I wonder if he means metaphorically or literally. Rather than saying this, however, I settle for repetition. "Lost?"
"That you wandered off and no one could find you".
I now know what he is talking about. Saturday morning, after a night spent sleeping in a tent inside a tent. When I was only slightly lost and certainly had not wandered off.
"I didn't wander off!" I hope the level of my indignation shows through.
"We were the last car in a convoy going back for breakfast, us and the car in front got detached and, temporarily" - I emphasise the word - "temporarily we couldn't find our destination".
I do not need to say this is hardly our fault, Olney may not exactly be the biggest place in England but it is big enough to misplace a convoy after four hours sleep. My downfall was possibly in the mobile phone battery dying/ lack of signal fandango which followed the failure of the convoy. Without going into too much detail the upshot was that Lovely Hostess had to phone up the WYP and ask for my mobile number. Doing this necessitated a brief rundown of what was going on in Olney because, obviously, we don't just give out phone numbers what with all the crazy non-stalkers out there (and, hey, I should know). Somehow the explanation and Chinese whisper system which has followed seems to have had it that I'd disappeared in a strange village for no clear reason. That it has been so readily believed does push me to question what kind of impression I am giving out.
Bar Boy raises his hands. Maybe I have been a little too emphatic.
"So, I wasn't really lost". I say it as evenly as I can manage, given that there were other people in the car and none of them are being subjected to such rumour.
"Right". I sense that this is one of those times where Bar Boy thinks it best simply to agree.
"But everyone here thinks I just wandered off?" I utter the words hoping to be contradicted.
It doesn't come, Bar Boy instead shrugging his shoulders.