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May 2006 - Strictly not Dancing

Okay then, so the dear old brown chap's had his walk, the coffee's been poured, the cricket's on, with the sound muted, down in that little box, in the bottom, right hand corner of the screen, so it must be about time to get on with a serious bit of Comment writing, I suppose.

Although, with Hampshire only needing forty-one runs to beat Ireland, off twenty point three overs, do please excuse me if I get a tad side-tracked from time to time and don't concentrate quite as well as I might.

Why have they decided to call it twenty point three overs anyway, I wonder?  It's actually twenty overs and three balls, and as there are six balls to each over, then, mathematically, it ought to be twenty and a half overs, which would work out at twenty point five, wouldn't it?

No, perhaps now is not the best of moments to go off on one about that particular numerical subject, especially as I seem to remember rattling something very similar till the bones fell out of it, the best part of four years ago.

Oh, goodness me, down in the corner it looks as if Hampshire have just won the match.  Good for them.  They beat Ireland by eight wickets in the end, and in only thirty-three point four overs.  Well, thirty-three overs and four balls, or thirty-three point six, recurring, overs, to be precise.

A damn fine start to the brand new season for the defending champions, I rather think.

Anyway, enough of the national game, I suppose we ought to get on.  Did you have a good Easter, folks?  Lots of eggs?  It's that silly season at the moment, where all the Bank Holidays come along one after the other like the buses, isn't it?

And I note that we're continuing our recent tradition of Nick Harvey's Comment coming out on one of those very special days, St David's Day, then All Fools Day, now, this time, it's May Day.

I guess that, because of the day, a number of you will be reading this one a little bit later in the day than you usually do.  I expect you've all been out this morning with Morris, throwing yourself around his pole with gay abandon.

Well, that's what you're supposed to do on a merry May Day's morn, are you not?

Oh goodness, NO madam, I think you've got the wrong idea there.  I'm talking about the Maypole and Morris dancing.  Crikey, you just can't get the decent viewers any more, can you?

Actually, the subject of Morris reminds me of something else I was planning to tell you about.  We haven't properly started yet, have we?  So a slight digression at this early stage won't stop any of you from following the plot, will it?

There's this chap called Morris Lane, you know.  Well, I can only assume that that's his name because that's what it says on his business card.  He runs a creative media business, strangely enough, called Morris Lane Creative Media.

According to the legend on the card, though, it's actually called "MORRIS LANE creative media", but, after all, when was the correct positioning of a capital letter or three ever of any importance whatsoever to these media luvvies?

Anyway, the challenge, if I'm following all this correctly, is to see how many blatant mentions of Morris Lane Creative Media I can slip into this month's edition of Comment without anybody complaining about it (too much).

And, as I understand it, the prize I get for managing to produce more than three mentions of this fantastic organisation is a starring role in Morris Lane Creative Media's next, epic, production.

So, what was that then?  Four mentions of Morris Lane Creative Media?  Oh, no, must be five now.

Okay, enough of all this clap-trap folks.  Meanwhile, plot at the back, as they say in all the best literary circles.  I was intending to discuss Morris and his dancing skills in this month's positively prodigious piece of prose.

Well, possibly not Morris, more likely Jean and Allan to be precise, but, being May Day, Morris dancing sounds far more seasonally correct than Jean and Allan dancing, does it not?

And a bit seasonal cavorting in wooden clogs, around a jolly old Maypole, seems like a far more interesting idea than putting on some casual clothes, slipping into some soft bottom shoes and popping out for an evening to learn to jive, in my honest, but probably rather dubious, opinion.

You see, this tatty old piece of scrap paper got shoved through the letterbox of Harvey Towers recently.  I think it came from Jean and Allan, as it was their names which adorned the bottom of same, together with a telephone number which decodes as being from about twenty miles away from here.

It was this piece of paper which provided the subject requiring some in-depth analysis under the Nick Harvey Acme microscope this month.

Jean and Allan appear to be cordially inviting me to pop out to learn a dance which seems to have started its life in the nineteen-fifties, the teaching being undertaken in a location which ceased to exist more than forty years before the dance was even conceived.

They want me to pop along to the local "Secondary School" (next to the Leisure Centre) to learn to jive.  Well, that's definitely what they're saying; I can prove it, as I still have their tatty old piece of paper right here in front of me.

Now folks.  In common with many a good town around this country of ours, we currently have a comprehensive school.  However, the word "comprehensive" seems to have gone slightly out of fashion of late, so it's actually just called a "school" nowadays.  Before it was just a school, it was, indeed, called a comprehensive.

Before it was a comprehensive, the site was the home of the local secondary modern school.

Back in the days of that site being a secondary modern school, there was also a grammar school, but the "grammar" was on a different site, on completely the other side of the town and NOT next to the Leisure Centre.

Before the grammar school was a grammar school it really was the local secondary school.  According to my extensive research in the county's educational archives, it ceased to be called a secondary school "soon after" it was built (at a cost of seven thousand pounds, just in case you're deeply interested), one hundred years ago, back in nineteen hundred and six.

Another minor point, though not of significant importance to the plot, yet not quite a full digression either, is that the Leisure Centre wasn't built until after the secondary modern had become a comprehensive, so the original secondary can never have co-existed in the town with the Leisure Centre, and, therefore, could never have been "next" to it, if you're still following the detailed logic of this extensive argument.

Now, I'm beginning to hear murmurings from that lady in the beige twin-set, in the fifth row back.  You're not quite clear as to what point I am trying to make in this lengthy monologue, are you?

Don't worry, madam, I can, honestly, assure you that we're now getting extremely close to a full explanation.

The point which I am making is to question whether these two people from about twenty miles away, who have displayed one of the saddest lacks of local knowledge and geography I have come across for many a good year, can possibly be capable tutors of anything at all, let alone the jive.

They explain on their scrap of paper that the classes start at eight and cost four pounds, yet nowhere do they bother to state whether it's four pounds for each class or four pounds for a whole series of classes.  Neither do they bother to explain how many classes constitute a series, and, therefore, whether my September holiday is in jeopardy, should I foolishly decide to join them.

No, sorry Jean and Allan, but you've probably produced the worst worded advertising flyer I've seen in many a long year.  The facts that are there, like the location, are just plain wrong; then all the facts that you do need, in order to decide whether to join them, are just plain missing.

If you're going to advertise in this world, you've got to do it properly, not half-heartedly.  At least our Morris understands how to get maximum exposure for a project.  I reckon Jean and Allan would be better off going to Morris Lane Creative Media the next time they want some decent advertising.

Hey, that must be six!  That's mentions, by the way, not decimals of a cricket over.  Does that mean I get to hang from the aeroplane and try not to fall in the water?

Time to go, then, I suppose, folks.  I trust madam in the fifth row is now fully cognisant of all the arguments.  Good.  More from me on 1st June, which, I believe, is NOT a special day of any kind.  Don't be late, then, dear viewers.  Right, I'm off, where's me parachute and soft bottom shoes?

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