I was laid up in Batley Hospital for nine months following a serious traffic accident when this song was first released, not knowing if I’d ever walk again. I’d been playing football on the Third Avenue of Windybank Estate when a large lorry-type milk float that was being driven by a young woman who’d only recently passed her driving test hit me, panicked, ran the vehicle over my prostrate body and stopped on top of me (twisting my torso and body trunk around the main drive axel). Because the vehicle had me trapped beneath its carriage, it had to be manually hoisted by six nearby workmen using planks. It might today seem a foolish thing for an 11-year-old boy to do (playing football in the open road) but this was 1953 when few vehicles were rarely seen on our estate.
I suppose that if we are truthful, we have all done foolish things or behaved foolishly several times in our life. If I think back, my first foolish act I recall is probably trusting my younger brother, Peter, ‘not to play the fool’. Our Peter, would, as a child, do anything to get a laugh. I have known him to catch moths and place them inside brother Patrick’s bread and butter sandwiches. I remember the rent man at the door once and my mother asked us to be quiet as she wished ‘he’d go away’. Taking her desire literally, 8-year-old Peter opened the door and hitting the rent man on the head with the thick end of a sweeping brush he said, ”Go away! Mum wants you to go!”
As brother Peter grew older, he grew larger and although mild in mannerism, he would always use his largeness in size (like a gentle giant) to defuse tension with a laugh in preference to a fight. I will never forget when Peter was aged around 14 and was then approaching six feet in height, an officious bus conductor rudely demanded him to get off the bust one stop before he wanted to as his bus pass didn’t take him any farther. Peter simply made to get off the bus, but at the last moment with the conductor escorting him off close behind, brother Peter turned, hoisted the conductor off his feet and deposited him on the roadside before ringing the bell. The bus departed to the sight of a furious red-faced bus conductor shaking his fist in the air and a full busload of laughing school children. In his adult life, my brother Peter excelled in his role as father and husband, his university education, his job as an Educational Psychologist; and has recently obtained a doctorate (PhD) in presumably ‘Psychology’,but on second thoughts, it might have been ‘Tom Foolery'.
My first foolish act would probably have been wasting my money paying for a girlfriend into the cinema and not even getting a kiss on the back row as a ‘thank you’. My mother would often tell me that ‘A fool and his money are soon parted’, but all in all, I always considered such generous behaviour to be a good investment that paid out dividends more often than it didn’t. Other foolish things I did as a growing boy would include, walking against the wind, peeing into the wind, trusting Heckmondwike girls against my mother’s advice never to, along with approaching a Billy Goat from the front, a horse from the back or a fool from any side!
Many people hold the view that the most foolish of all things is ‘falling in love’; of rushing into that minefield of explosive emotions that are capable of making your body reel in lovesick reverie, your loins stir in the constancy of sensual desire, and allows your head to be filled with illogical and irrational thoughts that turn sane men into lunatics and reveals the hidden hussy in every pure maiden. My mother always held the view (no doubt along with every other female on the planet) that however clever a man thinks himself to be, he still suspends all intelligent thought as he is unknowingly led by his balls to his altar of ultimate sacrifice (down the wedding aisle).
Were I to select my most favourite of quotes in the area referring to men’s foolishness, it would have to be the observation made by Marilyn Monroe, a film-star beauty who could bed the most powerful of men simply by a mere movement of her hips from side-to-side, a flick of her long blond hair or the faintest whisper of her ‘little girl’ voice: “The truth is, I’ve never fooled any man; I simply let them fool themselves”.
The above quotation would no doubt have been well received as a nice piece of female enlightenment by my dear mother (who often acted foolishly but was nobody’s fool). She once told her oldest teenage son (me) the morning I emigrated to Canada in December, 1963 “I have spent the past twenty years making my boy a man; and what for, Billy Forde? Just so some other woman can make a fool of him in twenty minutes!”
I will conclude this morning’s post with the fools that our MPs from all political parties are making of the British people by their supposed argument of sophistication as they attempt to justify their actions in Parliament and in their feeble attempt to persuade the electorate ‘that not doing what the electorate mandated them to do in the referendum is behaving honourably.’ Now, only a fool in my view would believe that, whether they be ‘Remainer’ or Leaver’!
I always remember being told how to distinguish the two main types of fool. One is the millionaire who thinks that by hoarding money he can somehow accumulate real power and preserve his enviable position in society, and the other is the penniless reformer who thinks that if only he can take money from one class and give it to another through redistribution, that all the world’s ills will be cured. Such is the ultimate foolishness of all politicians, whether they be Conservative or Socialists (and I have supported both throughout different stages of my life, but can truly say that despite their best of intentions, neither party have lived up to my reasonable expectations of telling the truth, keeping their word as stated in their Manifesto, and resigning from Office before violating their personal principles).
Love and peace Bill xxx