Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be?

When I left St John's College, Nottingham in 1984 it coincided with the end of tenure for two of the college's tutors, Tom Smail and Harold Miller; also Dick McInney of Nottingham University's theology department and a great friend of the College moved on.

A service was held at which the Bishop of Bradford preached. Half way through he said something along the lines of, 'This is true whether you are Tom, Dick or Harry.' There was uproar. The Rev'd Harold Miller, now Bishop of Down and Dromore, had never been known as Harry. We had not spotted it.

Ever since then I have always kept an eye on names. Brides who will have an entertaining married name or initials, groups of people who are er, groups of people, but it has never been as much fun as last night.

I locked up after Alpha. I didn't do as comprehensive a check-round as usual because the last two people had been chatting way after everyone else had left so I had watched everyone else leave the Trinity Centre and head for home. There was one lonely coat on the coat rack but there often is. It's the rules.

I walked away from the building and heard a frantic banging on the door behind me. It was Eileen. Behind her Betty and Beryl. You can tell from the names that these are not youth group members I think. I opened the door again and they went to get their coats. These included the one on the coat stand but also some left in the main room still, how observant am I? 'We were talking in the toilets,' said Eileen.

As they went it occurred to me that I hadn't checked the lights in the loos and, sure enough, both gents and ladies lights were on. Illumination also came to me in a Bishop of Bradford moment. Dare I ask them?

As Betty, Eileen and Beryl left I dared ask. 'Excuse me,' I said, 'But are you three old ladies?'

'Yes,' they said, 'You locked us in the lavatory. Don't tell anyone.'

I won't.


Anonymous said...

A funny story to start the day. Does it get you in the mood for the serious writing?

Anonymous said...

Did you all burst into song?

Steve C said...

I once attended the baptism of the wonderfully named Iona Rockett.