By Brian Hall
Monday 30 Jul 2012 18:13:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles


We all get invited to something, unless we really are Billy No Mates. Some are expected, some unexpected. I was reminded of the ones I have had over the years, prompted by one which was sent to me, only this week, by Mr Steven Wraith of ToonTalk/Players Inc. Normally, he invites me to various sports nights, and an occasional catch-up over a cuppa or a pint. This time, he has come out with a right belter, but more of that later.


Back to memories of anticipated and unanticipated invites over the years. Weddings, christenings, birthday parties. Aye, totally expected, but often never turned out the way they were planned.


 One occasion saw me land in Southern Germany to see a wonderful marriage ceremony. Got there on the Thursda neet, only to be told I was to be the Second Best Man. Obviously, I did not have a clue what that meant! Turned out that all I had to do was stay next to the Best Man, and pretend that I understood German. I didn't, but was reassured that all I had to do was say Ya or Nein, when I got the nudge. Of course, it led to potential disaster. Got the shove from Hans, the Best Man himself, and I said Ya. And then? The bloody local civic official looked at my passport, and starting talking directly to me. I just smiled and laughed, as I picked up the atmosphere surrounding the arena. It turned out, as one of the Germans later said, that he was joking that the photo of the British Second Best Man resembled that of some wild Revolutionary Terrorist. It goes without saying that I later thanked Horst, my mate getting married, for the honour, and the bloody stress!


Another invitation saw me pretending to be a small businessman at Newcastle Races. This was not supposed to be the plot. It was simply a mate who suggested that we go to Gosforth to see the horses. He omitted the fact that we were ganna land in a posh marquee, with a badge promoting our company - it did not exist - and yet again, time to regret the invite.


But we never really learn from our experiences. Holidaying in deepest North Wales, Gareth - I still remember his name - was a neighbour in the street where I used to stay. Got to know him and his mates well. He told me that there was a village festival on the Friday night, and it included a little disco dancing competition for the local bairns. He added that Our Claire, then aged 5, would enjoy that part. So. Invitation time again, and I duly took her along. She enjoyed it, but I didn't. Gareth invited me to be one of the Judges on the platform. Nowt wrong with that, apart from the fact that you can hardly say your little bairn was definitely the best. But there was a far bigger hurdle in my unexpected role as a Judge. The rest of the panel kept pronouncing Welsh! Aye, yet another invite I should have turned down, looking back.


I could go on, but I dont wish to send my very limited readership followers to sleep. I will not even mention that ticket which arrived to ask me to attend Wembley to watch the Mags in the 1974 Cup Final against the Red Scousers, and all those other passports which have led me into pretty disastrous situations in relation to NUFC and other aspects of life.


However, I retain a tinge of optimism that all requests to gan somewhere will not lead to disaster. And so, back to Mr Steven Wraith and his appearance this Saturday night in a comedy play, lasting an hour, at Cluny 2 down the Ouseburn. Apparently, his role in this eagerly-awaited production is that of acting as the Devil. Suppose if the coat fits, wear it, springs to mind.


Never mind, I am gannin, protected by the previously-mentioned Our Claire, who is now 22. Surely nothing can go wrong!!!?


tarah                           Brian


report-back to follow on Sunday after the event!!!!

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