Richard Herring is a whimsical man

We wandered the extensive gardens of the home together and came to a steep grassy bank. When I was six it would have been the most exciting thing in the world to roll down this. But now I was 36 and had an expensive phone and camera in my pockets.

So I put the electronic equipment on the grass and threw myself down. It was very exhilarating and more fun than any drug I have ever tried. It made me giddy and opened up the window of my soul. 41 declined the invitation to give it a go. Like me in Richmond Park she no doubt felt uncomfortable at the unfettered display of joy. Also she hadnít been drinking alcohol like I had. Which is a sure way to loose my inhibitions.
Warming up – Sat 5th June

Which reminds me of my favourite quote about Dr. Johnson from a book called ‘Eccentrics’, about eccentrics and given to me by my family for some reason i cannot fathom.. The book described Dr. Johnson as

“not only a man of great wit and erudition, but a whimsical character who would delight in rolling himself down hills for the amusement of his companions”

At least, Dr. Johnson hasn’t come joking around my office and brought down frowns upon my head for grinning too wildly or had me ricking my neck when swallowing sniggers. Richard Herring did that. Not literally, obviously, I work in a bank not a comedy club. In fact, the essence of my problem is that I work in a bank where laughter is looked down on as distruptive and uneconomic, (whereas the very opposite is true of a comedy club.) And even if Richard Herring were to appear in person in my bank mugging mirthfully near my desk, it would probably be a major breach of security and no laughing matter at all.

In fact, he was virtually here, through the magic of the internet. And look I called it by it’s real name and not ‘interweb’ or ‘internerd’ or some other feeble jokey name like what Richard Herring might do? I didn’t say I was laughing with him, did I? Maybe, I am laughing cruelly at the sad sight of his lame attempts to make jokes when clearly he hasn’t been funny since he stopped working with Stewart Lee, who obviously realised that his ‘straight man’ was holding him back from greatness in the hilarious world of opera. (And I am not claiming that these ‘jokes’ are funnier. He is a professional comedian and should be held to a certain standard. I, on the other hand, am a banker.)

But, no I’m not laughing at him. Warming up, Richard’s online diary/weblog does contain a proportion of weak jokes, but they are usually knowingly deliberate on the part of the short, fat self-deprecating comedian. And lays the trap for the unwary banker who lulled into wry smiles is ambushed by the good stuff and consequentially has to stiffle his girlish giggles. And the resulting half-strangled snorts draw unwelcome looks from my sober banking colleagues. (Did I mention I’d been drinking? Did I need to?)

I welcome him into my office, I just wish he wasn’t so funny.

About caspar

Caspar is just one monkey among billions. Battering his keyboard without expectations even of peanuts, let alone of aping the Immortal Bard. By day he is an infantologist at Birkbeck Babylab, by night he runs BabyLaughter.net
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