At our recent meeting in January there was the usual question “Have you had a good Christmas?” and the usual answer of “Yes, thank you, apart from…”
This contained references to indigestion, handkerchiefs, socks and objectionable distant relatives. Then there was the next standard question “Have you made any New Year resolutions?”
One member said he was going to try to tolerate fools gladly and seemed to point in the direction of one or two members and that provoked an immediate response. He was told that it would be the best idea for him to emigrate from England to Australia and that would improve the IQ level of both countries.
But before the normal insult jousting could begin someone asked if we knew that snow was expected in the next few days and a member then said that he was more concerned about the snowflake generation. There was a long silence, eventually broken by the member who is not afraid to admit his ignorance, who then asked “What’s the snowflake generation then?”
The resident clever-clogs answered by saying it was the generation who were genuinely distressed by ideas that run contrary to their own views, who have a strong sense of entitlement and are less resilient and more prone to take offence. Another long silence was broken when someone suggested it sounded to him that it was referring to some of the Old Grumpies. No, we were told, it refers to the modern day young people who have parents who have raised them as “special and precious snowflakes” and who feel that they should not be distressed in any way by anyone who will not give them what they want, or disagree with their views.
Never mind about snow, it was an avalanche that came next and the air was filled with shouts of “In my day” “mollycoddled” “Health and Safety” “Ooh, I’ve been insulted, get me compensation for my distress” and many more expressions of derision.
Calm did descend on the meeting when someone asked if we had forgotten that in our late teens and early twenties we knew everything, and it was only in our attendance at the University of Life that we realised that we know very little about anything.
For once, the Chairman was decisive and said we had spent enough time in the past on free speech, or the lack of it, and we should discuss something else in the short time left.
A variety of subjects and opinions followed. Some said Trump could be the best, or the worse, President of the US ever. All said Corbyn is already the worse Leader of the Opposition ever. Someone asked if it seemed now that the police viewed it as a real nuisance if you reported a crime because it meant they would have to give you a crime number and if you persisted someone would have to come round to investigate. The usual irritation was expressed at the number of people who still throw litter around, use mobile phones, ignore traffic and parking signs and appear to think that regulations are for other people. We are also getting fed up with all the people who are complaining when it’s obviously our job to do that. Examples followed. “The Government should put more money into this, that and about everything “is the cry”. “But they don’t have any money, they just take it from us”
And another, “I fell over at a stag party the other night, hurt my leg and had a bad headache. Would you believe it, I had to wait two hours at the A&E. They said I was drunk, but I’d only had twelve pints and some whiskey and they were very rude to me when I vomited in the waiting area.“
Before there were any more examples of this kind of complaint a member wondered if there was just time for him to tell us about his recent trip to New Zealand. Quickly, one member said he had to run his wife to the vets, another said he had left some paint to dry and needed to check it, and three others said they would help him. The Chairman, wisely, ended the meeting with the words all too familiar to us. “Perhaps another time”