“And another thing…….” by Vince Nolan


The Tale of the Ring and other Tall Stories      

My fellow insomniacs, all of a sudden it’s time to compose another page of drivel.  Believe it or not it is “composed” so you can only imagine what it might be like if it was written “al fresco” so to speak.  Since we last met, it has come to my attention from differing global sources (Splott and Cyncoed primarily) that there is some question about whether my scribblings have any vague relationship with the truth.  I was much wounded by this foul slur.  Now you may think that I have been guilty of telling tall tales in the past but in truth, most of what I write comes from having observed it personally.  More specifically, I recently wrote about the gun and knives that my sainted mother-in-law gave to me to hand in at the local Police Station.  Many people have questioned whether this was true or not.  Believe me (please) that this was absolutely true, as is the next tale.


I have often discussed the possibility or indeed likelihood of me writing a book.  I have a working title which is “When I tap the table you will speak”.  This is a direct quote from a former boss of mine uttered prior to a meeting we were to attend with the late Lord Richard Attenborough.  In fact I subsequently met the Lord on a number of occasions culminating in a lunch with him but that is another story.  Anyway, prior to the meeting my alleged boss was concerned that I might say the wrong thing or indeed dominate the conversation, as if!  He said to me “When I tap the table you will speak”.  You can imagine the laughter that then ensued from me.  Anyway, we met, I talked at will and I nailed a contract to write a business plan for the Great Man.


Since you have forced me to open the above can of worms about a former employer, a man so fuelled with a titanic ego and surrounded by sycophantic acolytes, that he started to believe in his intellect, pronouncements and wit.  There is probably an “ology” which describes his character, but since it is about him, I can’t be bothered to look it up.  He used to say things like “I’ve just come back from the Big Orange” (one assumed this to be a reference to New York) and “I do not agree with all this bungy drinking”.  Again, one assumes binge drinking was the target phrase.


Anyway, I digress.  Essentially I have dashed down a number of work experiences, again all true, but names may have been changed to protect the innocent or as I like to call them, those who have yet to be caught.  Here is an extract from Chapter 1.  To give it some context, my colleagues believed that that one of our number was enjoying a gymnastic arrangement with somebody whom they were not married to.  Nothing to do with me or us of course but having listened to their imaginative stories about the reality of all of this, I decided to follow the said person in order to gain the truth one way or another.  Here is an extract of my report to my former colleagues:


“It was raining, you know the kind of rain that you don’t notice but it notices you and soon it is dripping down my neck.  I turned up the collar on my raincoat and followed her at a discreet distance on the opposite side of the road as all good detectives did in the movies.  Early evening lights were twinkling in the shops and the taxi-cabs were busy.  She hadn’t seen me.  I watched her go into a café and sit in the window clearly expecting company.  This was what the job was all about I thought to myself.  Suddenly a dark and unrecognisable figure approached……………………………I was arrested for stalking”.


I was in my local Tesco store the other day (other supermarkets are available) since I do all the shopping and cooking in our house.  This is not a smug comment as the Leader of the Opposition will confirm, since I do nothing else re housework etc.  The vacuum cleaner and I would need an introduction once I had managed to find it.  Anyway, back to the story.  We do not really eat chips but a bag of the frozen variety is always useful to have.  As I found my way to the particular aisle, (not surprisingly perhaps, the biggest aisle in the store), I reached out for the said item and my wedding ring, having lasted for a record breaking length of time on my finger, decided to part company with me and landed in the open freezer.  My, how I laughed.  The prospect of telling the current Mrs Nolan that she had been technically divorced over a bag of frozen chips in Tesco was going to be a tricky thing to handle and would require some very delicate and diplomatic negotiation.  I quickly realised I was equipped for neither.  Three of us ended up emptying the chips onto a pallet in the aisle.  The guys from the store were tremendous and began to dismantle much of the freezer to the amusement of a growing audience of annoying pensioners who seemed to have nothing better to do.  Alas the ring has disappeared down a drainage hole in the bottom of the freezer and was gone.  The supermarket guys then sent for a vacuum cleaner and started to suck all the gunge out of the drain and into a bucket which quickly dispersed the crowd.  And lo, there appeared a shiny ring which was gratefully reunited with its owner.  All of which simply goes to prove that chips are not good for you.


We spent Christmas Day with my brother Pat and his family which was hugely enjoyable.  However, it was not without cost.  My brother has been suffering from a very painful hip and the diagnosis after a scan was that a replacement would be necessary due to the ravages of osteoarthritis.  Imagine therefore my surprise when my hip began to give up the ghost recently and I went to see my GP.  After an x-ray and blood tests she said I had osteoarthritis but she had decided to keep the hip and replace the rest of me.  The current Mrs Nolan said:  “Hip replacement?  You were never hip to begin with”.  Thank you Florence Nightingale.  I reckon I must have caught osteoarthritis off my brother, cheers pal!


See you next time when I may have some Paris stories to tell you after our forthcoming rugby trip.


Allez Les Rouges.