"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6.8

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19

"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Birthday John Delaney

Regular readers will know that my good friend (of nearly thirty years standing) the mad physicist and I have a regular Bromance type date every school holiday. He is 56 today. He says 52. Come on folks, who do you really believe? We are the definitive "attraction of opposites": I am witty, charming, urbane, articulate, intelligent, socially skilled, good looking and, most significantly, self-effacing. John is none of these.

Following a lengthy lunch we found ourselves, possibly the worse for alcohol, doing some last minute shopping. This found us in Marks and Spencer's Leeds and, in some strange stroke of fate for two guys who never meet a pupil in town, behind - no, really, you'll laugh - our beloved Boss from the knowledge college.

"Look who it is, look who it is." one of us called John said (perhaps a tad too loudly.)

The Boss and his wife turned to us looking, one has to say, a little like rabbits caught in the headlights.

It's his Birthday. I managed, weakly, (wishing I were somewhere else) as if that somehow explained all.

The Birthday boy, however, came up with "Hehehehehe ..... back passage."

I'm not sure what the Boss said in repost as I was dying a lonely death of humiliation in a corner of menswear.

"Back passage? BACK PASSAGE?" I say to John over (another) restorative beer.

He grins sheepishly. "I have no idea."

What are the chances either of has a job after Christmas?


  1. Happy Birthday, John Delaney!

    I hope you two have the good luck to get invited back after Christmas, though it will only be out of the goodness of the Boss' heart.

  2. Many happy returns, John. I suppose the point of the story turns on whether "back passage" is A) a common British idiom every schoolboy knows (though in extensive reading of Brit Lit, I've never yet come across it), or B) the obvious scatological metaphor, though more possibly C) a random drunken cheeky phrase that sounds naughty but signifies nothing whatever.

    But you lot would be checking out the menswear when this happened, right. Too funny.

  3. Step into my office ....

  4. Look, I rely on you to keep him on a short leash in public. You failed. P45s ready for collection.