Yesterday I was reminded by Helsie of an incident that I still find embarrassing to this day.
Just after the Falklands war I was invited (as some type of honoured guest) to a big Shropshire Rotary Club meeting (I was not a member), at which Brian Hanrahan was the guest speaker.
The event was held in a typical large municipal hall (about half the size of a football pitch), and all of the several hundred Rotarians were standing around the sides; gins and tonics in hand, nattering.
Suddenly Hanrahan appeared and walked confidently into the middle of the room. No-one moved; they just stared at him, and he was left standing there like a lemon.
Seeing that we looked almost as uncomfortable as one another, I strode over to where he was standing, shook hands, and dragged him off to the bar.
"You and I have something in common, Brian" I said to him "We're both guests, yet no-one seems fucking bothered to welcome us. Let's get pissed"
Someone did eventually come over, but for a while we were both left feeling strangely uncomfortable (our few drinks together was by far the best bit of the whole evening).
Weird bunch those Rotarians.
I don't know why you feel embarrassed about this, i bet BH thought you were the best chap in the room.ReplyDelete
I had the impression that he didn't 'give his all' with his talk. He probably wished he hadn't bothered to turn up (as did I); regardless of having met me!Delete
Something similar happened to me about 20 years ago. I was at a kids football celebration/matches afternoon with my youngest, when the President ( or whatever she was) arrived. It was no less than Mrs Eric Morecambe, who lives in our town. One of the officials went over to her, said his hellos, and then left her standing alone. I had fairly recently passed her briefly in the hall of a mutualReplyDelete
friend and we had exchanged a quip. So, as no one else seemed to be going to talk to her, I did ! I spent a delightful half an hour or more walking round chatting to her. I still see her in Waitrose, and occasionally say hello.
Maybe people are afraid to talk to 'celebs'; they forget that those 'celebs' have feelings too.Delete
Bet he could have kissed youReplyDelete
Well... erm... yes... maybe!Delete
A friend of our tells the tale of walking into one of those posh airport lounges somewhere overseas many, many years ago and seeing John Denver sitting alone at the bar. He walked up to him and said," G'day John, I'm Peter from Australia. Can I buy you a drink?" He says they spent a pleasant hour chatting and laughing before they parted to go their separate ways. Travelling alone can be a lonely experience too.ReplyDelete
Nice one. Some might tell you to 'get lost', others enjoy the company. I'm told that in Russia if you enter a huge restaurant and there is only one diner sitting at a distant table, you automatically go to join him. In the UK it's usually the opposite.Delete
I think a lot of people are afraid to talk to strangers full stop. I often pass comments with folk - for example chaps waiting with looks of boredom while their wives.shop. I often get funny looks from the wives when they return though.ReplyDelete
People talk to each other quite readily here. Some stop to have a half-hour discussion, others just say something on passing by.Delete
Yes, Rotarians can be weird, I agree. I was one, for a bit. I wanted to do something worthwhile and thought Rotary would be a good start. I was unimpressed. Several members were derogatory toward local Aboriginal people yet were smug about their (own) contribution to disadvantaged groups in third world countries. Help those on your doorstep, I say. And don't sit in the corner muttering like an old dinosaur about why women shouldn't be allowed in Rotary.ReplyDelete
Small-town mentality, possibly but I didn't like it.
From my recollection it was one big wife-swapping club.Delete
Good on you, Cro, for making the guest feel welcome. I think it's a poor show that there wasn't someone appointed to bring the man in and then to introduce him. I bet you never joined the Rotary Club!ReplyDelete
That was the last time I ever had anything to do with them. I agree with you; it was disgraceful.Delete
You did the right thing, Cro. You remember this incident because of it.ReplyDelete