of my sitting room, screaming excitedly at Dani, my Romanian cleaner 'Tell me about him! Tell me about Prince Vlad Dracul! Tell me about the saviour of Europe!'. And he was wearing the dog lead.
The whole trademark manic-depressive-chic look was in evidence; the religious medals, the black t-shirt worn inside out, the waistcoat, the dog lead worn in the fashion of a Mexican bandelero, and I noticed a new addition to the ensemble - a large black and silver rosary draped around his neck. I also noticed how large and sparkley his eyes appeared behind his spectacles. Almost maniacal one could say.
Dani grinned appeasingly at him, and said that she wasn't very good at history, but she could ask her serious-Romanian-man husband. 'BUT YOU MUST KNOW!!' he shouted as he bounced up and down on the spot 'HE'S YOUR NATIONAL HERO!! THE SAVIOUR OF EUROPE!!'.
I mouthed 'You may as well go now' at poor Dani, while I tried to encourage The Tezter to leave, or sit down, or anything. She managed to sidle out unnoticed, while The Tezter decided to continue the conversation in cod German. This consisted of him speaking in one of those 'Ve haf vays of making you tork' accents so beloved of British and American film actors after WW2. I let him ramble on a bit.
'Where's Dmitri?' he suddenly roared. He rushed to the bottom of the stairs. 'Dimitri where are you, you idle ----er?'. Silence. The sensible Dmitri had probably hidden under the duvet. I heard The Tezter clumping up the stairs. 'Dmitri! Get out of bed you blank!'. 'You're the blank' came a muffled voice from the small bedroom. The Tezter then stood outside Dmitri's room shouting at him in cod French. Imagine a poor imitation of Gerard Depardieu in 'Green Card' and you'll be on the right path. There was no further response. Dmitri had wisely gone to ground.
Clump, clump, clump, clump. And he was back. There was some desultory chat about the esteemed Prince Vlad, ravening hordes etc., and I was able to persuade him to leave.
I heard the front door open. I didn't hear it close. I heard breathing. The Tezter was standing beside me again. 'There's something I must tell you' he said 'Something nobody else knows'. I waited with baited breath. 'The people who brought me up. They weren't my real parents.' he paused, time passed. He took a deep breath, 'My real parents' another pause 'Were' and yet another 'Adolph Hitler and his secretary Traudle Junge'.
And then he was gone.