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December 2004 - The Grand Return

It's a bit like smoking really, isn't it?   I mean, the longer you give it up for, the harder it is to get going again.

I had intended to start again at the start of November, then to re-commence at the commencement of December, but now it's past the middle of that month and here I am in the middle of trying to remember how to light up the keyboard.

It's all down to this part-time purveyor of alcoholic beverages, you see.  He's being a right bar steward and nagging about the grand return with an efficiency normally reserved only for 'er indoors.

I shall leave you to wander in the direction of the Correspondence Column, dear reader, for further details of the aforementioned gentleman; but NOT until AFTER you have read and digested this month's words of wisdom.

You CAN'T go now!  After nine-and-a-half months of waiting, you will be amused BEFORE you leave and that is an ORDER.

So welcome to the grand return of Nick Harvey's Comment after its break.  Welcome especially to our first-time viewers, yet to fully understand the mighty wonders of this portion of prosaic prose; but welcome also to those regulars who've been homeless and hapless during our hiatus.

What is it that is to come under Nick Harvey's seventeen million watt spotlight after all this time then?  What subject requires the depth of analysis that only Nick's enormous spade can dig to?   What subject is of such great import that it needs to be Huttoned by Harvey?

Well, bluntly folks, I haven't a clue.

That's the trouble with being ill prepared, you see.  During the slight pause in my writings, I've had hundreds of ideas for Comments of great excellence, but have I committed those ideas to the odd scrap of paper and stuffed said paper in my back pocket for future reference?  Have I 'eck as like!

No, esteemed follower, after all this waiting you are to be enthralled with the usual load of rambling codswallop that regular devotees have come to know and love over the centuries in which these epistles have been published.

And for that heckling lady in the beige cardigan in the back row who keeps on about my exaggerations; button your lip, dear, I've been published in both the twentieth AND the twenty-first centuries, so there!

Perhaps I should, at this point in the proceedings, bring you up-to-date a little with what's been going on since we last met?

I'm sure you'll be overjoyed to know that they've finished the building work behind my back garden.  All the lorries left the site and restful sleep was restored to Harvey Towers.

Restful sleep was restored to Harvey Towers for almost a fortnight.  That was until occupancy was taken up by the occupants, residency was commenced by the residents and we realised that they have some of those children things; you know, the things that go out into the garden at seven in the morning to shout and scream at the tops of their voices.

A question I might have to consider in a future edition is whether that Herod chappie might just have had the right idea.

Not now, though.  After all, it's nearly Christmas.  That time of goodwill to all noisy small people; noisy, large drunk people; and noisy, very large plastic, blow-up Santas and snowmen, which emit high-pitched whistling sounds as they slowly deflate.

I really MUST start leaving the darts up at the club after I've had a game!  Bah!  Humbug!

So what else has been happening since the last time round, I'm frantically trying to remember.

The summer holidays were really great.  I spent loads of days in that home of the vehicle hating council, Bath.   For those of you lucky enough to be from far and wide and far afield from Bath, let me explain a little.

The council have decided to be the bane of the motorists' life, so, to make it totally clear to everyone that that is the case, the official name for the council is Banes.  Yes, Banes!

I'm told it actually stands for Bath and North-East Somerset, but when did a little detail like that ever stop Nick Harvey having a pop when he felt it was truly deserved?

The sole raison d'etre for this organisation appears to be to make a misery of the life of every single driver who DARES to try to enter the city.

Apart from the usual bus lanes with no buses in them and traffic lights which change back to red after just under two seconds, they've also invented something called the "bus gate".

The bus gate is a cross between an empty bus lane and a set of traffic lights that NEVER go green.  Basically, unless you're a bus, of which, as stated, there appear to be none, the lights just stay red all the time.

Hopeful car drivers hover before these things in the hope that, one day, they'll change, but they never do; and the car is marooned there in a similar fashion to that one caught up in the crash between the tankers of red and black paint.

Sorry, madam, but it IS nearly the pantomime season and the old ones really ARE the best!

I'm sure that bloke who was complaining found it funny, anyway.  What was it he wanted?  Drollness and observation?  I'll bet he's just toppled off the periphery of his saddle and fallen right on top of the fifty-nine percent, out fighting prejudice and the ban.

Hey, a thought's just struck me.   I wonder if horses are allowed in Bath's bus lanes?  Well, it would almost make them worth their while if they were full of horses, wouldn't it?  And we'll need something to do with all the redundant horses after the middle of next February.

"Oh no, he's rambling on again" I hear you cry.  Well, you'll just have to put up with it, because, to continue the theme of getting you up-to-date, yes I'm still suffering from a modicum of cantankerousness occasionally.

Anyway, judging by previous viewing figures, the highly organised, well planned editions of Comment never get as good a response as the rambling, disconnected epics.  Perhaps I should plan to be disconnected, or is that just what the electricity company keep threatening me with?

It's not been the same since I gave up, you know.  Smoking that is.  In the old days, you could tell how good an edition was going to be by the depth of the ashtray after it had been written.

The deeper the cigarette ends, the better the edition.  If I remember correctly, there have been some twenty-five butt epics in the past.

I suppose that by the time we get to Christmas of next year, my poor ashtray will probably be about as legal as the hounds, the car in Bath city centre or failing to be politically correct.

I can't remember where I read it recently, all credit to wherever it was, but I see the latest wonder in that department is that poor Santa is no longer allowed to have little helpers.  He now has to have vertically challenged work colleagues.

Not much hope for the future of Comment then!

Well, having got under way at last, I suppose I'd better stop again and go off and think up something special for the New Year edition, to appear in only just over a fortnight, on 1st January.

Right, you're allowed to click on the yellow bit, down below, now; and go and find out all about the bar steward.

If I'm not imprisoned by the political correctness police in the meantime, I'll catch you all in January.  Right, I'm off, where's me bus lane pass?

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