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WARD'S WORLD: Nowadays the game has changed


By Spalding Today Columnist


Recently I was meeting somebody regarding an assumed ‘project’ (he said) although it was a case of he seeking me as opposed to me wishing to meet him in a roundabout way as although he seemingly had all the answer but his underwhelming gift for not actually understanding the question or questions in the first instance made it a long, laid out session plus I pondered (I do so like a good ponder from time to time) was it possible to waste time and space a better way? - any answers or suggestions (physically possible ones) to the usual address will suffice.

Years ago you stood a sporting chance - if the assailant wore shabby clothing or looked as if their body had not been properly introduced to basic soap and water in recent times they were the possible ones to be very wary of.

Nowadays the game has changed as they appear in smart suits, collar and tie - I have noticed in the past few years some people do not know how to tie a tie as the sheer number you see in the real world or in the media that look as if their tie is trying to slope off somewhere as it’s leaning to one side as if trying to crawl under the collar, but a minor irritating point - but regardless of how it’s kitted out, its worse if you get one that grins and even more so with those who appear on the doorstep unannounced.

John Ward (12143172)
John Ward (12143172)

The usual unannounced ones are either selling something, lost or looking for an address I have never heard of or it’s the ‘once in a four year cycle’, somebody wanting you to risk a pencil flick to vote for them but the rarity of anybody appearing to actually give me something - usually grief as in the previous encounters - has never, as far as I can recall, materialised unless it was some new fangled designer type illness or plague, although if the situation changes I will let you know even if its from the local isolation unit for chemical warfare I will get word out if possible.

Speaking, no scribbling away, of the ‘Once in Four Years’ (if lucky) entities does remind me of one encounter that comes to mind that did not involve me but was a friend of my mum, who had a very different slant on the voting malarkey.

Background to understand the following goes like this.

Years ago I was involved with our then local carnival committee and part of the proceedings involved the town’s mayor, many of them over the years as it was an annual appointment of course, but one that stuck out was Alan who was ‘game for anything’ in that whatever was asked of him as I can’t ever recall his refusal as he went far beyond the usual turning up for a ‘quick photo shoot and then gone’ mentality as he was in a way ‘one of the lads’ in a sense as no stuffy exterior to him as he seemed to really enjoy what he did and even though it was years ago now I am still in touch with him but he is no longer in the mayoring game of course.

I was on my way to a bash that involved Alan and his wife in his mayor’s capacity as I popped in to see mum, of the people for the people, beforehand but her friend Eunice was there (she could smell a kettle being ignited and the teabag dangling process that mum performed during the day at various times) as I was dropping off the bits I was taking for her as during the half conversation she asked if I was on my way to see Alan Thingamajig to which Eunice stopped in mid-sloop of her tea with ears in standby mode, then asked if it was the same ‘Alan as in the mayor bloke?’ but bearing in mind we only one a year and this was the present incumbent, I thought here we go - what’s going to come out now?.

Eunice said she voted for him - she lived in his ward, of which I was unaware - but the reason she did so was because of ‘him as a nice caring type of bloke’ plus ‘he always has a smile’ but she couldn’t remember ‘which mob (political party) he hangs around with’ but ‘everybody I know speaks well of him’ but as I thought this is going too well so far, I was to be proven right to be mentally cautious as she didn’t disappoint.

Being a Sunday, I half explained he was opening the mayor’s chamber at the council offices as we were having that year’s carnival queen and princess’s photo’s taken in the said chamber together with the mayor and Mrs Mayoress for part of their civic records etc. plus the carnival history/diary but it was all being done in our own free time with no expense incurred to the taxpayers ‘cos we were good like that.

This seemed to please Eunice’s inquiring mind as she then came out with the following as how shall I ever forget it as it seems to be just about all but tattooed on my surviving brain bit.

After hearing this she then said; ‘Of course you must know the old saying..’ as mum and I looked on in unison at her and both thinking just what is the daft bat going to come out with as just then she did her party piece; ‘They (?) say you don’t really know folk until you either sleep or live with them to be sure of them you know..’

I knew I had to be going - anywhere would suffice at that moment in time, believe me - but mum totally un-phased as usual, spoke; ‘To be honest I am quite prepared to settle for a good old fashioned handshake or ask how they are off for a few sticks of rhubarb because father could spare some from the garden rather than all this other malarkey as it all takes up too much time’.

Eunice by now had slooped her tea but was still going on about the fact she had voted for Alan in good faith (?) and would do so again.

This was an interesting point because as my granddad often said you can’t buy credibility, friends as required you can be but credibility and respect is earned, so he was perhaps about right there.

It could be said, and often was, that she was not the ‘brightest knife in the box’ but then the early days of bottled water took Eunice by surprise as she was walking in the town’s Market street with mum when she saw a young lady leaning on a lamppost, clutching a large bottle of water.

After a few seconds she approached her with the following; ‘Excuse me asking - but do you own a goldfish?’ to which the said young lady looked at her as if she wasn’t quite the ticket (surprise, surprise thought mum) as Eunice then added; ‘If you do, I think it’s escaped as your bottle thing has only got water in it’

Perhaps the other ‘old saying’ of you take them somewhere the once, then back to apologise if required might have fitted in there thought mum.



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