Douglas had a tale of missed opportunities. Jack had worked all his life and was planning to now retire and spend more time with his wife Sally. He arrived home with a bunch of flowers to tell her and found in her the arms of Jack (his irresponsible friend). Jack says ‘I have won a luxury cruise for two and asked Sal to go with me and she fainted.’ ‘Why ask my wife?’ ‘You are always busy and Sal seemed so lonely, so the least I could do was ask my sister to come with me.’ It was thought to be an intriguing tale that could have been improved with more dialogue.
There was some discussion about the book Eats shoots and leaves. Meanings can be changed by missing out an apostrophe. For example ‘Dicks in tray’ or ‘New members welcome drink.’
John Major read out the first tale about Joe who had just been handed a 3 year driving ban. He woke up realising that the trip to the mountains and the camping holiday were no longer possible, and that he would have to rely on his wife to take the kids to school. He went to work on the DART which was packed and smelly. When he got to his office, his boss Mike called him in and sacked him because of the driving ban. Joe gives Mike a bloody nose, and gives a reversed Churchillian two-fingered gesture to staff looking out of the window as he left. A good story well told. Nik pointed out that it was not advisable to start with the protagonist waking up. The story changes point of view but this can work. Particularly liked was the story within the story of Mike and his secretary and their shenanigans on the table.
Maureen gave us a snippet from her tour leader’s diary when she undertook tours in Hong Kong and China. They were meant as notes to the next tour leader coming after her, telling of the difficulties that had been encountered. She told us about not being able to check bags through from UK to HK. Glyn asked if it was a colostomy bag. Yes he is back.
Anne told of a nurse looking after a man in a coma following a road accident. She recognised him as her maths teacher when she was 15. She had been flattered by his attention and they had an affair which finished when she told him that her ‘monthlies’ finished 3 months previously. He arranged an abortion which led to her being sterile, her dreams of family life finished. She wonders whether she could accidentally disconnect one of the wires that were keeping him alive. Luckily another sister comes in and she goes off duty but what will happen the next time she is on duty? It was Anne’s first attempt at fiction and was thought to be a very good effort. Nik thought she should start by Beth looking at the man and hating him, then going on to say how he came to be there.
John Major gave his second tale about Joe. He is now in Dubai with his wife Susan (all the ladies were astounded that she had stayed with him after having to drive him around for 3 years). He asked his wife how it is that she always knows when he is lying and she says ‘when your lips are moving.’ One day he comes home to find the car is damaged and she says a lamp post was in the wrong place (it’s amazing how they can move). He then offers to go and damage the car again at the same spot and get a police report (which was necessary in Dubai before you could get a car repaired on insurance). There then followed a very funny account of how he tried to hit the same spot but missed it by inches and the people in Spinneys watching and cheering; the staff even came out and directed him. To loud applause he bowed to his audience and the police came and took his details. Joe thought, ‘when I get home my wife will not be having a headache tonight’. Hilarious.
I wrote a little ditty about the Emperor of Exmoor, a famous stag who was shot by a hunter, but apparently it was a hoax so let’s hope he is happily rutting on the moor.