Does my Bum Look Big in This?

I could set my clock by Fandango’s Provocative Question (actually, I probably could, although I never tried). But Wednesay’s mean just one thing. Today, Fandango asks:

Is it even possible to live a normal life and to not ever tell a lie?

I don’t think I get through each day without telling a lie of some sort. As Fandango’s blurb says, to avoid hurting another person’s feelings, or somesuch. In a marriage, for sure, there are certain questions where there is a standard answer. “Of course not, darling, your ass looks every bit as pert as it did the day we first met”, for example.

Whereas, if we gave the question any serious thought, our answer would be “what exactly are you hoping to achieve by asking me a question which can only have one answer? Are you trying to provoke a row?”

But we keep the peace. There are other lies:

  • It is all the fault of the Christians…
  • It is all the fault of the Jews…
  • It is all the fault of the Muslims…

or, along a different tack:

  • It is all the fault of the gays…

or even:

  • There are WMD in Iraq. Do you remember that one?

which are simply unacceptible. So what’s the difference between the two?

I’m interested in people’s views here, but for my money, the difference is the severity of the consequences. Is someone going to be harmed as a result of the lie? What do you think?

Our Day Out

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 14 October 2020, unorthodox.

While the weather was warm, had a day at the zoo,
We saw elephants, lions, parrots and gnu.
In the Reptile House, we saw dangerous creatures,
With beady eyes and grizzly features.

At feeding time, we saw giraffes eat,
That unorthodox way that they spread their feet.
A pose which is certainly not hi-tech,
But how else would they support that neck?

The otters look like having fun,
Sleeping soundly in the sun.
Flamingos standing on one leg,
And that enormous ostrich egg.

The camel seems to have the hump,
the chimp displays his scarlet rump,
Gibbons gliding through the trees,
The rhinos doing as they please.

The penguins have us all amused,
Must not forget the kangaroos.
The pandas looking very mellow,
Budgies showing brightest yellow.

On our day out, we saw a lot,
Aardvark, dingo, ocelot,
But the highlight, I cannot omit,
Was when the monkey turned round and went to the toilet!

I fancied something childish today. It’s funny that how, no matter how old I get, toilet jokes are still funny. Probably just me…

Oh, and I found a site which allows me to record short audio clips, so if you prefer, you can listen to my poem instead. This site gives me a 90s recording for free – unfortunately this cut off the last few words, but you can use your imaginations. I’m a bit hesitant but I will improve, and thanks to Victoria for the idea.

Roger Moore

On this day, in 1927, the actor Roger Moore was born. I never really had a lot of time for actors. They are sometimes well-known because of their acting, but they don’t tend to be great thinkers or philosophers. When Moore died, though, in 2017, I heard this very moving anecdote:

As a seven-year-old in about 1983, in the days before First Class Lounges at airports, I was with my grandad in Nice Airport and saw Roger Moore sitting at the departure gate, reading a paper. I told my granddad I’d just seen James Bond and asked if we could go over so I could get his autograph. My grandad had no idea who James Bond or Roger Moore were, so we walked over and he popped me in front of Roger Moore, with the words “my grandson says you’re famous. Can you sign this?”

As charming as you’d expect, Roger asks my name and duly signs the back of my plane ticket, a fulsome note full of best wishes. I’m ecstatic, but as we head back to our seats, I glance down at the signature. It’s hard to decipher it but it definitely doesn’t say ‘James Bond’. My grandad looks at it, half figures out it says ‘Roger Moore’ – I have absolutely no idea who that is, and my hearts sinks. I tell my grandad he’s signed it wrong, that he’s put someone else’s name – so my grandad heads back to Roger Moore, holding the ticket which he’s only just signed.

I remember staying by our seats and my grandad saying “he says you’ve signed the wrong name. He says your name is James Bond.” Roger Moore’s face crinkled up with realisation and he beckoned me over. When I was by his knee, he leant over, looked from side to side, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said to me, “I have to sign my name as ‘Roger Moore’ because otherwise…Blofeld might find out I was here.” He asked me not to tell anyone that I’d just seen James Bond, and he thanked me for keeping his secret. I went back to our seats, my nerves absolutely jangling with delight. My grandad asked me if he’d signed ‘James Bond.’ No, I said. I’d got it wrong. I was working with James Bond now.

Many, many years later, I was working as a scriptwriter on a recording that involved UNICEF, and Roger Moore was doing a piece to camera as an ambassador. He was completely lovely and while the cameramen were setting up, I told him in passing the story of when I met him in Nice Airport. He was happy to hear it, and he had a chuckle and said “Well, I don’t remember but I’m glad you got to meet James Bond.” So that was lovely.

And then he did something so brilliant. After the filming, he walked past me in the corridor, heading out to his car – but as he got level, he paused, looked both ways, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said, “Of course I remember our meeting in Nice. But I didn’t say anything in there, because those cameramen – any one of them could be working for Blofeld.”

I was as delighted at 30 as I had been at 7. What a man. What a tremendous man.”

At the very least, this was a kind man, and surely that’s the most important quality?

Roger Moore, 1927-2017.