Honesty Is The Best Policy But Insanity Is The Best Defence

I’m not sure how I got talked into attending one of the church coffee mornings to introduce some of the village pensioners to the wonders of internet shopping but that’s how I found myself in the church that cold morning utilising the vicarage’s Wifi and armed with my trusty laptop.IMG_0589

Expecting the odd elderly person to show up I was surprised when fifteen arrived but delighted that they knew how to operate the tea urn and truly grateful a few minutes later when I was nursing a hot mug of tea to ward off the cold in our draughty old church. I was pleased to see that one of two of them had brought along their laptops and the vicar and I spent a few minutes sorting out their internet connections before chatting to them about the benefits of internet shopping.

Fifteen minutes into the event and a couple of the pensioners got up and fetched their coats, apologising as they thought they were attending a bingo session. The charms of online supermarket shopping will always, of course, lack the appeal of a full house. Whilst at times it was frustrating explaining things to people who were born long before the techno age, their childlike enthusiasm was infectious and before we knew it, it was lunchtime and time for another round of tea. No army of pensioners ever marches on an empty tea urn don’t you know.

Over tea and custard creams the conversation continued with our audience fascinated by the ease of choice available to them online without even leaving the comforts on their own homes particularly as it hadn’t been shopping-like weather of late.

“How’s your handsome young man”? enquired Beryl who clearly had no filter and no volume control much like her friend Joyce. Beryl’s husband Albert just sat alongside her smiling vacantly and nodding and I’m guessing he’d had a lifetime’s experience of doing just that.

“Errr he’s not my young man anymore”.

“Was it your big feet that he didn’t like, darlin’? There’s always been big feet in your family, it’s because you all used to be hefty bog trotters”, referring to our Irish roots.

“Yes, well thank you for that; always nice to know how much we have evolved from when we were cloven-hooved cave dwellers, we now use cutlery even when we don’t have company”. I said regretting the decision not to wear a bullet-proof vest that morning under my sweater.

“That’s nice dear, good manners are so important especially when you’re a spinster with feet the size of dinner plates; just as well you can cook. Oh yes I forgot it’s your sister that bakes. Well never mind love, you’ll always have a home with your mum and dad”.

“Anyway, Beryl she’s not fat, are you sweetheart? You’re just easy to see” Joyce chipped in.

I was grateful to the vicar when he chose that very moment to collect the discarded cups creating a welcome distraction from the discussion regarding my marital status and obvious lack of attributes.

“Don’t you think the vicar’s got a touch of the George Clooney’s about him” whispered Joyce. Now if there were ever a man who was less like George Clooney, it would be our “woollie-pullie” wearing vicar – God love him. Unquestionably, one of the most diligent and kindest souls I’ve ever met but certainly not film star status; although I feel sure that his wife and mother would contradict me on that point.

Fortunately, we resumed the online shopping conversation and the vicar and I were kept busy checking that everyone had completed all the relevant information and were happy with their choices.saturday 013

“Are you a Tenna lady, Joyce”? and so the conversation continued who knew there’d be so many considerations when choosing incontinence pads?

“Albert, did you really mean to order a case of Irish Whisky?” I asked as he sat quietly tapping away on his laptop. Without uttering a word he glanced at his wife and then back at me again. I nodded sympathetically completely understanding the nature of his dilemma and recommended a repeat weekly order having realised then that some burdens are just too onerous to bear without inordinate amounts of Dutch Courage.

As I pondered on the way home whether I too needed fortification in the shape of my Dad’s dubious homebrew, I couldn’t help but recollect one of my Grandma’s fondest sayings “Some people brighten a room when they enter it and others when they leave”.

32 thoughts on “Honesty Is The Best Policy But Insanity Is The Best Defence

  1. You know sometimes being married isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Poor Albert is a testament to that! Beryl may not know it, but she is in no position to judge others if she is not such a great spouse herself.


  2. Great punch line, to which I add an oft-quoted Southern saying, “Ain’t that the truth.” Interesting the way older folks who know you think they can say anything to you…. Great writing, Dallas, keep it up!


  3. You have no idea how you make me laugh out loud. I’m having coffee at my local coffee shop before heading over the hospital to visit my mom who just came out of surgery. She has already text me to tell me that her cell phone is almost out of battery. I’m delivery her iPod filled with new audiobooks, and she has a twitter and Instagram account. Pensioners catch on very quickly.

    One day, I’m coming to visit you and take one of your internet shopping courses. And then I will partake in your days homebrew!!



    • Hello Rebecca, you may want to give my Dad’s dandelion wine a miss as it tastes like shower gel but desperate times call for desperate measures. I have to confess that despite the outrageous comments I enjoyed spending some time with them all & I hope your mum gets better soon


  4. If in fact the old duck was on the money, there’s nowt wrong with big feet on a female – though it’s best that such appendages are never seen in their naked form, which is ironic given they can make shoe-buying an exercise in frustration.


  5. What a marvelous post. You had me amused and delighted both, after waking up in the middle of the night to review some of my sorrows, and a few of the world around me. I was as sour as a man can be in the cold night, till reading this… and have been smiling since. Thank you. Keep it coming.


  6. Ah, the dear seniors and their loud voices – they can do you in in no time at all 😀 What a great thing to do – it’s how they use their new-found knowledge that sometimes worries me!


  7. “That’s nice dear, good manners are so important especially when you’re a spinster with feet the size of dinner plates; just as well you can cook. Oh yes I forgot it’s your sister that bakes. Well never mind love, you’ll always have a home with your mum and dad”

    I nearly fell off my chair at that, you should have told them all about your foreign adventures that would have had the tea spraying and them choking on their custard creams…then again you might have had to give first aid so maybe not 😀


  8. Tink, you are a true delight. I love that you do lessons, and frankly, love the old bizzy bodies too. know a few of them myself, and while their bluntness can often be mistaken for rudeness by those that don’t know them, personally I think once you’ve reached a certain age, you’re allowed to release whatever needs releasin’ from whatever hole it comes out of…with NO offense taken. They mean no harm, and it’s quite lovely knowing there’s an obvious history in your church where they know at least ONE of you girls cooks. 😉 Thanks for the chuckle and I think after your students are all set with shopping…you need to introduce them to blogging! yours for starters, but imagine Beryl blurtin’ and Joyce tossin in what sidekicks toss. all the while, the vicar twisting his woolie pullie daily fearin’ what these two might put out there? in public? Good Lord…lol
    Howdy to Pops and hope he’s feeling good these days. xo


    • The old fella was well impressed with your FB pics on the weekend (as was I) and I feel quite grand calling the outspoken old folk my students. They certainly say what they think and I didn’t take offence at it particularly as I had already activated my Star Trek style deflector shields. And who knows next week online Bingo and the week after Worldwide blogging domination


      • Dear Tink…you need no such deflector shield! I think you are a raving, wild haired, beauty…and as for the size of your feet…well let’s just say those with smaller ones are more likely to drown!! Stay smiling my friend…it looks good on you! (tell pops thanks for the likes on the photos…like the alligator? yikes)


  9. I’m filled with admiration that you’re prepared to electronically educate the oldies! you’re a brave woman! No wonder Albert needs to order a quiet case of whiskey … I loved your article!


    • You’d have thought I’d learned my lesson from trying to educate both my mum & my Dad but clearly I must have the word “Sucker” stamped on my forehead. Hope Albert brings a hip flask to the next class so he can share with me!


  10. You certainly have an entertaining way of telling a story, Dallas. I have also noticed that old people have no compunction about just coming out with such comments. Congrats on keeping your cool. 🙂 What a great pity that your vicar isn’t more Clooney-like. 😦


  11. I am nearly crying I am laughing so hard. Bogs? Big feet? Yes this is certainly the reason for your marital status, be grateful, be very very thankful. As to the case, perhaps that is the weekly supply.


  12. Old people seem to loose all sense of discretion, Dallas, and think it’s perfectly fine to be ‘forthright’. Not your Grandma though- she had it spot on! 🙂
    I don’t suppose your vicar’s a Mourinho look alike either, is he? Shame!


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