Tuesday, 7 December 2010

How to cheer up a the British troops, or not, as the case may be.

There's always something weird going on outside my place of work.

It comes with the media territory, I think. From "fun" fashion to fame-hungry hopefuls breakdancing outside the entrance, ain't never a dull day. But as entertaining as it is, all this activity does makes the surrounding streets a haven for those with a campaign on the brain.

One such person met my eye yesterday as I walked towards work. There he was, loitering about in a functional kagool, looking for an innocent victim to pounce on. Armed, no doubt, with a lengthy survey or money-swindling form that would require a fixed gaze, a stern "No thank you!" or sudden preoccupation with my mobile phone screen.

"Hi, have you got a minute?" he said, all friendly like.

I gave him the once over. No clipboard. No leaflets. No visible religious paraphernalia. No dreadlocks or dubious smell about his person. Satisfied that I wasn't about to sponsor a cucumber, I shuffled over.

He produced some sort of listening device and waved it about.

"We're recording Christmas messages for British troops overseas. I was wondering if you'd be able to record one for us? It can be as long as you like, or you can just say Merry Christmas and that's it. Up to you!"

It didn't sound too hard; speak into a voice recorder, share a bit of Christmas good will, heal the world, then toddle off to work. What can I say? Catch me before 10am and I'll agree to most things.

So he checked I was ready, and with that, the "listening device" was aimed at face height and I found myself staring into a lens.

"Oh, hello!" I exclaimed, momentarily thrown by the introduction of a camera. "Merry Christmas!" I paused, job done, only to find Mr Kagool still nodding, still recording, still beaming expectantly at me to continue.

"Merry Christmas! I hope you're having a good time in..." I continued automatically, quickly realising the ridiculousness of such a sentiment considering the recipients were probably the only Brits guaranteed not to be having anything resembling a "good time" at this - or any other - time of year.

Nice one, idiot.

I bumbled on.

"a good time in, err...in..." I stumbled, realising I hadn't a clue where said British troops tended to be these days, Afghanistan? Iraq? RAF Northolt? Before cleverly concluding with:

"in...wherever you are! Errrr...oh..."

Another pause from me. More expectant grinning from Mr. Kagool. Seriously? You want more, after that?

"Ok! I'm done!" the camera was turned off, I was thanked and sent on my way.

Look, I know some of you have army friends overseas. I know you've probably sent them presents and letters and cards, packages of tangible gifts full of heart felt lovely wishes in what must be their most difficult month abroad, fighting in dangerous countries when they'd rather be at home with loved ones. 

And with any luck, all that will distract them from the blithering, early morning ramblings of a politically oblivious clown, standing in front of a respectable institution wishing them a bloody good Christmas, as if they're off on their hollibobs in Spain or something.

Yeah. Spontaneous goodwill isn't my strong point. Let's hope I don't make the final cut, eh?

9 comments:

soupemes said...

Oh Jo. Bless you and your little white ankle socks x

Elaine said...

Too funny!

nuttycow said...

Ahahahaha! Love this - you made me giggle out loud in the office. Bad Jo.

But seriously - no matter what the ramblings, I'm sure they'll all be thrilled to have such a lovely message (if slightly mental) from someone back 'home'.

jman said...

It's the thought that counts. And when wrapped in such a gorgeous package - I am sure the morale level of those lucky enough to hear/see it will be soaring. Next time try channeling your inner Tiny Tim (god bless us one and all) or St. Nick (Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night).

Ellie said...

He could have given you a bit more prep time.

theperpetualspiral said...

Fantastic, there is nothing like being caught on the hop!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

soupy - Bless the blithering fooooool!

Elaine - Let's hope the soldiers have the same reaction ;)

nutty - Mental being the operative word.

jman - Next time I think it's pretty much guaranteed that Mr Kagool will ask the person behind me

Ellie - My thoughts exactly!

Perp - You try to do a good deed, and look where it gets ya ;)

modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

i would've appreciated it last year, if it's any consolation....

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

modelofamajor - That does make me feel better :-D

 

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