Monday, 18 March 2013

Father Ted Mind and a Woman Pretending to be Sandra.

Last night I treated the latest deep, dark mood by watching back-to-back episodes of Father Ted. One of them was the episode in which Dougal takes over the milk round when the lecherous milkman gets the sack, and included the line ‘Oh, no! Ted! There’s a pile of boxes in the road, Ted!’ Ted moves them just in time to avoid Dougal having to reduce the milk float’s speed to below 4mph, since that would have set the bomb off. The boxes were empty, of course, and had absolutely no logical reason to be there. Ardal O’Hanlon was very much funnier than Sandra Bullock, and the incident was an example of the sublime, subtle, surreal humour that needs the state of Father Ted Mind to fully appreciate it. I never really got it before, so maybe depression has its uses after all.

Anyway, having come up for a little air, I thought of making the post about how depression works, and how it relates to a succession of negative, troublesome circumstances, but…

What the hell.

So, the phone rang this afternoon. There was a pause, which always indicates a junk call from an automated dialler, but I decided to stay on the line for once. I was greeted by an accent which I think was South Asian.

‘Hello, sir. My name is Sandra and… (at this point the South Asian accent became just a bit too strong.) Gobbledygobbledygobbledy… pension… gobbledygobbledygobbledy…’

‘Hang on a minute, I’m not quite getting this. What exactly is it you want?’

‘Gobbledygobbledygobbledy… pension… gobbledygobbledygobbledy…’

‘Did you say something about pension?’

‘Yes. (Clear as a bell again.) Tell me, will you be relying on a state pension or do you have a private one?’

‘Now, wait a minute. Why do you want to know? Who are you?’

‘My name is Sandra.’

‘Oh yeah, right. No; what I mean is, what organisation are you from?’

‘We are a private financial institution.’

‘Oh, I see. A private financial institution, is it? In that case, I’m not interested. Goodbye.’

As my phone made its way from my ear to the base, I heard ‘Sandra’s’ voice yelling at me the whole way. It’s the most fun I’ve had in months. Doesn’t say much, really, does it?


Sara said...


Ay, how I love Dougal. Oddly, Ardal O'Hanlon looks like one of my favorite friends. He's (the friend)a very Irish lad though, so why it's odd, I'm not sure.

Anyway, that's possibly my favorite episode of Father Ted.

JJ Beazley said...

My favourite is the one in which the islanders put together a makeshift fairground. It has my favourite occasional character in it - the mad guy with eyebrows that meet in the middle and who wears an 'I Shot JR' tee shirt.

JJ Beazley said...

Oh, by the way, your comment that included the Sweet Afton clip didn't make it onto the blog for some reason. It did get posted to my e-mail inbox, though, and I liked the music.

Sara said...

"It has the body of a spider, and the mind of a baby."

That's the episode we most frequently quote in our house.

"Father, I killed a man." And Ted just zips on by.

Glad you liked the music even though the post was lost in the ether.

JJ Beazley said...

I wish you hadn't started this. Now I keep remembering all Dougal's funny lines.

'They're on now, Ted.. no, they've gone off again... no, they're back on...'

And it was a stroke of genius to have Ted imagine Dougal as a helpless puppy when he couldn't bear to tell him he was going to America on his own.

Sara said...

"God, Ted, I heard about those cults. Everyone dressing in black and saying our Lord's gonna come back and judge us all!"

Oh, I know. 99% of the time, he *was* a dopey puppy. And then 1%, he was brilliant (as evidenced by the quote above).

I really hoped that Ted would have an attack of conscience and decide not to leave because it was an awful thing to do. But instead, he decided not to go b/c he'd be in the ghetto...

I guess it wouldn't have been very in character though, would it?

JJ Beazley said...

'No, I'm not a fascist. Fascists are men who dress in black and tell people what to do, whereas priests are... Let's have another drink.'

This has to stop some time. Maybe we should form an appreciation society, and we could call ourselves 'Teddies,' and go to conventions dressed in character, and I could win the Best Father Jack prize...

Sara said...

Okay, okay. I'm finished.

Is your sneer up to par? I'd make a great Mrs. Doyle.

Okay, just one more: "It was my money Father, I just didn't want to fill out the forms."

JJ Beazley said...

We'll go together. You can ask me what I'd say to a nice cup of tea, and I could reply...

My sneer isn't quite as good as Jack's, but I do have one eye slightly more open than the other.

Sara said...


JJ Beazley said...

Actually, I think it was 'Feck off, cup,' but who's counting? I seem to remember Jack's lines the best. I wonder why.

Sara said...

Was it? I was trying to remember, but decided to improvise.