No Comebacks

February 29, 2012


Humour is a funny old thing. I guess the purists out there would maintain I should say it is a peculiar thing. But, I’m sure you know what I mean. Personally, I can appreciate any humour as long as it is combined with wit. Even hurtful sarcasm directed at me, provided it is clever and droll, can cause me to smile. I am a sucker for a play on words. On many occasions, without even looking for it, I’ve found humour at the oddest of times and in the most unlikely circumstances.

I remember stopping before a clothing shop front to look nostalgically at the displays of male mannequins wearing the latest styles in suits. I hadn’t bought a new suit for years. My wife walked back and asked what I was thinking about. I replied that I could remember when I was smart. She retorted that she could remember when I had been well dressed but there was never, ever, a time when I had been smart.

On another occasion, in a different age, I was in Luxemburg with a close colleague. At that time, my girlfriend was a keen collector of porcelain statuettes and had a wide selection of Lladro figurines and busts. He and I stopped to look at a collection of that brand, in a storefront window, which was themed on circus personalities. I happened to say that X was particularly interested in clowns. He looked at me and said simply,” I know.”

When I worked for the U.S. Government as a foreign national in Germany, there was an incentive scheme whereby a worker would be selected as the employee of the quarter. The award consisted of a financial bonus, a reserved car park space for a year, and a head and shoulders photograph of the individual to be displayed in the main hallway, among other notables. I was fortunate enough to be selected as the winner of this award. However fate, and I’m sure humour, was waiting in the wings.

The German Government refused to allow non-American citizens to participate in any schemes where monetary bonuses were part of the structure. Also at that time, my driving licence had been confiscated for twelve months, by the police, for an alcohol related driving offence, so I could get no real benefit from the earmarked parking space. To add insult to injury, the first glimpse I had of my photograph, was after some japer had been there and blacked out my front teeth with a felt tipped pen.

Recently, prior to prostate surgery, I met with the consultant who was to perform the operation, a Mr Chun Ya Yip, who originally came from Kowloon. I had lived there for four years and we had a warm and friendly conversation full of reminiscence about the city. When the subject moved on to my medical problem I was astounded that a consultant in the field of medicine could wield so much power and influence in wide ranging fields. Apparently, he had the wherewithal to politically disenfranchise me and take away my vote.

He said that, after this type of operation, it would be highly unlikely that I would ever again experience an election.

At least, that’s what I thought he said.

One Response to “No Comebacks”

  1. Gary Dennett Says:

    True stories are always the laughable ones. I love what Forest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will find inside.”


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