ITCHY BOTTOMS AND THE REAL WORLD

You know, people often say to me, in a defensive way, “I have to live in the REAL world”…… even though they are consulting me to find out if things are going to be different…..as if they are somehow resigned to being stuck right where they are, regardless. But isn’t the REAL world an interesting place?  Have you EVER indulged in the pastime of people watching? It’s a brilliant way to pass the time!

Billy Connolly, a pioneer in the field of ‘real world’ comedy, has it down to a fine art. Last night, in bed, we were watching old clips of his shows, and on one he was talking about  itchy bottoms in public places (and acting it all out!). He had been talking about flying, and saying that real pilots have a posh accent, and are always called something like Nigel Carruthers…and that led him to talk about itchy bottoms. He said that the upper classes don’t get itchy bottoms…it is only working class people who do! For some reason that really made me laugh. It is true about the surreptitious movements we make in an attempt to try to relieve an itch we develop in a ‘sensitive’ area, whilst out in public…..but it isn’t something we generally discuss with others!

When I lived in Liverpool, life was awash with crazy, real life moments, and I really loved it. Once, when I missed the bus to Manchester, the driver of a different bus that was just leaving the station, said “Get on love, we’ll catch it up!” And he did just that. We tore through Liverpool at a rapid rate of knots, and the only two other passengers, a couple of old ladies, were pinned to the backs of their seats under the influence of a huge G – force. He headed my bus off at the pass, just before it reached the motorway, and when I asked what I owed him, he said “Buy me a pint next time you see me”. I never did see him again, so I still owe him, but hey, he gave me a memory to last a lifetime. For him, just another day in the life of a Liverpool bus driver!

And people in real life, when making an appointment, say things like; “Do you still live in the same place?” I don’t know…..where was I living last time you came to see me? Or “How do I get to yours, then?” I don’t know…..you haven’t told me where you live. A lady phoned me recently and asked if she could have an appointment within the following three days. I said “Yes. Can you come tomorrow morning?” and she said “Yes…..but I can’t come on Monday” ??? She also said “I tried calling you a couple of minutes ago, but I always press my ear too hard to the phone and cut myself off!” Don’t you love this kind of stuff? My ex mother in law once told us, with all seriousness, that the butcher’s dog had ‘minge’ (not mange). And recently one of our cats arrived home with a piece of warm, fried chicken in his mouth……we waited anxiously, intending to be ‘out’ when an angry and hungry someone – or – other banged on our front door, but it seems we dodged that bullet. 

But IS all that what people really mean when they say they have to live in the real world? Or are they referring to a perceived lack of opportunity for change and growth? Well…..I suppose all that can be said is that the real world IS whatever we believe it to be.

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