Dennis Skinner was at it yet again today. Unfortunately the State Opening of Parliament clashes with Day 2 of the Royal Ascot Race meeting and it is no secret as to where the Queen would rather be. It is a perfect opportunity for Dennis to just do what he does best.
Even in what was a shortened ceremony Black Rod still came knocking on the door of the House of Commons to summon MPs through to the so called Upper Chamber in order to hear the Queen’s Speech. This is the way things work in our Parliamentary Democracy. The Queen sits in the House of Lords and tells someone to fetch the Commoners to hear what she has to say.
Not for the first time and hopefully not the last Dennis Skinner delivered yet another classic one liner.
Maybe we will not have to wait 2 years to hear the next one.
Warning – the punchline is not a typing error. Try reading out the dialog out loud in a Wurzel like stereotypical West Country accent, it might help.
Another home defeat for my football team and Dad and I are left to trudge back up the terracing to the exit from the stadium.
The ground is emptying pretty fast of fans, who had stayed to see the bitter end of another dismal performance by the team we called our own. The fans’ expectations are not high and pretty resigned in first place, but there are a lot of long faces to be seen amongst the people making their way home. Dad and I weave past the odd groups of supporters who were still stood around to boo the team off the pitch. We do not look back or say anything until we get to the top of the concrete terrace.
“Got to go for a quick leak” I tell my Dad as we passed the Gents. It is a 2 hour drive back home for me. Enough said.
The toilet is not as jammed as it can get before the match. This is particularly true when everyone piles in after a walk from the pub before the start of the match. It is quieter now. Nevertheless you can still hear the odd catcall from the enclosure below. Two old boys shuffle into spots either side of me at the metal trough that we all share.
It is a bit quirky in a way, but blokes as a rule do not look around when they use a public urinal. They just stare forward for some strange reason. This is why commercially minded pubs put advertising posters at eye level above their urinals. It is a crude form of subliminal messaging.
The two old boys are obeying the stare forward rule. Rather than look at each other they just look straight ahead and talk to the wall. Having me between them and in the way does not help, but they chat away as if I am not there.
“Well Bill, that was crap” says the bloke on my right whilst looking straight at the breeze blocks in front of his nose. He is a Bristolian you can tell by his local accent. Bill replies in an equally broad West Country drawl “Yeah, proper rubbish.” there is a pause whilst he thinks for a while, just stood there also gazing at a point ahead of him. He zips up and adds, “In fact I will go so far as to say, that is the worst side I have ever seen down here,”
Bills mate nods philosophically in agreement as he too turns to shuffle out.
They start to look at each other again as Bill finally concludes “and I can say that without any fear of contraception.” They both walk off into the night.
The one liners I come out with seem to have a theme – they are always blurted out when I am in the queue at the Co-op. My latest quip came as I was stood paying for a few bits at the fag, booze and lotto kiosk during a busy time in our local store.
It was about 6 pm and a train had just pulled in at the station around the corner. It had thrown out a lot of hot and bothered commuters, who added to the queue of punters wanting a mid-week lottery ticket, or to buy a packet of fags as well as to pay for a few groceries.
The man on the till serving me is a nice bloke. He is a bit of a jobs worth, but always outgoing and polite and has been working there for years. I punched in the PIN number to my bank card on the payment machine and as I did our man made a big announcement for the benefit of the customers queuing behind me.
“Sorry folks” he declared in a loud, confident voice. At this point he stepped back and pointed, so people could see that behind him next to the rows of vodka, gin and whiskies there was a big empty space in a whole section of the shelving,
”If you are here for cigarettes, we have none.”
He had a lot more interest in his announcement now and whist still gesturing he continued. People hushed up for a second or two.
“I am afraid to say there has been a break in last night and we have had all our cigarettes stolen…….”
“…….by a teetotaller”
I finished the sentence for him, loud enough for all to hear.
He did a double take at me as he stood there still pointing at a void next to bottles of booze. His hand dropped as soon as the penny did. I made a sharp exit.
I was in the car yesterday, listening to Test Match Special and at one point between overs the chit chat between Jonathan Agnew and Geoffrey Boycott centred on being to sea. It was a bit of a random conversation, but at one point Agnew paused and mused
“You can’t swim, can you Geoffrey?”
“No, but fish can’t bat so we’re even aren’t we,” came the reply
A great comeback that caused a few chuckles in the commentary box.
I can sometimes come out with these one liners in public that can be toe curlingly embarrassing for those that are with me. For example on Christmas Eve at the Coop I was checking out my shopping and packing it in carrier bags when the girl on the till asks “What is this?” as she holds up a butternut squash.
“Vegetarian chicken” I reply giving my best attempt at totally dead pan face. I winked at the ATC cadet who was helping with the packing for charity as the girl swallowed the bait.
After 30 seconds of searching on her screen for the product code the teenage girl twigged and just gave me one of those looks over the rims of her glasses – pure distain. Good times!
I met a bloke in the pub the other night; he is a friend of my builder mate Vince. I had gone down to have a quick drink with Vince, who has done a lot of work on our house. This buddy of Vince’s that I was introduced to is called John the Tree and as his name suggests he is a Tree surgeon and a good one too by all accounts.
We supped a few pints of ale that night and just chewed the fat. Random as they say. John’s dog was with us all evening. She is a 4 year old German Shepherd that has a lovely temperament. She sat at John’s feet all evening and got up once to greet him when he came back from the toilet by placing her paws on his shoulders and giving his face a good lick. It was only then that I realised how huge she was as John is a tall bloke and it is some reach for a dog to reach up that far to his face.
I saw the dog again last night in the door way of the Thai restaurant waiting patiently for John to pick up his take away. She really is huge. Seeing them again brought back a memory of a classic one liner that John said in the pub that first time we met.
Us three lads were at the bar and as we chatted over a beer a couple of girls came past on their way out. One of the ladies was immediately attracted to John’s dog. She bent down to give the dog a bit of fuss and asked
“He is a lovely dog. What breed is he?”
“She is a Fox Terrier cross” replied John, totally dead pan
“She is so well behaved” said the girl
“That is the Dalmatian in her” came the immediate reply.
It cracked me up and was so well timed, but was totally lost on the victim!