Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Of(f) who?

This is John.

John lives with Tommy.

John is not gay by the way, though if you had clicked on the Tommy (link) above you would possibly not have thought so.

If you had…..

Which you might not have….

I’ll tell you what – let’s start again.

This is John.

John knows Tommy.

Not in the Biblical sense of course….

I’ll tell you what, let’s try this one more time.

Say hello to John.

I have a lot in common with John.

We both know too many of the lyrics to Bob Dylan songs, more than can be healthy for anyone who’s job isn’t to BE Bob Dylan; we both read the Guardian newspaper and his daughter’s husband’s only sister’s son’s father and my daughter’s mum’s brother’s wife’ s sister…. No hang on I got that wrong.

His wife’s-eldest daughter’s-husband’s–only sister’s-son’s-dad and my only daughter’s-mother’s husband is the same person.


So – see - we’re related this John and me.

Anyway – in August he camped next to me, or I camped next to him – yes he was there first - on the Island of St Agnes, one of the Isles of Scilly.

In the mornings he would wake me up singing along to a Bob Dylan song he was listening to on his I-pod and I would annoy his wife’s-eldest daughter’s-husband’s–only sister by singing along.

John enjoys a certain notoriety on St Agnes – his visits pre-date the Christian invasion of the isles and he is one of the legendary survivors of the campsite that was torn apart by gales in 1979.

The gales that destroyed the lives of 15 sailors in the Fastnet boat race.

When you walk on the islands alongside John you notice that the locals greet him.

“Hi John”
“See you next year”
“How’s Tommy.”
“Is that your wife’s-eldest daughter’s-husband’s–only sister’s-son’s-dad?”

John is one of those guys that people warm to.

He’s easy to talk to.

A few years back, during one of his trips to the Island, he bumped into Pete Townshend of The Who in the Post Office on the main Island.

Pete has a yacht and likes the place - and even he needs stamps for his postcards.

“Hi Pete”

And then they probably talked about the cord changes on Baba O'Reilly.

Now - St Agnes claims to be home to the most south-westerly pub in Britain.

It may be true, there is certainly a pub there – it has the only internet access on the island worthy of trying to connect to, beer, and serves meals.

After a few days cooking in your tent most campers end up there for the evening meal along with the-most-south-westerly-pub-sightseers and the occasional legendary guitar player.

Most people sit outside – the view (above) is pretty nice so the ritual is that a waiter will appear, bearing plates and calling your name.

Two days after the post office meeting between the man-with-a-dog-called-Tommy and the man-with-a-song-called-Tommy (I love it when you are writing and something like that happens spontaneously) John was sitting outside enjoying the evening breeze.

A waiter appeared and started calling – “Townshend” …..””Townshend”

John turned to his neighbour, who had just arrived from London – “That’ll be Pete Townsend of The Who.”

His neighbour laughed – “No, good joke John, it’s some other bloke with the same name.”

“No, it’ll be Pete Townshend of The Who.”
“No way.”
“Yes, look – he’s over there.”

His neighbour looked and started to choke on his Cheese and Onion crisps ‘”Blimey, I’ve got to get his autograph!”

“No leave of mate, he’s on holiday, give him a break.”
“No, I’m a big fan I have to.”
“Come on, it’s embarrassing.”
“I’m a huge fan, I must… have you got anything to write on?”

Maureen – my only daughter’s-mum’s-brother’s-wife’s-dad’s-wife – had some envelopes, handed him one and he scuttled off.

John drained his beer - “This is so embarrassing.”

A few minutes passed and then his friend came running back, chest puffed out and clearly VERY happy – “That was brilliant – here hold this and I’ll get a round of drinks”.

John looked at the envelope.

John looked at his wife.

A few minutes passed – there was a queue at the bar.

His friend/neighbour returned - “Great, where’s the autograph?”

John handed him a pack of thirty letters.

On 29 of them he had faithfully copied the singer’s handwriting and mixed them together with the thirtieth.

“You have to find it.”


Mary said...

"my only daughter’s-mum’s-brother’s-wife’s-dad’s-wife" - what a mind bender! Say that 3 times quickly. Should help keep Alzeimer's at bay.
PS - still reading

popps said...

pps - watch the video too!

Mary said...

I watched the video. The Who are fantastic and Pete Townsend simply amazing.

Am currently living through my son's 'teenage wasteland' -- will be happy when he makes it through.