Just Talking

Tell people how much you give, as well as how much you spend

I was in conversation with a friend of mine the other day and it’s quite remarkable how you get round from one subject to the other. We got on about Joseph Luns, who was for 19 years the Dutch Foreign Minister. He was also for some 13 years Secretary General of NATO; he was once asked, ‘how many people work there?’ Possessing the type of humour that appeals to me, he replied, ‘about half of them’. We then moved on to talk about people in general and one of the things that amaze me is some of the secrets some people have from each other.

How often have you heard people say how much their new car costs? You are told, they allowed me £3000 on my old car and I had to put down £5000 for the new one and half of that was a loan from the Bank. Your mortgage, well that’s no problem. You soon tell all and sundry, I pay £400 a month. Car Insurance, last year I paid £350; I’m going to get a few quotes this year I’m not paying all that. Going on holiday, where to, and the cost, again no problem.

Yet, you just ask anybody how much they put in the collecting box when they go to Church and all hell breaks out. I’m not telling you, that’s private. It doesn’t of course stop there; especially if you are a woman. She will tell you that her head aches, eyes ache, neck ache, arms ache, legs ache, feet ache, and so on. But you wait until it comes to some other part of her anatomy and, yes you’ve guessed it, we are back to the headaches. There’s a saying from up north, ‘there is nowt as queer as folk themselves’.

Our conversation then moved on to sport and we both agreed that if there is one sport that really sends us round the bend it has to be Men’s Hockey. Football, Rugby, Boxing, and so on, these sports have to be mainly the preserves of us men; but Hockey? No, come off it fella’s, leave Hockey to the Ladies where it belong. From there we moved on to Comedians and we were as one on that one you just can’t beat good old Doddy, Ken Dodd, and he can sing as well. He’s always telling us that when he starts his act all the doors are locked. Not to stop people from coming in, but to stop people from leaving.

Another comedian I used to like was Max Wall, who I saw once when he appeared in a Variety Show at the Pilot, King’s Lynn. They also had these shows at the Majestic. No doubt some of you can remember them? Max Wall use to start talking in a rather strange accent then switch to a very posh voice and come out with such as, ‘I had two brothers you know. Another brother and it would have made four Walls; when you think of it nearly a complete house’. Complete rubbish of course but I liked it. By this time we had nearly talked ourselves hoarse.

How fortunate we were when a really attractive young Lady came up to us and insisted on buying us both a drink. Well how could we refuse? I sometimes wonder what women see in old codgers like us two. It’s not as if we have money! When you are a bit older I’ll tell you what I think it is.

Les Lawrence

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