30

December

Pining for the Fjords

Thursday December 30, 2021


If that does not ring any bells, how about any of these:
 
“A pint, that’s a whole armful”
 
“Don’t tell him Pike”
 
“Whatever you do, don’t mention the war”
 
“Ooh Matron!”
 
“Lovely Jubbly”
 
”Are you free?”
 
If they are familiar, I might guess you are a Brit of a certain age, but I could be wrong.
 
My partner Spock was in a Zoom meeting with several colleagues of different nationalities last week, and commented that it was confusing that a few of them shared the name Ivan.”That’s like the Bruce sketch from Monty Python” one of them piped up, and they all started laughing. Spock commented that surely as a Croatian in his 20’s, Monty Python was a bit before his time. Not a bit of it they all said, whether from Belgium, Ukraine or Denmark, all were huge fans of British comedy.
 
I went to New York in the early 80’s.One day, walking past the long queues for theatre tickets, I spotted another queue going right round the block. It was a cinema showing a season of old Carry On films. In Greenwich Village I chose a  day of Woody Allen, but I could have had St.Trinians.
 
A couple of weeks our Boris hit the headlines, stuttering and waffling on about Peppa Pig. I thought he had finally lost the plot altogether, but it seems the context of his speech was about the importance of our creative exports.

I Googled to find out what our most profitable export was in the last 12 months, and it is transport and moving equipment, followed by chemicals.
 
What a dull list eh? How about The Beatles, Bake-Off, afternoon tea, English pubs? Plus of course glorious British humour. Spock recently insisted we try two Czech comedies. Obviously they were subtitled, so maybe something was lost in translation. All I can say is they were about as funny as a dose of the clap. If you get that reference by the way, you really are showing your age.
 
Good comedy can also move us to tears. I recall an episode of Steptoe and Son that made me well-up, a moment in Fawlty Towers when we caught a glimpse of Sybils’ years of hurt and disappointment. Could anyone watch the final scene of the last Black Adder, when they go over the top in the trenches, without great sadness?
 
I must also put in a word for our good mates across the pond. These are the people who brought us Elvis, Dylan, Cheers, Frazier, Laurel and Hardy. We are currently coming to the end of a wonderfully bawdy legal comedy from Australia called Rake. This is the same nation who brought us adorable wombats, Kath and Kim, Dame Edna, and men in silly hats with corks hanging from them. You’ve got to love people like that.
 
Moodscopers know I love fun and silliness. The ability to  find something to laugh about has been my saviour more than once. How about we all recall something wonderfully funny, either a comedy act, or something that happened to us in real life, maybe just a favourite joke or limerick.
 
I’ll start off. I used to read to a blind lady who was well over 100 (still going strong I hear, at 108). She had so many interesting stories from her days in service. I mentioned her anecdotes to one of the other readers, a well-known local business man with a great interest in local history. He said he would love to meet her, and maybe record some of her memories for his archives.

Next time I was there with her I said “John W. is coming to see you very soon, he said to tell you he’s been meaning to call on you for ages” She looked puzzled, which John? “You know, John W.the undertaker from the High St.” It took just a nanosecond for me to realise what I had said.
 
Over to you...

Val
A Moodscope member.

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