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Ronnie Barker has died

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Ronnie Barker, one of my favourite comedians, has died aged 76. There’s full obituaries over at the BBC site, but I thought a much more fitting tribute would be to share one of my favourite Barker monologues… Pismronunciation.

“Good evening. I am the president of the Loyal Society for the Relief of Suffers from Pismronunciation, for the relief of people who can’t say their worms correctly, or who use the wrong worms entirely, so that other people cannot underhand a bird they are spraying. It’s just that you open your mouse, and the worms come turbling out in wuck a say that you dick not what you’re thugging to be, and it’s very distressing.

“I’m always looing it, and it makes one feel umbumftorcacle, especially when one is going about one’s diddly tasks. Slopping at the Sloopermarket, for instance. Only last wonk, I approached the chuckout point, and I shooed the ghoul behind the crash desk the contents of my trilly, and she said ‘All right, granddad, shout ’em out.’ Well, of course, that’s fine for the ordinary man in the stoat who has no dribble with his wolds. For someone like myself, it’s worse than a kick in the jackstrop.

“Sometimes, you get stuck on one letter, such as wubbleyou. And I said, ‘Well, I’ve got a tin of woup, a woucumber, two packets of wheese and a walliflower’. She tried to make fun of me and said, ‘That will be woo pounds, wifty-wee pence.’ So I just said ‘Wobblers!’ and walked out.

“So you see how dickyfelt it is. But help is at hand. A new society has been formed by our mumblers to help each other in times of excream ices. It is balled Pismronouncers Unanimous, and anyone can ball them up on the smellyphone any time of the day or note, twenty-four flowers a spray, seven stays a creek, and they will come ’round and get drunk with you.

“For foreigners, there will be inperpetwitters, who will all speak many sandwiches, such as Swedish, Turkish, Burkish, Jewish, Gibberish and Rubbish. Membranes will be able to attend tight stool, for heaving classes, to learn how to grope with the many complinkities of the daily loaf.

“Which brings me to the drain reason for squeaking to you tonight. The society’s first function as a body was a grand garden freight, and we hope for many more bodily functions in the future. The garden plate was held in the grounds of Blennham Paleyass, Woodstick, and the guest of horror was the great American pip singer, Manny Barrellow. The fete was opened by the bleeder of the opposition, Mister Dale Pinnock … Pillock, who gave us a few well-frozen worms in praise of the society’s jerk. He said that ‘In the creeks and stunts that lie ahead, we must do out nut roast to ensure that it sucks weeds.’ “And everyone visited the various stores and abrusements, the rudeabouts, thing boats and the dodgers, and of course, all the old favorites such as Srty your Length, guessing the weight of the cook and tinning the pale on the wonky. The occasion was great fun, and I think it can safely be said that all the men present and thoroughly good women were had all the time.

“So, please join out society. Write to me, Doctor Small Pith, The Spanner, Poke Moses, and I will send you some brieflets to browse through and a brass badge to wear in your loophole.”

Thanks to MediaGuardian for the transcript.

Ronnie will be sadly missed.

This 738th post was filed under: Media.

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