Sunday, 18 March 2012

A 'Licious Day

I can’t imagine anyone who knows me thinking of me as anything less than an irritable old sod.

I only go to Embassy functions because I know I will be able to catch up with a few other irritable old sods while dodging those who insist on trying to be pleasant to strangers. It is harder at the bar, of course, as one can end up cheek by jowl with the very worst sort.

‘Hello! My name is Frank and I work for Mega Inc. in Angola!’

‘Hello Frank.’

‘What’s your name?’

‘It is Tom, Frank’

‘Hi Tom!’

Oh please God I thought and tried desperately to get the barman’s attention.

‘Who do you work for Tom?’

‘Nobody Frank’

‘No, what I meant was, what do you do in Angola, Tom?’

‘Nothing Frank’

‘You must do something Tom, everybody has to do something, I mean, how did you end up in Angola?’

‘I got lost, Frank, you should try it’

The ones that really drive me nuts are those who try to ‘engage’ a whole group of irritable bastards at the same time. This requires the presumption of a common experience. The only guaranteed common experiences I attribute to humans are breathing, eating, shitting and dying and they hardly make for stimulating cocktail party conversation, unless they were all somehow humorously combined. Perhaps having inadvertently inhaled one’s soup, one had a fit, soiled one’s DJ and died. The humorous part being that the host had lightly excused the obvious fatigue of his guest and had carried on regardless.

No such luck with guys like Frank.

‘Where were you all when President Kennedy was assassinated?’

‘Frank, would you say that you were older than me?’

‘I don’t think so Tom’

‘Well, apart from Peter here, who might well have been the man on the grassy knoll, I am the oldest and I was four when Kennedy was shot’

‘Well how about the moon landing then?’

‘I was asleep in bed when Armstrong made his small step but I don’t think I missed anything because I am still waiting for the promised giant leap’

‘9/11?’

‘I was shagging my maid and only found out the earth had moved after the fact’

I could see he thought I was kidding. The trouble with guys like Frank is that they fail to appreciate that what may appear to be momentous on a world stage, no matter how tragic, generally matters not a jot to the average guy on the street. We will still have to get up in the morning and go to work, the wife will still hate us and the bills will need to be paid.

Truly momentous moments are deeply personal. I remember where I was when my sons were born. I was with their mothers in hospital. I remember teaching Dominic to ride a motorcycle and then a bicycle (arse about face I know but that’s how it worked out) and I will always remember today because today is the first time I took both my boys fishing together. Dominic is an old hand but today was the first time Alex rode in a boat, was deep in the bush, probably further away from his mother he has been in his entire three years of life and old enough to overcome his initial nervousness and really start to enjoy himself, with his Dad and his older brother.

OK, we didn’t catch any fish but we scored ten lobsters which Marcia boiled up and Alex described as ‘Lishous. Another first for him and a delicious day for all of us.


video
Alex, age three. He will kill all the sharks. You'll see...

8 comments:

  1. "... The trouble with guys like Frank is that they fail to appreciate that what may appear to be momentous on a world stage, no matter how tragic, generally matters not a jot to the average guy on the street. We will still have to get up in the morning and go to work, the wife will still hate (put up with/tolerate) us and the bills will need to be paid. ....

    How true!

    May I add, "Franks", imho, are also consumed with their own self importance and hell bent on promoting their own self-aggrandisement!

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  2. I worked with someone who would always say when approached
    "I am sorry I really dont feel like talking to you today!"
    she always did it with a smile ( a big one) and it always worked!

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  3. Sounds like a delightful day and one well worth remembering!

    megan

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  4. Yikes! I've met a few Franks in my lifetime as well. Glad-handing and back-slapping, trying to be jocular as though you've known each other all your lives. Apparently your Frank cannot take a hint. Maybe you should have asked him for some money instead - a rather effective way to get rid of someone with efficient haste. Oh well, I do hope managed to catch up with the other irritable old sods you were looking forward to seeing.

    Nice video - looks like your son had a grand time on the water. I imagine it to be much better than any stuffy dinner party. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. As you know, it ain't about the fish Tom, but the fishing.

    Going out with your Dad on a days fishing trip is one of those rights of passage that seems to be dying out (over here anyway).

    Now you can get a playstation fishing game instead.

    What are you going to do if you get a bus load of Frank's in as your hotel guests?

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  6. Kennedy got shot? When did that happen? Man on the fucking moon? Are you putting us on?

    I remember where I was when my Old Dad fell down the stairs. I was at the top.

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  7. So you are going to inculcate them in the awful optimism of the fisherman, eh?

    Dominic is being quite a good older brother; I love that he was being so protective.

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  8. Frank plays /loves watching rugby. End of.
    SBW

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Please feel free to comment, good or bad. I will allow anything that isn't truly offensive to any other commentator. Me? You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it.