Tuesday, 7 December 2010

By their gaffes shall ye know them.

Poor James Naughtie. For those who live outside the UK and have not heard - he fronts a radio programme early in the day and yesterday when speaking about Jeremy Hunt, the Culture secretary, he accidentally mispronounced the surname and came out witha four letter word (which I will leave to your imagination)instead of Hunt. Of course, he is all over the papers this morning - a front page photograph in the Times. How people do like to dwell on our misfortunes. Poor Mr Naughtie - whatever he does in the future it is this gaffe for which he will be remembered.

This morning, walking around Tesco with the farmer (yes, I know, I hate going with him but now I can no longer drive I have little option and, I must say, he is very good about it and assures me he doesn;t mind), we met a friend of mine. We haven't seen each other for a while and it was lovely to have a chat. I introduced the farmer and they agreed that they had met once before. She is a delightful lady, so accomplished, friendly, charming. After we moved on I asked the farmer if he remembered her. "Oh yes," he said, "she's the one who spilt the curry on the carpet!" (Some years ago a group of us went for a meal and she served up the most delightful authentic curry with all the trimmings. Just as she brought it to the table she tripped and threw the whole lot over her lovely cream wool carpet.) So rather like King Alfred, remembered for burning the cakes, M is remembered for throwing curry over the carpet.

This afternoon I was relating this to a friend who had called. He laughed and told me a story about his wedding day almost forty years ago. Whenever the wedding is mentioned the same story is mentioned - never about the bride, or the groom, or the ceremony, or the dress - oh no - the highlight of B's wedding was that his mother set fire to her hat. On her way to see her son married and in a bit of a nervous
state she decided to have a cigarette (well, you did in those days, didn't you).
Unfortunately while smoking the cigarette she set fire to the front of her blue feathered wedding hat and burnt a hole through it. B's Auntie Mary, seeing her distress, snipped a pink rose bud off a bush in a garden they happened to be passing and quickly pinned it in the hole. The hat was admired by all and became the talking point of the wedding!

So it does seem that we do not have a lot of control over what people remember about us. Apparently the kind of mistake Naughtie made is often called "corpsing" - this is something which actors on the stage do - they make a mistake, or a Spoonerism, to an actor who is supposed to be dead on the stage - the idea being that they are trying to make the corpse laugh. This is not to suggest that James Naughtie did it on purpose - it was obviously a slip of the tongue and I am sure he is very embarrassed about it. Forget about it Mr Naughtie - everyone else will - until that is, somebody mentions your name - then it'll all come flooding back.

To those of you who have asked about my health over the last week this is just to say thank you for being concerned. I am recovered and carrying on with life - there is nothing else I can do. I feel almost back to normal and am getting used to a large cocktail of drugs every day. As for not driving - that is not the end of the world - no-one in their right mind would wish to be on the road on this grey, wintry day. Keep warm.

22 comments:

jeanette from everton terrace said...

First, glad to hear you are on the mend and really, I surely wouldn't want to be driving in that mess. I'd be awful. Second, that poor radio host, can't even imagine. They say any press is good press so who knows if he is bothered about it or not but still, ugh.

Heather said...

It is so good to know that you are getting back to normal and that the drugs are helping you. Another interesting and amusing post - I love the anecdotes. Poor James Naughtie.

Rusty said...

Well I guess a mistake like that is not quite as bad as being caught saying something nasty when one thought the microphone was off. Winter arrived yesterday just at rush hour - what a mess! One would think we would know better in this part of the world - but no, clearing was a disaster according to those arriving home hours late. Even the trains were very late. Me? Nope - I'm retired and warm in the retreat. (GRIN). ATB! Keep well.

Jane Moxey said...

Oh dear, naughty Mr. Naughtie! How unfortunate. But it is a bit sad that one is often remembered by one's gaffes! But they do make for amusing anecdotes! How I chuckled at the wedding hat story! Wonderful picture of the road, it looks so icy and treacherous!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Glad to hear you are recovered, Weaver, and it's nice to know that the Farmer is good about going to the supermarket with you!

Enjoyed all your anecdotes! When I first saw your title, I thought it said "By their giraffes shall ye know them"!!

MorningAJ said...

Glad you're feeling better. Have they said what happened? I know what you mean about a cocktail of drugs. I'm on six a day! Went for my flu jab yesterday and was instructed that I need to have reviews for practically everything that's amiss with me. Consequently I've got a half-hour appointment on Christmas Eve!

I didn't hear poor James Naughtie but I've heard all about it since. I guess it's because a lot of people would like to apply that name to politicians but aren't allowed! :)

maggi said...

I am glad that you are feeling better and am sure that you are glad not to have to drive in this. I did hear James Naughtie's gaffe, although wasn't sure that I had hear it correctly until he made his apology. At least it's proof that the programme goes out live!

mrsnesbitt said...

I am sur Mr Hunt, being a politician has had many comments! Poor announcer too - wondered if he was so determined NOT to say anything untoward said the very word he was avoiding! Reminds me of a time I was taking a singing session with 90+ children - we were singing "What shall we do with the drinken sailor" One verse starts "Stick him in a boat with a rusty razor" All I could think of was "Stiack him in a boat with a randy raver" I had to get another teacher to take over! lol!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Good stories... all 3. I guess poor James was "naughty". I hope you continue to improve in your health. Driving is over-rated in my opinion!

George said...

Glad to know you are feeling better and on the mend, Pat. Stay well and have a wonderful holiday.

Tom Stephenson said...

Go here for the audio clip! :

http://stephensonlifestyle.blogspot.com/2010/12/naughtie-boy.html

Titus said...

It is strange how every person, and quite frequently, event, is always marked in our memories but the amusing disaster aspect!
The picture on the front of The Times really said it all, I thought.
And good to hear you sounding so chipper.

Bill said...

Anyone who missed it can hear it here

http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/james-naughtie-renames-jeremy-hunt/

As someone who emailed the Today programme said, it's David Cameron's fault for making someone called Hunt the Culture Secretary. It was an accident waiting to happen.

Totalfeckineejit said...

If your politicians are anything like ours, Weaver, then I think Mr Naughtie probably had it right the first time!

Glad to hear you are doing well, drugs are horrible, but if they are working then that's a good thing. Take care , stay warm!

Loren said...

Wooa. Let's not call of us out driving on a grey winter day out of our mind!

If I didn't drive on those kinds of days in the Pacific Norhwest, I'd go stir crazy.

Still, a nice walk always beats a drive. Nice to hear you are feeling better.

Jenn Jilks said...

Take good care. Your many readers worry about you!

I love the stories.

rallentanda said...

Mr Naughty is very clever. It probably wasn't a mistake at all.
I think he must have been visiting some poetry blog sites to learn a few ideas on this type of twisted strategy.

Dave King said...

I once made a similar gaffe, preaching in church, would you believe. But more than that, I am not saying! - except I did feel for him.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

How I have enjoyed reading through your back editions: food nostalgia (I love caraway seed cake. Mom used to make it, Dad never ate it!). The Golden Lion seems to have an unseasonal visitor by the fireplace?! Your morning star photo is lovely as are the others of a snowbound Yorkshire. We certainly passed through a couple of blizzards when travelling north on the train last week. Which of course brings me to your holiday planning. It's good to take the opportunity of discovering the delights on our own doorstep. Travelling early in the season should help to allow you to stop where the fancy takes but it's wise to get one's accommodation sorted early in the day leaving you free to explore the area knowing that your bed is booked! It's good to read that you are feeling much better now, concerned as ever for the welfare of smaller creatures in the winter weather. Enjoy your trips to restock their and your own larder but keeping by the wood burning stove sounds wonderfully comfortable!

Golden West said...

Wonderful news to hear you are feeling ever so much better, Weaver! I still drive, but thoroughly enjoy accompanying my daughter on errands when she stops by to take me along - it can be fun to be the passenger, especially with a camera along.

Elizabeth said...

At a very swanky wedding at the Boathouse in Central Perk a baby raccoon peeped round the awning.....
as the happy couple were making their vows

Noble of the Farmer to go to the shops with you!

Very cold here but nothing as exciting as your new header!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh dear, we are all getting a bit blase about these things aren't we?
I suppose he gave us all a bit of a laugh - we usually laugh at someone else's misfortune. I am just glad it wasn't me who made the mistake. Thanks for your comments.