Still seeking revenge for record prank
Thank you for all of your feedback on my recent columns, where I have been wandering along the path of hindsight, turning sharply into reminiscing road before settling in nostalgia avenue. This week’s ramblings touch on how our siblings can have an effect on our lives. I have only one brother, his name is Mark and he has a couple of years on me in age. We had many a run-in (as you do) when we were kids and quite a few as it happens in adulthood! I wouldn’t say we are extremely close, but we do have a mutual admiration for each other. Anyway, on with the story. I was about 14 years of age and attending Duncan Bowen secondary school, which is now called Christ Church. I used to come home for my lunch as I lived literally two minutes away. As I sat down in front of the TV eating my pilchard sandwich watching Rainbow (I had a crush on the lady from Rod, Jane and Freddy), the slimline phone we had recently purchased rang its memorable tone. I answered by quoting our telephone number, as everyone seemed to do back in the day. Why don’t people do that any more? “Hello” came the reply. “Is this Mr Webster?” he continued in a very strong northern accent. “This is his son, can I help?” “Well Mr Webster, you have been randomly selected to take part in a promotional competition we are running in Guy Norris record shop in Ashford’s new Tufton Centre (County Square), would you like to play?” “Of course, but what will I have to do?” I asked, concerned. “It’s very straightforward, just answer a simple question and you could win this week’s top 20. Would you like to play?” “Absolutely” I said, growing rather excited. “Then can you tell me, which film is the current number one ‘You’re the one that I want’ taken from?” Being a massive fan of the film that I had been to the flea-pit four times to see, I blurted back the answer “Grease, it’s Grease”. I was, of course, correct and was invited in to town that afternoon to collect my prize and have a picture taken for the KE. I hastily rang my dad at work, explained the story and asked for the afternoon off school. I didn’t think he’d go for it, but to my surprise he agreed. So I changed into my Sunday best and headed into town on the 502 from Stanhope. I marched proudly into the record shop and announced my arrival. “My name is John Webster and I’m here to collect my prize.” After a heated debate that nearly turned into a ruckus, the confused sales assistant informed me that she thought I may well have been the victim of an unfortunate hoax. I left the shop empty-handed and in floods of tears and wandered home very forlornly as I didn’t have enough money for the return journey. As I ran through the events in my mind, it all of a sudden hit me. The name of the manager who rang me, which I thought was a bit strange at the time, was Mr Retsbew, he actually spelt it out for me as I wrote it down to remember. Retsbew, Webster spelt backwards. I’d been had. My brother came home from work that night grinning like a Cheshire cat. “How was your day John?” he asked in a very broad northern accent. The penny dropped and I chased him around Stanhope about three times. I haven’t got him back yet, but I will. I can forgive, but not forget.