Don Moses Comedy & Magic Blog - A light hearted look at life, comedy and magic.

Saturday, August 25th, 2007 at 5:08 pm

fear of the unknown

Why do we all fear change and sometimes get violent when confronted with it?  I have just heard a story on the radio about a group of men (their age ranges were from 50’s to 70’s) from Gateshead.  They have been going to Blackpool, staying in the same hotel, every year for nearly thirty years.  The story turns out to be, that they had been refused entry to their hotel because the new management had a very firm rule on no large parties of men.  In many ways it is a story about camaraderie but also COME ON FELLAS THE SAME HOTEL EVERY YEAR?  Isn’t the new owner doing you a favour and, here is a thought, how about choosing another resort.

There is also the story of the lady who always cut the ends off both ends of her joint of beef (every week wasting a lot of perfectly good meat) before cooking it.  When she was asked why she did it – she had no idea, apart from, she had seen her mum do it.  So they asked her mum who also could not explain it either, but said her mother had done it.  So they asked the grandmother, and she said she did it because during the war she had a very small oven.

Both stories tell us that everyday we slavishly repeat activities with very little thought (sometimes, as in the oven story, it is activities from past generations).  Don’t even get me started on the perpetuation of religious nonsense by this method.

Stag parties are an example of tradition repetition.  Coming back on the train from Edinburgh on Friday afternoon I was sitting close to a Scottish Stag party travelling from Edinburgh to have a night out in Newcastle (that is what I thought).  Luckily, I am fluent in Scottish and quickly worked out that the lads would be quite noisy but absolutely harmless.  I was sitting across from an Italian couple (who obviously weren’t as good with languages as me) and they had not worked this out yet, as they looked worried.  If they had been reading the news this summer, they would have noticed the UK is becoming uncharacteristically violent*, and they would be right to be on their guard.

I wanted to tell them to put their fears at rest, but I wanted to see how long it would take for them to realise that the lads were harmless, and that nobbish behaviour is de rigueur for Stag parties.  Also, that sitting across the table, seat, is an awkward position, isn’t it?  Sure, it is an excellent seat for spreading out on the table, and you can stretch out, if you can find out where the other person’s feet are positioned (I do this by using the tip of my shoe in a kind of gentle Braille method).  But there is something uncomfortable about the confrontational seating plan and you don’t want to start a conversation too early into the trip, otherwise it seems rude not to talk the entire journey.

Anyway the Stags pull out a lot of pink cowboy hats (I know, that is what I thought; maybe it was a civil partnership stag).  I think this did relax the Italians who must have thought – surely there will be no violence now.  However, I am not sure about their chances later in the Bigg market – as in –“Nee man wears a pink cowboy hat – am ganna twat him one”.

*Every year, Big Brother the TV programme, stops at the very start of the summer holidays and the murder rate is very low – this year I believe Big Brother is going on during the kid’s holidays and the murder rate is sky high – you can’t tell me there is no correlation.

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Don performs as a wedding magician, corporate entertainer, and after dinner speaker at events throughout the country. London Magician, Manchester Magician, Liverpool Magician, Birmingham Magician, Newcastle Upon Tyne Magician, Magician Surrey, Edinburgh Magician, Oxford Magician, Bristol Magician, Magician Milton Keynes, Leicester Magician, Leeds Magician, Magician Kent.