But I'm a Yorkshireman
I'D RATHER be droonded than done so goes the old Yorkshire expression. It came to mind as Yorkshireman Sir Dave Richards fell into a water fountain in Doha, Qatar, soon after saying at a sports conference that Fifa and Uefa have stolen the game of football from England.
It didn't help that Sir Dave, who is chairman of England's Premier League, had also been decrying the difficulty involved in getting a pint of beer in Qatar.
But it had all been in jest, Sir Dave protested when the English FA and the Premier League both distanced themselves from his comments. "I'm a Yorkshireman and I'm quite broad and if I say something it can be taken a little bit out of context."
One sympathises with Sir Dave. But he should know that these days you're not allowed to make jokes, to be broad. Put a foot out of line and you'll have all sorts of people down on you like a ton of bricks.
ONE OF THE broadest of Yorkshiremen was England fast bowler Freddie Trueman. Stories about him abound. Here are two:
As the opposing batsman starts his walk back to the pavilion, his wickets spreadeagled by a Trueman delivery, he says: "Nice ball, Freddie."
"Aye, but wasted on thee."
Then there was the time he appealed for leg-before. The umpire shook his head. Next ball he struck the batsman's pads and he appealed again. The umpire again shook his head.
The following ball took the batman's middle stump.
Trueman to umpire: "Ee, that were close!"
OF COURSE, the definition of a Yorkshireman is a Scotsman with all the generosity squeezed out of him. But I had better desist from this line before I fall foul of the politically correct who will accuse me of making fun of regional accents and reinforcing stereotypes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Wheear 'ast tha bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?
On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
I can on occasion be heard singing all nine verses in the Street Shelter for the Over-40s.
Alpha to Zulu
DELTA Oscar - Yankee Oscar Uniform - Charlie Oscar Mike Echo - Hotel Echo Romeo Echo - Oscar Foxtrot Tango Echo November? No, the Nato phonetic alphabet is not quite the medium of social chatter. Easier to say: "Do you come here often?"
But the military have devised it for absolute clarity of signals in conditions of emergency. The initial letter of each word is what counts. And the wags have, of course, revised it.
Bevis Beck sends in a version often quoted by his uncle, Bobs van der Riet, who was a sugar farmer at Chaka's Kraal. It's presented in the form of "A for ., B for . etc". Some of the meanings are pretty obscure today, some (for me at least) totally baffling. But here goes:
A for 'orses; B for mutton; C for th' Highlanders; D for rential; E for Adam; F for vescence; G for police chief; H for wisdom; I for Novello; J for oranges; K for Francis; L for leather; M for sis; N for a dig; O for the garden wall; P for penny; Q for billiards; R for mo; S for you ;T for two; U for me; V for la France; W for a bob; X for breakfast; Y for goodness sake; Z for breeze.
It's all very clever. Some are rather obscure. C refers to the Seaforth Highlanders; Ivor Novello was a popular musical entertainer in the 30s and 40s; Kay Francis was an American actress in the same era. A Zephyr ("Z for") is a breeze. Jaffa oranges come from Israel. "W for a bob" means I'll double you on an original bet of sixpence. "R for mo" is the Cockney "'alf a mo'".
I'm totally stumped by "G for police chief" and "H for wisdom". Does anyone out there know?
Meanwhile, Tango Hotel Alpha November Kilo - Yankee Oscar Uniform - Bravo Echo Victor India Sierra.
SHE TOLD me I've lost the romantic touch. So I did something about it. I booked a table for the two of us next Saturday night.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.