My funny bone is on active rather than passive mode today.
BBC Radio 2’s daily competition to find the network’s most narrow-minded listener (the Jeremy Kyle Vine show) yielded some comedy gold.
I’d link to the segment concerned butÂ the sound file will vanish in 24 hours, so I’ll just have to try and recapture the moment.
The topic of the phone-in was ‘middle lane hoggers’.
Nothing to do with a genus of politically-centrist porcines.
This was all about that rare all-too-common breed of motorist that refuses to move to the left-hand lane.
When the phone-in started I expected the segment to be a one-sided tirade against (and I’m generalising and using my overactive imagination here) ‘doddery old fools who shouldn’t be in charge of a pencil let alone controlling a machine capable of killing people at speeds approaching 100mph’.
That’s what I expected.
Jeremy Kyle Vine received a call from a self-confessed middle lane hogger.
Stop tittering at the back.
The driver in question was, he admitted, in his 60s.
He also said that in his opinion he’s a safer driver now than he was in his 20s.
What does that say for how he drove forty years ago was my first thought.
My second was, what does that say for the driving test of forty years ago.
But our hero, the middle lane hogger, was robust in his defence of middle lane hogdom.
He quoted a section from the Highway Code stating that the left-hand lane is for slow traffic, the middle lane is for normal traffic and the right-hand lane is for overtaking.
The trouble is that the Highway Code has been extensively rewritten since the early 1970s.
It now states that the middle and the right-hand lane are both overtaking lanes.
The Highway Code also adds that traffic should use the left-hand lane when not overtaking.
But our middle lane hogger refused to accept this updated piece of wisdom.
Refused to take it on board even when told that the Highways Agency is going to target middle lane hoggers.
Anyway, the segment made me laugh.
Back to the point.
Earlier I listened (via BBC Radio 7s ‘Listen Again’ facility) to a very young episode of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.
I’ve been listening to ISIHAC for three decades (off and on).
I used to listen as a schoolboy.
Paul (Ethel) Harrington and I used to spend hours trying to fathom the rules to Mornington Crescent.
We admired the wit of the teams and Humph’s deft comedy touch at the radiophonic tiller.
It was pure entertainment for one’s sense of humour.
It was also a memory best left undisturbed.
The 1974 episode I listened to was, by comparison with today’s fayre, staid.
It made me realise just how much tighter the modern version is.
The timing is sharper.
Yet the teams are more relaxed.
And in the case of Humph’s stewardship – dirtier.
I believe that the late Willie Rushton, founding member of ISIHAC would be proud of the way the show has developed.
Speaking as a loyal listener, I know I am.
Anyway, some more comedy.
Tired Dad brings an amusing view of what went through the mind of a delegate attending a branding meeting.
(I particularly like the credit/loan advert being transposed over the facilitator’s dialogue)