"Look. I'm going to ring the sheep man up."
We have decided to buy a sheep. A whole one, butchered and cut up into joints for the freezer.
"Do we really need to pay for one? There are loads in the field up the road that we could... acquire."
I look at Short Tony, wondering whether he's serious. He takes another swig of red wine. I take another swig of red wine. He takes another swig of red wine. I have always been quite competitive so I take another swig of red wine and pour some more. The LTLP and Mrs Short Tony sip their girls' drinks, daintily.
We agree that it would be possible to wait until the dead of night, drive up to the fields, select a juicy looking sheep, bundle it into the back of the Land Rover and smuggle it back into the garden.
"How would we butcher it?" I ask. "You'd have to be the one to shoot it. I only have an air rifle. That would be no good. All we'd have would be a slightly bleeding and very annoyed sheep."
"According to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall," pipes up the LTLP, "the meat is better if the animal is not stressed when it is slaughtered."
We ponder this. "We could take your Jag," I say. "That would give it a smoother and more comfortable ride home."
Short Tony is unenthusiastic about having a sheep in his Jaguar. We drink some more red wine. I have a brainwave.
"Rohypnol!" I announce. "That's the answer. I'm always getting emails trying to sell me Rohypnol. We get hold of some, find a sheep and doctor its food. It will be dark, so the sheep will not notice that there is a blue tinge to it. Then we carry it into the Land Rover and bring it back here."
"Additionally," I continue, now enthused, "there's another advantage. If we bottle out of the slaughtering bit and have to take the sheep back to the field, the Rohypnol will mean that it won't remember anything."
A pause, before Short Tony pipes up.
"If you've given it Rohypnol, will you be..."
"No." I state, firmly.
I pour some more wine.
"It would probably be better just to buy one, wouldn't it?"