I’ve just returned from chauffeuring my mum for her weekly food shop at the White Rose Shopping Centre (WRSC) in south Leeds; a domain which of late’s become my second home***. This modestly sized development, opened in 1997, a franchise nirvana of retail outlets, eateries, along with entertainment in the shape of a movie house.

*** – Third if you count my marital home in the LS15 area of our fair metropolis.

I’d be more specific about these outlet names if you’d like, but I’d wager you’ll already know the monikers without GJ Strachan’s elaboration.

Prior to the ‘big shop’ mater (Maggie) and I, along with family friend Maureen, lunched at one of the trinity of Costa’s within the hallowed walls of LS11’s premier shopping outlet. In my opinion, a place whose smaller scale design gives the mall a far more intimate and convivial environment than the Trafford Centre and Meadowhall; Manchester and Sheffield’s huge shopping plazas.

When ensconced within the coffee house, both ladies chose tea cakes and tea as their lunchtime refreshment of choice. Yours truly tucking into an emmental cheese and mushroom toasted wrap washed down by a half litre of sparkling water.

Prior to delivery of my food, I’d a misguided urge to ‘whimsically’ inform the delivering waitress the cliched words of movie directors at the end of shooting:- “That’s a wrap, folks!!”

Mercifully, though, I’d the good sense to realise the notion was comedically flawed**** before she arrived with the aforementioned wrap. Consequently sparing myself a another cliched scene of tumbleweed circumventing my table to the accompanying sound of a stiff breeze after delivery.

**** – When observing my epiphany was comedically flawed I actually meant this attempted play on words for ‘wrap’ was utterly unfunny. Despite sharing this revelation now, please understand this candour manifests from a position of relief the quip wasn’t expressed and I’m aware it would’ve been a woeful effort at raising a laugh!!

I’m unaware if Maggie and Maureen had equally rubbish notions to submit a gag out of the moniker of the snack they’d selected. However, I’d imagine, even if either widow bore my attention seeking habit of clambering to unearth jokes from most existential situation, manifesting a whimsical crack about toasted teacakes wouldn’t have been  easy…… I’d also opine the ladies possess more cognitive sense than looking for inane gags on the subject; behaviour I can’t denied I’m guilty of as charged.

Toasted teacakes just aren’t funny. I’d challenge someone even with the wit of an Oscar Wilde or a Noel Coward to achieve that trial by whimsy.


I suppose attempting to make people laugh, smile, grin or look as though they may have wind is no easy task. After all, the art isn’t an exact science; after all, not one comedian/humour writer could make everyone in the world laugh with any one gag/sketch.

There’ll always be someone who doesn’t like even the funniest joke or comedic situation  not matter how brilliant that individual is at his art……. Oh, with exception to Merv Truss from Bardsey, North Leeds, who idiosyncratically chortles at any comedic offering relayed in his company. Even jokes delivered in a language of which he has no grasp…… Including German…… Oh and, if truth be told, English!!

From my perspective, I appreciate feedback to any prose emanating from this unpredictable mind of mine. I’ve plenty of positive feedback over the period I’ve penned these essays, and I’d like to think the fact my website has achieved over 76,000 visitors in over 150 countries indicates there are readers who enjoy my prose….. Either that or they’ve nothing better to do!!

To be honest, though, as I don’t monetise the one million plus words which constitute my websites content meaning, even though ultimately aspiring to do so, there’s no real pressure to boost my audience ratings at this juncture…… And if I ever get to a point I’m short of laughs, or positive feedback at my ‘funniness’,  I’ve always the option of nipping to Bardsey for a chat with Merv Truss who’ll chuckle at any old s***e!!