Effing Postcard from Weymouth
Dear Grandad Greg
Strange place Weymouth.
Just went for a quiet early evening drink in the Welcome Inn. Was all right until a handful of blokes, sat at the bar in football shirts limp with wear and streaked with Pukka Pie, started bragging loudly about their sexual exploits. Trouble is they interspersed the ‘F’ word so frequently I couldn’t tell when they were referring to the subject at hand and when it was just for effect. Effing this, effing that. Effing effing. Effing annoying it was.
Then from the other side of the room I heard a group of excitable students saying ‘like’ a lot. I found it hard to tell whether they actually liked whatever it was or just wanted their friends to think they liked it by using the word like. Like they kept effing saying they were like effing cool about Green Day, but were they effing really like?
While this was going on like, a coach load of like really old people with effing elasticated M&S waist bands came through the effing door wittering on about like ‘not remembering what they’d come in for’. Like what’s the effing point of like going into a pub if they can’t even effing remember why? And another thing: if they effing … if they effing like … no, sorry, it’s effing gone.
To make things effing worse, in a like snug at the far end of the effing bar, trying to hide from all the like hubbub, four effing boring businessmen were like prattling on about effing blue sky effing thinking, and how one of them had once like gone into an effing Barclays meeting and effing forgotten why he was there – except like to make sure of an effing obscene effing bonus at the end of the year I expect.
Then a baby on the next table started effing crying like really loud. On the one hand I could really like effing sympathise with it, since even in its effing infant state it was already like looking around and getting depressed about the prospect for the rest of its effing life of having to deal with these like effing weird kind of people. But like the effing little tyke had like decided to come into the world with no idea why, and clearly hadn’t been thinking outside the effing box before it like did so.
All this got too effing much for me, and I found myself like screaming just to hear my own effing thinking join up. Clearly nobody else was singing from the same effing hymn sheet, so with a three hour runway I like parked the remains of my Dartmouth Ale and headed for a quieter effing hostelry.
That’s all for now. Will write again and tell you about the sights I’ve seen on the beach.
A Nice Day on the Beach
Dear Grandad Greg
Here’s the other postcard I promised, from Weymouth beach!
I’ve been watching young Council workers, with the rather ominous title ‘Beach Control’ on their black tee-shirts, collect people’s deck chair money. But honestly grandad, they have no respect. I just watched an elderly person taking a while to find her change, when the collector kicked the wooden support out of its socket at the back leaving the mesmerised lady floundering in a melee of wood and canvas.
At eight pounds for half an hour, pedalos are dear, but I had a go. It was only after twenty minutes, when I’d made little headway, that I realised the same beach controllers were having a laugh at my expense. The pedalos were tied together like a snake at the water’s edge, and they’d put me in the front one without disconnecting it from the rest. I’d been trying to pull eighteen pedalos with one pedal! Having already seen what they can do to people in deck chairs, I laughed along with the youngsters.
On the family beach there are donkey rides. As soon as I saw them sauntering along the firm sand, tiny passengers hanging on tight, I noticed their legs were abnormally long, six or seven feet in some cases; a bit like those old paintings of cows and horses. Apparently when an obstinate donkey refuses to walk any further the man switches the child to a more cooperative donkey, leaving the objectionable one to come to its senses. I saw a moody donkey called Scargill quite unconcerned when he was left to sulk with the incoming tide lapping round his legs, knowing he’d be left high if not dry and could wait until the tide receded before reconsidering his position. When I went back later, with the tide right up, I found him and three others, head and shoulders sticking happily from the water like Anthony Gormley’s ‘Iron Men’ on that beach in Lancashire!
Best of all was the Punch and Judy show, although it wasn’t quite how I remembered. It started innocently enough with Mr Punch winding up the audience and Judy rocking her baby, and when Mr Punch threw the baby down the stairs, the constable thrashed Mr Punch with his truncheon and two boxers beat the hell out of each other I really started getting into it.
But the mood changed once the crocodile appeared. It looked bigger than usual, and since the baby had gone quiet since the crocodile’s entry I began to have my suspicions.Within minutes of its arrival I noticed a few mums move in and usher their children away. In its second appearance, by which time the watchful constable had also gone missing, the crocodile seemed even larger. Mums and dads jumped into the arena frantically grabbing their children, whilst the swollen crocodile loomed over the edge eagerly eyeing the remaining toddlers whose parents had gone off for ten minutes peace. Judy hadn’t been seen for a long while, and I last saw Mr Punch disappearing down the crocodile’s throat like the boat owner in Jaws, defiantly crying, ‘That’s the way to do it!’
Then the arena fell silent, and being the only one left I assumed the show was over.
Well, that’s all from Weymouth. Say hello to Uncle Ian for me.