Some of my Best Friends are…by Trevor Plumbly

Learning to be racist I grew up in Royal Tunbridge Wells in the South East of England. Whilst a pleasant enough town, in the early 1940s it was hardly a classless or multi-cultural community; in fact, among the educated and privileged there was an inbuilt superiority that, sadly, we the less fortunate accepted as their lot in life. Oddly enough though, instead of identifying with the other lesser mortals we, being white, and indeed English, practised our own form of bigotry. “Eeny, meeny, miney moe!”, “Little Black Sambo”, “Sir Golly de Wog”… Read More

Under the Hammer or the Auctioneer’s Trade by Trevor Plumbly

The Auctioneer’s Attributes He climbs to his perch, gavel in hand, as powerful as any high court judge. But no-one’s going to lose their liberty here; the odd dream maybe, but that’s auctions for you. The professionals greet their rivals with a sort of false bonhomie and a studied indifference to anything on offer which they can see a profit in, while the amateurs fidget nervously and study their catalogues for the umpteenth time. Just like any good ringmaster, the auctioneer knows the value of tension, the pros might not be affected… Read More

My Grapple with Death by Trevor Plumbly

A Hearty Lunch Housework done, washing out and the cryptic crossword knocked-off; with the Morriston Orpheus Choir at full volume (try it!), I contemplated lunch. Healthy, I decided was the way to go, having had meat pie and chips the previous day. Delving into the fridge, I struck some pastrami, which with a bit of Cheddar, pickled onion and a lettuce leaf to balance the books, so to speak, sandwiched up nicely. I had scarcely finished this creation when the pain kicked in. It wasn’t your rolling around the floor gasping kind… Read More

Laugh, I Could Have Cried! By Trevor Plumbly

The Essence of Humour It entertains, enrages and, at times, insults the focus of its attention; it’s often racist, sexist and all manner of other social no-no’s. Jewish humour is so entrenched in stereotyped perception that it would be culturally objectionable coming from an outsider, whilst Irish jokes are much funnier when they’re delivered with an authentic brogue. But a joke’s a joke isn’t it? God knows who came up with the first joke, but you can bet that someone else’s shortcomings were involved. That’s the thing about humour, it needs some… Read More

Funny Money or the Death of the Cheque Book by Trevor Plumbly

The Demise of Cash and Cheque Books I’ve just heard that Australian banks are making yet another effort to remove cheque books from the banking system. It is, I suppose, a natural progression from the push for a ‘cashless society’. And if that moves across the Tasman, as I suspect it will, we’ll all be a lot poorer as a result. Looking askance, as is my wont, I can’t help wondering what effect this increasing dependency on electronic economics will have on people’s ability to manage their affairs. It seems to me… Read More