I’ve not been lucky enough to have kids but many years ago I remember watching TV with my girlfriend’s daughter, Wendy. I can’t remember the film we were watching but the star was Christopher Reeve, most famous perhaps for playing the part of Superman. Wendy was wondering why he wasn’t ducking into a phone booth to change into Superman and streaking up into the air at the drop of a hat. Well, I thought, it’s time for a serious talk with Wendy about the movie world.
I explained, pretty thoughtfully I thought, about how movies were made, about cameras, shooting, screenplays and actors. Wendy seemed to take it all in but after a while she looked at me, looked back at Christopher Reeve and asked;
“Right, so he’s lost his powers then?”
Here’s another one. One day Tania, Liz’s daughter was asking for a drink of juice. She was very young at the time, just learning to talk so Liz filled her cup with juice and handed Tania the drink. She was expecting a word of thanks but when it wasn’t forthcoming Liz held onto the cup. Tania tugged harder, Liz waited for a thank you. Eventually she said; “Tania, what’s the magic word?”
Tania thought for a moment and replied “Abra cadabra!”
Last night I was watching a TV documentary on BBC 1 about the Monty Python team and how they are getting ready for their new stage show. When I was a school kid I loved Monty Python and watching the film brought back a load of schoolboy memories.
Way back in my school days Monty Python was on TV late on -I think- a Thursday night. It was certainly a week night and it was certainly late as I had a running argument with my Mum about staying up to watch it. The next day talk at school would be all about the latest episode.
One day for some inexplicable reason I completely forgot about it and in my first lesson the following day one of my schoolmates approached me and said ‘Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!’ I looked blankly back at him and said something like ‘What are you on about?’ Only to get the disgusted answer ‘Didn’t you watch Monty Python last night?’ and then the lad moved on to someone else. Moments later I heard something again about the Spanish Inquisition and then two boys rolling with laughter. I was totally left out and I didn’t know what to do about it until later when I had an idea.
In my next class another friend asked ‘Did you see Monty Python last night?’ and after a brief moment I decided to take something of a chance and answered ‘Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!’ and the two of us rolled about in laughter and this trend continued throughout the day.
Of course, you must have seen what happened there. You must have seen that I was a fraud and a sham but at least my friends never discovered that or the fact that I didn’t see the Spanish Inquisition sketch until the eighties or nineties when some digital channel started showing Monty Python repeats, and all because I missed a TV show and didn’t want to be left out of some schoolboy banter. Funnily enough, the Spanish Inquisition sketch is one of my favourites. Hope the Python boys are using it in the new show!
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