I had one of those “mustn’t laugh” moments at Lunch Club this week – you know, when something happens which is really really funny, but you’re not sure if anyone else will think so, and you might offend someone, so you have to try and keep a completely bland face. I am pretty rubbish at the ‘bland face’ thing, so usually try to leave quickly.
Anyway, people were arriving, ready for their meal, and one of the ladies had brought a card. The trouble with running a club for the elderly is that we often lose members because they die, which is always sad, but is not unexpected when most people are over eighty. This week another member had died, who we hadn’t seen for a few months, and the lady was asking people to sign a card for his widow. You know the sort of thing, a pretty picture of a sunset on the front, and a few words inside about never being forgotten.
The card was being passed around while people sat at the tables, waiting for lunch to be served. Several people asked who it was that had died, and then wrote a little message – “thinking of you,” or “so sad to hear your news,” or “may God be especially near at this time” – little words that showed they cared and the widow wasn’t alone. But then the card was passed to someone who we’ll call Alf. Alf was slightly late, so hadn’t heard the news, and as he sat down, he was passed the card to sign. Now, as well as bereavement cards, we also often pass around birthday cards for people to sign. Alf assumed he was being asked to sign a birthday card – at least, I hope he was, as he signed: “Many Congratulations, Alf.”!
The person next to him saw what he’d written, and then one of those conversations which only seem to happen at Lunch Club occurred.
“You can’t write that!” said Bernard (I’ve changed the names).
“Why not?” said Alf.
“Well, read what everyone else has written,” suggested Bernard, “this isn’t for a birthday.”
“I can’t, I haven’t got my glasses with me,” said Alf.
“Here, use mine,” said George, passing his glasses along.
At which point, one of the servers arrived with a lunch.
“Oh, we’re not ready for food,” said Bernard, “we’re busy switching glasses.”
“Why are you switching glasses?” asked the server, “We have plenty more clean glasses in the kitchen.” And off he went to fetch a clean water glass.
Hope you have a good week, with a few laughs.