Still seek­ing re­venge for record prank

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

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.

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