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The Halloween theme brought us out in more than one way. There were 25 of us present which is virtually our best turnout and it also brought our the exhibitionist in us. It wasn’t more than a few minutes past 7a.m before the trick or treaters started arriving. Notable was Simon Essex, all pale and bloody but recognisable, John Hammond and Terry Maylin sporting masks which obscured recognition totally, and Paul Dulieu and Sarah Steel excelling themselves with both makeup and costume.
It was our Education Officer himself who delivered this week’s homily. He warned of the care that should be taken when addressing business contacts and clients, particularly using the email. Six phrases were given as examples of what would amount to a serious put down. They included in “in my experience”, “as you know” and the best and most obvious “its really not that complicated”. I will not bore you with the whole list, although none of us were bored at the time, but I have made a careful note of all of them and promised to use them sparely but effectively when someone really gets up my nose.
The 60 Second Round
Not only had considerable effort made by members to present themselves in a rather ghoulish sort of way but the 60 second presentations all gave more than nodding acknowledgement to the Halloween theme.
Stuart Smallcombe was adjudicating the Oscar and opened his piece with a reference to “the nightmare from BT…” that nightmare was to remain with him as he tried to separate the contestants
Kieron Peaty’s nightmare was visiting a house with lots of dogs and the attendant doggy do dos…and of course he trod in it, or rather them.
Toby Acton, sporting devils horns, pointed out all of the things that a businessman could fail to do and suggested reverse engineering.
Nick Cooke produced a shaggy dog story that involved our hero discovering a well-rotted child’s corpse in a loft. You had to be there to fully appreciate it. Nick Cooke was however out shaggy dogged by Howard Bullock. It all involved someone who, rather than not looking in his loft, did not look at his pension statements. A dramatic opening of an envelope containing said statement by our IFA hero led to a happy ending with good pension provisions being finally made.
John Hammond, whose job it is to scare away intruders from his client’s premises revealed another string to his bow. If he simply wore the mask and attended this clients premises that would do the trick nicely.
Ben Golding must have come close to the Oscar with his light operatic glorification of Utility Warehouse benefits.
Allan Moller, back in his role of “the amazing sofa man” referred us to the ghosts of electricians past. Something to do with the misuse of joists.
If ever Terry Maylin decided to give up the law he ought to offer his services to John Hammond as a patroller of John’s client’s premises dressed up in the zombie gear he was brave enough to wear for the whole meeting.
Sarah Steel not only excelled herself with her makeup and beauty spot but treated us to an acronymic poem that really had been well worked out.
Simon Essex is finding retail scary as we hit Halloween with Christmas waiting in the wings.
I have given you a sample only of the host of great contributions of which pride of place was given to Vincent Goode, equipped with witches hat gave a ghastly and ghoulish presentation of how he sold business cards to fiends. He will also sell them to friends.
10-minute presentation by Richard Reed
Probably the greatest revelation of the meeting was that Ben Golding had not heard either of Free or Billy Bonds. Perhaps the subject of an Education Slot going forward? It was Richard Reed’s presentation that reminded us of not only how badly he had been affected by Covid but how effective and cost-effective his services are…and did you know he has been working for 51 years and in the Travel Trade for 19 of them. From another hint that was given in his presentation, you should be able to work out his exact age.!
And so to the Referral Round and the close, but not without a final performance via Jib Jab of the “Eye of the Tiger” by a rather sensuous Mayor of Gants Hill.
What not to like.