I remember a couple of years ago mentioning that I was glad that Last of the Summer Wine was being put out to pasture.
My comments generated a mixed response, with some people agreeing whole heartedly that three men rolling down a hill in an old tin bath was about as funny as watching paint dry – others, however, said that I was being disrespectful to one of our oldest comedy institutions and that compared to today’s expletive laden alternatives, Last of the Summer Wine stood tall.
I still stand by what I said – I caught 10 minutes of an old episode on TV at the weekend and just two gags in, my hatred was reignited. It isn’t all old comedy series that I feel this way about though, I can still watch any one of the 12 Fawlty Towers episodes and find it as funny as the first time – although as I discovered last week, it isn’t quite as fun when you actually live the series for real.
I was working in Essex for a couple of days. I was right on the coast and the sun was shining so it was a most pleasant trip. I decided that if I could find a B&B that was better value than driving there and back each day then I would stay over and even though it was the start of the school holidays, I stumbled across a cancellation.
Now, one thing I have always made little sarcastic comments to my wife about when we go away is the amount she packs. I’m sure this is a regular occurrence in households across Northamptonshire. I always ask the question: if we’re going away for a couple of nights, do you really need to bring three pairs of jeans/shoes etc…? Well after my stay in my own Fawlty Towers last week I’ve learned to eat my words.
I was sat quite happily in the dining room on Friday morning reading my book and waiting for my eggs on toast to come to the table when from out of nowhere, the lady who ran the B&B tripped on thin air and flung a full jug of orange juice over me. I could see it coming in slow motion, but I was powerless to get out of the way. I was soaked.
The obvious solution would have been for me to go and change, but my “pack-light” policy meant that I didn’t have any spare jeans to change into. Lesson learned. Regardless of how crazy packing so much seems at the time, women are ALWAYS right when it comes to this kind of thing.
As a result I became the star of my own sitcom last week – Last of the Essex Orange Juice. Hopefully it’s one that’ll be cancelled after just one episode.