D’ya hear yer man

Call me Don

Thursday, 17th March 2011, 10:52 am

I found out last week I’m going to be a Godfather. I think Don Cuzini has a nice ring to it.

My friends Craig and Laura have asked myself and Karen to be Godparents to the latest addition to their family - Matilda Iris Collen. Even though we’ve no kids of our own I feel we’re very qualified for this role.

For a start, I’ve seen the Godfather trilogy at least twice and comfortably clocked the spin-off computer game for the Playstation 2 (playing Beginner level).

Karen’s babysitting credentials include having to tolerate me for the past nine and half years.

I am a music man

I recently came across a musical instrument from my school days during a Spring clean of the family home. And no, it wasn’t in the coal bunker.

When I was reunited with my old recorder it was like we’d never been apart. OK, so I couldn’t remember any of the notes or where to put my fingers, but at least I remembered to pull the top end off and shake it free of any 20-year-old spittle before I attempted a tune.

Why is it that when I was at school I hated the recorder, but now, as an adult, I want to embrace the bane of my childhood? I suppose it’s the fact I’m deciding for myself to play it now, whereas back in 1992 I didn’t have a choice.

In the same way that a lie detector is supposed to detect if you’re telling lies, the recorder was the perfect tool for turning your level of nervousness into an audible quantity. I can still remember standing in front of the class quivering my way through Frere Jacques, each faltering note indicating my abject fear at having to perform like a whistling jester in front of my laughing classmates.

I actually feel sorry for music teachers, I know what it’s like having a song stuck in your head all day. I can think of nothing worse than that song being a stop-start version of Amazing Grace played at the wrong tempo, pitch and with all the difficult bits left out.

The thing about being set a homework which involved learning a piece of music for the recorder was, if you forgot to do it, it wasn’t something you could easily get out of.

For a start, if you said you forgot your recorder or the dog destroyed it, then you’d be given one of the class recorders, full of deadly random spittle. Also, it wasn’t a homework you could easily catch up on during other classes. It was hard to disguise the high-pitched whistle of a recorder as anything other than the high-pitched whistle of a recorder. And worst of all you couldn’t bluff. When it was your turn to play, if you didn’t know what you were doing, the recorder was not about to help you through. Any attempt to simply muddle through sounded like Roger Whittaker being tortured.

And so, with the help of ‘The Usborne First Book Of The Recorder’ I’m teaching myself all over again. The plan is to become competent enough so that I can stand in the back garden and serenade Karen at her upstairs’ bedroom window. In the meantime she’s happy enough for me to play the recorder in the garden as I’m doing a good job keeping next door’s cat away from the vegetable patch.

The old ones are the best

A woman is trapped with her baby on the roof of a burning building. A fireman at street level shouts up to her, “Throw down your baby and I’ll catch him.” The woman isn’t sure. The fireman says, “It’ll be fine. I’m one of the best goalkeepers in the country.” The woman trusts him and throws her baby down. The fireman catches it, bounces it twice and kicks it over a wall.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: Taxi driver Ginger De Beer attacks his passenger Pinto McGuinness because Pinto has given him his own address as his destination. Ginger suspects his wife is having an affair and Pinto is carrying a bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine so his suspicions are confirmed.

Here’s this week’s teaser: For several days a man stood in a parking lot looking up at an apartment block. The man was becoming a nuisance and one of the tenants of the building contacted the authorities to have the man removed. A few hours later when the authorities arrived, the man had gone. The only evidence they could find to trace him by was his pipe. Who was the man they’d just missed?