Sunday, September 30, 2007

The best things in life are free

A pair of chortles were provided by my first instalment of the local free paper, the South Manchester Reporter, when it arrived yesterday morning. The letters page is a splendidly archetypal catalogue of intensely regional gripes and pithy observations sent in by moaners and eccentrics. I quite liked the following letter from E Graham, Ladybarn, about the shortcomings of the length of the new platform at Mauldeth Road railway station. It’s not in the same league as Alfred H Lister, Guisborough, in the entertainment stakes (that would be ridiculous), but I’m always up for an unprovoked and seemingly arbitrary dig at Michael Palin so I liked it.

‘Walk to platform is far too long’

I look forward to using Mauldeth Road station after its refurbishment but was miffed at the distance from the road to the platform, even allowing for slopped access for the less able.

It is long enough for Michael Palin to present a programme on it.

Why didn’t they extend the platform to the bridge so the train could halt nearer the road, so reducing the trek for passengers? Couldn’t they construct a flight of steps closer to the road?

E Graham,

I picture E Graham grabbing his/her head in both hands immediately after concluding the letter and screaming ‘Why?!’ repeatedly, and listening for a response in an empty room. ‘What have I done? Why do they make me walk this unnecessary distance?!’ Plus it really does say ‘slopped access’, which makes it all the better.

The ‘Love 2 Love’ personals page (tagline: “…fast, fresh, fun on your phone!”) threw up this gem:

Short M, 37, with no hair, wooden leg, one glass eye & twitch in t’other, looking for F, 30-45, n/s. Box 198094.

Even though it’s presumably a joke, I just love the fact he went to the effort to send it in. Maybe I'll respond.


Blogger Dan said...

I quite like the idea of making Michael Palin make a documentary about the platform as suggested.

I'd have him sitting cross-legged at various parts sampling the local cuisine; he could try the Skittles from the Selecta machine, and later he could share a £2.65 can of Fosters with a commuter.

Then, someone could teach him the 'hopping on the spot in the cold while watching the 'Minutes Delayed' screen increase in increments of 7' dance.

October 01, 2007 12:57 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

I think regardless of what you asked Palin to present a programme on, he'll still carry it off in that insufferably self-contented 'I'm living life and I'm happy to boot' manner that irritates me so much. He'd stand there grinning at the 'Minutes' Delayed' screen and dismissing it as being "all part of travel, and I should know, because I make a living from travelling, don't you know." I don't mean to dislike overtly happy people, it just happens.

October 01, 2007 1:07 pm  
Blogger Gez said...

I like the personal ad. I think, as it's a joke that the poster should have been very specific and ambitious in his requirements. Something like, "...looking for F, 17-22, blonde, with a body firm enough to bounce a quid off and the ability to suck a ping-pong ball through a hosepipe."

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