Stephen says… is back

Something I needed to get off my chest, so Stephen says… is back

Today I went for a pint, as I often do, to that usually excellent pub the Guide Dog in Southampton.

Chap in there was sounding off about how the world as we know it has come to an end. Not only has The Times changed the position of its crossword (admittedly a serious matter) but David Dimbleby has had a tattoo. Quote: ‘The man’s a member of the Bullingdon Club, as I am’.

Me: ‘What does having, or not having, a tattoo have to do with being, or not being, a member of the Bullingdon Club?’

Showoff, to the crowd, about me: ‘Who is he? Get him out of here!’ Not lightly or friendlily. Seriously. So much for my illusion that I was in an amiable establishment.

Showoff goes on to tell anyone who’s interested that although he didn’t actually know the word quinquireme, he deduced it for today’s Times crossword.

Member of the Bullingdon Club and he doesn’t know the word quinquireme, the very first word in Masefield’s famous poem ‘Cargoes’?

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir…  The one that later contains the wonderful lines, Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smokestack, butting through the channel in the mad march days.’

I suggested that the Bullingdon Club is none too demanding about the educational level of its members.

To be continued.

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6 thoughts on “Stephen says… is back

  1. years ago I once read, that this was regarded as the finest opening sentences ever written.
    once heard, never forgotten,, .,(sez me, from a Plebs Secondary Modern School)! circa 1948

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