Where does Sam go?
To Planet Sam.
Sam can disappear onto Planet Sam for up to eight hours at festivals - not so good when your friends are spending that whole time looking for you. It gets to the point where we know if he goes off to the toilet or for a cigarette by himself, he just won't come back. X hours later he rolls into the tent at 5am, completely oblivious and says (affronted) "Where were YOU LOT then?"
And everybody wants to punch him.
Last year, I had a GREAT IDEA.
I dressed as Little Bo Peep, and we dressed Sam as a sheep, with a great big tag around his neck with his name on, saying "If Found, Please Return To Bo Peep".
It didn't work. Everybody thought it was a joke. He still wandered off, and we still couldn't find him anywhere.
"I'm hiding in here, playing with my balls!"
The thing is with my darling husband is, he LOVES an audience. And he knows the four of us have heard it all before, many, many times. But to a group of wide-eyed, Southern, hip young things at a boutique festival, this foghorn of a Yorkshireman (who has just pinched their acoustic guitar and started bellowing out "Your Mum's fallen in the water/ Your Mum's fallen in the sea/ Your Mum cannot speak properly/ And she smells of wee BOOM BOOM BOOM") is like the perfect Out-There Secret Garden experience. He gets rapturous applause. I've seen it happen.
Sam as PC Primark of the Fashion Police, making a very public arrest for offensive use of dungarees
I did actually wonder how well I might handle this now we're husband and wife. Before, although I loved him just as dearly, there was always an element of "oh well, if he falls off the Pagoda into the lake it's his own stupid fault" in amongst the anxiety.
But now I am MARRIED to a drunken runaway mine train I feel like I have this responsibility to actually keep him in line. Plus I will feel genuinely sad if I go to a festival and don't see him all weekend.
Then I had a Eureka moment.
Booze + Sam = No Brain. If I could somehow STEM the flow of alcohol into his brain, I could possibly contain this rampant subconscious Bono-like desire to hold court with randoms. Perhaps I could even keep him in his more rational mind until, I dunno, at least 1am.
I keep hold of ALL our money.
If he leaves the source of money, he leaves the source of beer. He will have to return to base camp in order to replenish his Lager Level. And if he gets drunk and wanders off? He'll be forced to sober up and come home.
IT CAN'T FAIL.
Mind you, we said that last year about Bo Peep.
So if my mission is thwarted, and you're going to the Secret Garden Party this year and you stumble across a man who looks a bit like this....
I will be eternally grateful.