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Searching for Simon

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Here is the latest Ward's World column by John Ward.

The day started off as normal or what passes for normal these days as the doorbell chimed or warbled to signify a finger was pressing the bell-push on the outside of the house.

As I went to open it , there stood somebody with a smile – always worrying when they smile, more so if you don’t know them.

Columnist John Ward (56034289)
Columnist John Ward (56034289)

He said: “Hello – it’s been a long time,” but if this was a reference to me answering the bell or knowing him (I was lost on the latter but on the former, my excuse was I was at the other end of the house at the time I heard it but then I was not aware that speed – or lack of it – was an element) I was not sure.

Still standing there, he said or rather asked, how long has it been now (?) but not really knowing either him or whatever had caught his eye, to wonder about anything length or size-wise I was slightly lost on that one.

Just to show willingness I entered into the spirit of the occasion by saying my car is the same length now as it was when it left the factory assembly line or the showroom all those years ago but even fitting thicker headlight bulbs had seemingly not added any extra length to it.

Then it seems I “hadn’t changed a bit since the last time” we met (?!) which surprised me to say the least as I have never seen him before, but a minor point all things considered as was he possibly after my vote or selling something I don’t want as the old one we have is still going although the paintwork is looking dull on it nowadays.

So just how long has it been since the last reunion that we (?) attended but he then went for the Gold Silliness Award (GSA), asking if I had actually attended it as he “wasn’t all that sure or not” but I did go to the others before he thought (?).

Things do cross one’s mind at such times: was he on day release from somewhere (theoretically) secure or conducting a survey or its close relation, a consultation that wanted my opinion on allowing nitwits to roam unsupervised in the public domain but were allowed occasional ringing on unsuspecting doorbells to see who answers?

Another thought was, is this part of some ‘re-wilding programme’ for those feeling left out in not being able to take their turn being the village idiot, but if so, had I missed reading about it or how does one ask, tactfully, if it is and is he part of it.Before I wondered anymore he then told me that I had not changed much since “the last time” (again) but to be honest I think I would have remembered it based on the present situation of verbal tennis we – or rather he – was conducting.

Then he called me Simon and this came as a surprise to me as I thought, if I can get a word in to tell him, he has the wrong doorbell with the ditto person as I am not who he thinks I am.

Nowadays your name is last on the pecking order of things as usually in most spheres of life goes thus: “Can you give me the first line of your address,” which is then punched into the almighty ‘system’ followed by “...and your post code,” then if everything is okay by this stage your “date of birth” (if any), your blood group, any birthmarks, the size of your carbon footprint with eventually your name getting in on the act.

I pointed out: “I am not – read my lips – I am not Simon: me not Simon, no,” which in theory should bring things to a halt but no, his response was: “Are you sure? Well do you know where he lives then?,” to which I said I could get my driving licence with photo and name if shove comes to push to prove I’m not Simon.

As I have often said, I never go looking for these amazing people but now they come looking for me – or Simon – but I’m not the person they are looking for, so this could be some form of promotion in a sense – or then again, not.

As this saga was unfolding I invited him in as I put the kettle on, made a cuppa as we then got down to finding out what was going on or that was the general idea.

His name is Dave and he worked with Simon some years ago but as the firm they worked for stopped trading, those who worked for it still had reunions “every year or if not convenient, whenever possible,” which seems about right.

He didn’t know for sure where Simon lived but “somebody who knows him gave this address – or thereabouts,” as I replied that the last time we did a stock-take here there were no Simons plus we had not noticed any mail addressed to him arriving either.

I was beginning to warm to Dave, one of life’s bumblers but possibly harmless as he asked who I was! – as you do – as I sort of explained I lived here as he then apologised for wasting my time to which I said he hadn’t but I might relate this interlude later in another medium or right here now to be precise.

He asked if I was “up to much?” and I explained it was basically just normal as can be but so far no word from Andrew Lloyd Webber showing any interest in turning my life into a musical such as: “The Phantom of the Unknown Doorbell Ringer” or whatever as a theme with Michael Ball playing me or second choice Bradley Walsh if not too busy.

After the next bit of the “I didn’t know it was you though as now you mention it you don’t look like Simon at all” (doh!) as he then drank up, shook my hand and departed to go in search again for Simon, whatever he looks like, but hasn’t changed a bit and hope he goes to the next reunion.

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