‘This is some kind of joke, right?’ Nev stared at the go kart at his feet as another whizzed past, the wheel nearly clipping his ankle.
Standing in the pits in front of him were Si, Gav, Mac and Boz, Mac giggling so hard snot was dribbling from his nose.
‘You said you wanted a driving experience.’ Boz had gone purple from laughing, face swollen like a overripe blackberry.
Nev pointed at a passing go kart, the driver intent as a pint-sized Lewis Hamilton. ‘That kid’s no more than twelve. None of them are.’
He’d thought his mates might club together, have him driving a Porshe 911, sitting in the seat of a scarlet Ferrari, burning the tarmac of Brands Hatch. He’d at least hoped for something with a V8.
A man wearing a driving jumpsuit and a plastic smile approached them. ‘Right, so where’s the birthday boy, then?’
‘It’s not my …’ It was then Nev noticed the blue satin sash with HI, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY written across.
Si’s knees were buckling, his backside almost touching the floor.
And that was his Best Man? What else did they have in store for him?
This was going to be a very long stag do.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, JOKE the noun is from the 1660s joque, from the Latin iocus. It was originally slang referring to ‘something of no real importance’, though I wonder what word we used before the seventeenth century. Do tell me if you know.
Though if you can tell me which monosyllable they’re referring to, I’d be grateful.