At the risk of sounding tactless, if not out and out callous, the old chap who was apparently at death’s door a week or two ago has rallied. So there is nothing to report along those lines, whether ironical or not. I shall be seeing him this coming Wednesday night on my way back from London, and I shall do my best to cheer him up. It’s not that he is ill, simply that he is 83 and that his body is slowly packing up. I managed to cheer him up and get him to laugh again the last time I saw him, but it is so crass to chat along the lines of: ‘Look, I don't know what you’re worrying about, it might never happen’, when, in fact, it will happen and unless I end up in a horrible motorway crash tomorrow on my way to work, it will happen to him rather sooner than it will happen to me. The only thing I can do, or one of the only things I can do, is to remind him of his Anglican faith and to ensure he becomes less anxious.
Having said all that, here’s another joke to be getting one with.
The wedding reception was held at a lovely hotel and everyone agreed that it was one of the nicest occasions they had ever attended. Finally, at about two in the morning, the last few guests drifted off and the newly-wed couple retired to the honeymoon suite where they decided to have a last glass of champagne. They were discussing out the day had gone and who had been there, when the bride noticed that her new husband had grown a little silent.
‘What’s wrong?’ she asked.
‘Oh, nothing, darling, nothing at all, nothing my dear,’ he said.
‘Come on, something’s bothering you, what is is?’
‘Really, it’s nothing,’ said her husband, ‘nothing at all it’s just . . . it’ll keep, really.’
‘Look,’ said the bride, ‘tell me now. Let’s start as we mean to go on and be completely open with each other.’
‘Well . . . ah, no, it’s nothing, seriously, nothing at all, it’s just, y’know, something I’ve been wondering about, but, y’know, another time, really.’
‘Oh, for God’s sake out with it.’
‘I don’t, y’know, I don’t want to upset you.’
‘You’ll upset me if you don’t stop beating about the bush,’ said the bride, ‘now come on, out with it.’
‘Well . . . it’s just y’know, I’ve often wondered . . .’ The newly-wed man fell silent.
‘Well, y’know, I’ve often wondered whether, er, y’know . . .’ Again he drifted off into silence.
‘Whether what?’ the bride asked, now sounding a little impatient.
‘Well . . . OK, I’ve often wondered, y’know . . . I’ve often wondered whether, er, whether I was your first.’
The bride was silent for a moment, and then she sighed. ‘Oh God, if I had a pound for every man who’s asked me that!’