There’s an old adage that ‘pride comes before a fall’ – A musing from folklore which yesterday I witnessed come to fruition. This incident played out when a friend downed twelve cans of London Pride beer and went ass over elbow on their front doorstep. Nothing was hurt apart from his pride…… Oh, and ‘lucky’ carton of eggs and china dinner service which accompany him everywhere.

Despite these items clearly not bringing him luck, this idiosyncratic friend (who I’ll call Reg) intends making an effort to repair them….. Well, the dinner service that is – Even he isn’t stupid enough to try repairing broken egg shells and their associated yolks and whites.

The unorthodox strategy aimed at maintaining the bone china accoutrements as constant ‘good fortune’ charms. Bringing him placebo peace of mind, misguided fulfilment and untold financial outlay on Superglue.

A man who hates waste and tempting fate, Reg claims “I’d rather die than risk the events of misfortune!” Bearing in mind there’s not a more unfortunate existential occurrence than dying, it’s at best an ill thought out claim; and at worst it’s a …..errrr…… ridiculously ill thought out claim.

Reg’s mum Gladys, with whom he lives on the outskirts of Skuttlethorpe village, on the fringes of Cloggington, unsuccessfully attempted to cure her son’s idiosyncratic behaviour with various mindfulness strategies.

Subsequently, she’s adopted a new, but thus far equally ineffective, approach of frequently berating him “If you don’t bring my bloody china dinner service back you can b***er off and find somewhere else to live!”

A dysfunctional family, his father George left home many years ago after growing tired of his and Gladys’ habitual squabbling about the artistic integrity of daytime TV show Supermarket Sweep. George claiming the broadcast was the most fun he’d had stood up***. His wife begging to differ, claiming the programme irresponsibly glorified the crime of shop lifting.

*** – Eccentrically claiming it made him feel part of the TV show, Reg’s old man liked watching the late Dale Winton’s game show while stood on his feet….. Although Gladys claimed he’d little option as bailiffs had a habit of reclaiming the three piece suite on Supermarket Sweep day. 

Since his father left the family home around two decades ago, Reg hasn’t had any contact with George. His stoic attempts at reconciliation thus far proving futile.

Even cascading details of his old man’s distinctive ringtone, Dale Winton’s catchphrase ‘The next time you’re at the checkout and you hear the beep.. [bip-bip], think of the fun you could be having on Supermarket Sweeeeep!’, proving fruitless….. Even in the fruit aisle!

There’s a well-used maxim advocating those of a creative want should never overstay their audience’s welcome. “Always leave your audience wanting more” an edict from the greatest showman PT Barnum. A mantra pontificating the need for an act to maintain an enigmatic air by holding back parts of their repertoire for future shows.

As my mother has told me many times during my more manic moods, which generally render me incapable of functioning without incessant mischief making****, “You’re a good turn, Gary, but your on t’ long!”

**** – AKA taking the p**s!

Her distinctive Leeds tones imparting well-meaning advice aimed at reining in a hyper episode from her eldest offspring. A consequence of her discomfort at my regular attempts to move from the mainstream path of ‘normal’. Her attempts aimed at making me tow a line I don’t want to be hooked to.

Like a snagged marlin being reeled toward a fishing boat, I fight vigorously against this maternal pull towards her three offspring not putting their head above the parapet.

Now ensconced in middle age, it maybe too late for me to ever have an unhindered trek on the existential path I’ve desired for many years. I owe it to myself to at the very least try escape the mainstream line I’m hooked upon.

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