I regularly talk to groups, Women's Institutes, Senior Citizen groups and the like. It's a challenge in a way and keeps my brain in reasonable shape. My bread and butter talk, so to speak is entitled 'There's Nowt so Strange as Folk', based loosely around a book of short stories I wrote a year or two ago. It can't be all bad because on occasion I have been asked back. no mean feat. The last time I spoke I was greeted with the words, 'Pleased to meet you, I hope you are better than the one we had last week, she were terrible.' Not exactly designed to inspire confidence but not as bad as another speaker I know of. Five minutes into his spiel on the workings of computers some old lady stood up and spoke immortal words. 'We don't want this rubbish.' (Evidently the group had been expecting to be taught the basics of how to use a computer, not how the computer's innards function.) They don't mess about, pensioners groups, straight to the point and if they don't like you be prepared to run.
Because of return visits I've been working on a second talk entitled 'Is the whole world going mad or is it me.' Interesting to put together and based on every crackpot, unusual, sometimes simply bizarre individuals and situations in the word today. For instance, pensioners on ASBO's for thoroughly juvenile behaviour; how odd. Sat Nav ambulance crews who took a patient on a 400 mile ride from London to Manchester and back on what should have been a twenty minute transfer between Ilford, London and Brentford in Essex. Universities awarding a PhD. in darts and a dentist who used his surgical instruments to clean his finger nails. (and that was one of his better habits!)
The reason for this particular blog being the news that Alton Towers is dismantling a twenty eight year old, seventy five feet high rollercoaster. Interesting but made even more so when one considers what the dismantlers have found to date.
Now the eight hundred pieces of jewellery found is sad but understandable; anyone who has ever experienced the fast, furious terrifying ride on the Corkscrew as it was called will empathise immediately. Plus three hundred mobile phones. What sort of clown would try and use a mobile phone in such circumstances. (On second thoughts, the whole world seems incapable of walking down the street without phoning so perhaps it's not all that surprising.)
Fifty three odd shoes, an irritating loss but not unexpected, but then it really gets interesting.Ten pairs of underwear. I must be careful what I say here but the mind boggles. I daren't even guess but perhaps its best to leave it to the readers own imaginations!
The last two items found give real food for thought. Item one, a prosthetic ear. Which of course would surely stand little chance of staying put on such a high speed, wind buffeted manic ride as the Corkscrew. Embarrassing to say the least, a difficult ride home especially if you were a driver for how on earth do you keep your glasses on in such circumstances. (Sorry, not meant to offend but you have to smile.)
One final discovery, surely the strangest of them all being one prosthetic leg. I hope it was not the same man who lost the ear, For there would be an unfortunate double whammy. (Why am I assuming it was a man?) Imagine the problems this mishap would cause you, stuck at Alton Towers minus a leg. Its not funny really but if you didn't laugh you would probably cry. All the old jokes immediately spring to mind. You'd really need a leg up and then what do you do, hop down to the information desk? Do they have a set, practiced procedure for lost legs? Surely they don't have spares for such an emergency? 'No problem, sir, left or right?' You could sue them but you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. It would not exactly enhance your day and I've no doubt you wouldn't get a replacement on the NHS the next day. All in all a right bloody nuisance but what a story to tell at your next cocktail party when the conversation flags, the day you were legless at Alton Towers.