A view backstage at Beverley Minster

Hypochondriac in search of happiness.

Beverley Minster virger Neil Pickford tries to get help for a little trouble he’s been having
Hello doctor, sorry to trouble you but I’ve got this little problem – well, maybe not a problem but it’s just a teeny weeny little thing that’s worrying me (please don’t laugh). It’s a bit embarrassing really. Well, it’s like this – for the last few weeks or so I’ve had a sort of feeling about, you know, my thingy here.
You know, this what’s-the-proper-word; um, y’know, the wotsit; my, um, y’know, column (no, please don’t snigger. Thank you).
Well doctor, honestly, to come right out with it, I have to say I think I’ve been a little bit, well, you know, a bit not-up-to-spec in the old chuckles department, type of thing.
Well, I know I’m not getting any younger but I should have thought I had a good few columns left in me yet, but somehow it’s getting harder to bring one to a satisfactory conclusion these days.
What’s that you say? Why don’t I just open my eyes to what’s going on in the world? It’s such a daft place there always something that’s good for a laugh? D’you reckon? OK, so what’s going on in my world at the moment?
Well, there’s been a lot of work that’s going on at the different Minster rooms. I mean, we’ve just had the Peter Harrison room gutted, recarpeted, repainted and refurnished to make it much nicer for people to use. It’s transformed – It’s now got an overhead projector and loop system for the deaf as well but nothing amusing happened while the work was being done. No, sorry, nothing to laugh at there. The overhead projector didn’t work when the man came to demonstrate it but that wasn’t funny haha, really. More funny peculiar.
I know we’ve got about 13 weeks of work starting at the Parish Hall because the builders have started knocking down and rebuilding the toilet block. But I can’t see anything very amusing on that subject – unless you’re someone who laughs at people in a queue for the loo – and I don’t.
Do you mean we might find those two mythical old ladies who disappeared all those years ago? Well, that’s not very funny at all, is it? And no, I doubt if they found it very funny either.
Perhaps I should look elsewhere, you say? What, revisit moments that amused me at home, such as when my younger son coolly informed at my older son: “my VIRTUAL social life is ten times better than your REAL social life.
This statement was uttered just as older one was off visiting his long-standing girlfriend while younger son was scratching himself on the sofa. But that’s private – it’s not really something I should share with my millions of readers all around the world. And now I think about it it’s not particularly funny either – I guess you had to be there.
 “Well,” the doctor finally concluded, steepling her hands and staring at me over her gold-rimmed pense-nez: “I can only conclude that you are SAD.”
“I know that,” I countered in a not very witty way. “I want to be amusing again.”
“No, S.A.D.” she explained laboriously, as if to a total idiot. “Seasonal Affected Depression, also known as Winter Depression or Winter Blues – it means you’re missing the sun.”
Ridiculous – I stormed out of the consulting room, passing a highly polished brass plate that read ‘Dr D.N. Duck, MD, etcetera, etcetera.”
“Woman’s a quack,” I scoffed and stormed into the road.
That, however, was yesterday. Earlier today the sun came out for the first time since 2010 and I started to feel so very, very much better. In fact, I could feel my chuckle muscles flexing and my jocular juices starting to flow. Actually, I’ve just remembered a rather splendid joke which I’d like to share with you all – but, sadly, I’ve run out of room. Never mind, there’s always next week to look forward to (sorry, grammar purists: to which we can look forward).
Suddenly, and sunnily (ha ha) the world is a much better place.
First published January 2011


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