Tuesday, 18 December 2012

There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman...

I was going to save this story for a storytelling Sunday but having remembered it I thought I should just get it recorded before I forget it again.

Way back in the 1970s I was a Guide Leader with the Girl Guides. My friend Viv was the Assistant Guider - as I have said before she was so much more than that - and on many occasions we would all end up in her kitchen after a day of events for the Church or the Guides or the Scouts. Viv had five children and I had three. She and her family lived in a small cottage that was - and I am quoting her now "...nine feet wide and fifty-two feet long". When there were eight children from age 16 down to 7 and three adults in the kitchen it could get a bit noisy.
It was getting close to Christmas and we had just come back from a Christmas Fayre or coffee morning and we were all sitting around the table or leaning on the sink and all the children were bubbling over because of the nearness of Christmas and having been so good while "on duty" and "In public".

A series of silly jokes were told by the older ones and the youngest, not to be outdone, began
"There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman..."
One of the other children jumped in with a one liner that made everyone roar with laughter and when the hubbub died down slightly the little voice began again
"There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman..."
Another joke, provoked by the one liner, over-rode the little voice and again the room rocked with laughter, some of it caused by the expression on the face of little voice. She began again
"There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman..."
Yet another one liner and a couple of the boys are lying on the floor hooting with laughter, as only the under tens can do. Little Voice waits patiently.
"There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman..."
Everyone roars with laughter because no one interrupted. Viv spoke up "Right, everyone, this time we'll let Little Voice tell her joke, OK? she hasn't complained about us so everyone be quiet."
"There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman....." a long silent pause as Little Voice looked at each face around her. "I've forgotten the rest now!"
The laughter threatened to shake the glass out of the windows, so much so that Viv's sister-in-law who lived next door up the lane, came to see if everyone was alright because she had heard "A lot of shouting".


Barbara Eads said...

You've got to love that kind of impromptu fun and laughter! I know I do.

Sian said...


I'm loving the picture in my head of the very long cottage too. Would be great for roller skating..

Terry said...

Hahahaha "I've forgotten the rest now!" Awww bless her. I know what it's like to start a sentence and go totally blank half way through. Stories like that bring back so many happy memories of our family gatherings.

humel said...

Aw! At least she made everyone laugh anyway :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Great job recording that memory. I feel like I was in the kitchen with you.