Tale that will ring true for so many


The Chronicle - - Mike Milligan - MIKE MIL­LI­GAN @choochs­dad

“WHAT would you lot do with­out your phones?” ex­claimed me mam in ex­as­per­a­tion post-Sun­day din­ner as three gen­er­a­tions of fam­ily sat mutely trans­fixed in their own lit­tle, phone-cen­tred cy­ber-worlds.

Aye, these lit­tle elec­tronic ig­no­rance boxes have cer­tainly changed the very na­ture of our ba­sic daily be­hav­iours.

What would we do with­out them? I wonder .... would it be pos­si­ble to main­tain the smart­phone-led habits we carry out au­to­mat­i­cally, in­deed un­con­sciously, with­out the giz­mos them­selves?

So let’s imag­ine the scene, an old­school Ge­ordie fatha is sit­ting’ doon for his tea.

It’s his favourite mince and tat­ties with a cup of tea and some but­tered Scot­tie. As he settles down con­tent­edly, with per­haps half his mind on his post-meal comfy chair and a read of his Chron­i­cle, a stricken look sud­denly etches across his craggy fea­tures.

“Pet! Pet!” he cries in alarm, “ah can’t start yet”. With a wor­ried look he leaps up from the ta­ble and starts rum­mag­ing through the draw­ers of the side­board.

“Where is it?” he growls, “ah can- eat me meal with­out it!”

His wife is puz­zled. “You can’t eat your meal with­out what pet?”

“Howay pet,” he re­torts. “Whad­daya think ah’m on aboot? me cam­era of course!”

With a howl of tri­umph he grabs his plas­tic In­sta­matic cam­era that was last used on his brother’s stag night in Ma­galuf back in ‘84.

With a deft click and a wind he’s snapped a cou­ple of views of his scran, and as he fi­nally sits down to eat he proudly an­nounces: “Once ah’ve had these bad boys de­vel­oped doon the chemist ah’ll be showin’ them off to the lads at work and doon the clu­u­urb.”

Now we leap for­ward in time to wit­ness the same gadgie strut­ting to­wards the afore­men­tioned club with his newly-de­vel­oped pho­tos of last week’s tea in his hand.

In­deed, he is not con­tent to carry the pho­tos, he is ac­tu­ally do­ing his ut­most to show them off to ran­dom passersby. “How mate”, he blurts out to a pass­ing stranger as he thrusts the prints under his nose. “D’ye like it?”

The man ig­nores him and hur­ries past, but at that mo­ment a lady he has never met be­fore rushes up and, grin­ning inanely, word­lessly of­fers a thumbs-up ges­ture to­wards his im­age of last week’s tea.

He then no­tices that this lady is car­ry­ing a glossy en­larged print of a ginger cat dressed as Stalin, which she is flash­ing at all and sundry, so he in turn gives her a thumbs-up.

Be­fore he can depart, how­ever, she has thrust an ex­tra copy of her Stalin cat photo print into his hands.

Hap­pily, our gadgie now skips off down the street show­ing passers-by both the print of his tea and the Soviet dic­ta­tor’s furry im­per­son­ator.

Sev­eral peo­ple re­spond with their thumbs up.

There’s one weird and mis­er­able gyet, how­ever, who gives him the thumbs down and into the gadgie’s pocket he se­cretly stuffs an en­ve­lope con­tain­ing a scrawled in­sult about the cat, the mince and tat­ties and a painful phys­i­cal act in­volv­ing both.

Obliv­i­ous, our hero reaches the club door­way, where­upon a lady un­ex­pect­edly blocks his path.

She is show­ing a photo of her­self that is at least a decade out of date and wear­ing a badge which an­nounces her to be ‘sin­gle‘.

Em­bar­rassed, our man goes to sign in and re­alises the com­mit­tee man on the door is also car­ry­ing a photo of a younger bloke, which isn’t even him.

He is wear­ing a badge which an­nounces him to be di­vorced and is pass­ing out pho­to­copies of a joke some­body passed him on the Metro.

“Ah knaa who the lass oot­side is waitin’ for,“he chuck­les to him­self as he hastily scrib­bles ‘mar­ried’ on a beer mat and pins it to his chest. No need to en­cour­age trouble ...

Mike is per­form­ing his own spe­cial one-hour show, at the Stand Com­edy Club in New­cas­tle on Mon­day, June 25. Tickets are avail­able at the venue.

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