19 NOVEMBER 1954, Page 27

Depressing Remarks

SPECTATOR COMPETITION No. 246 Report by Richard Usborne

4 prize of ES was offered for a set of six thoroughly depressing parental, conjugal, school- magisterial or boss-class-in-business remarks, e.g., `But it doesn't need sugar, dear.'

Sorry, I set this competition sloppily. I really meant two of each sort, making eight. But I short-listed sets that amused me, however formed, and here are the prize- Winners first.


£3 to H. A. C. Evans for three School- Masters and 'three Parents: `There's no finer preparation for life than cricket.'

'A sensible boy has no time for girls.' `There's not much of a future for a boy who funks a tackle.'

should have thought you'd have been proud to take your little sister (brother) with you.' 'In time, you'll come to love gardening.' 'You'd like to do a little job for Mummy, wouldn't you, dear?'

£1 to W. E. Sheppard for a set of Parents:

'Mother knows best.' `Be your age!' • ,Be mind what Daddy does!' 'Don't pick, dear!'

But it's good for you.' `Can't you wait? We'll be out in ten minutes' Ion shillings each to E. H. Davis for a muted bag (you can see which is which): `There was a sale on, darling!'

`Mother will only be with us for a week.' 'Stop snoring!'

`Have you washed your hands?' 'Tommy continues to try hard.' `I wish I could give you a rise l'

and to G. J. Blundell for Parents: But margarine is so much better for you, dear.'

-Couldn't you play cricket with a soft ball, darling? It would make so much less noise.'

`Sweets? Well, mother doesn't mind, but You do so hate the dentist, don't you, dear?' `I'll have to ask Daddy.'

'Scratchy woollies? Oh, but pneumonia would be so much worse!'

'But this castor-oil is tasteless, dear.'

Several (e.g., 'I'll have to ask Daddy') caMe many times. Also on my short list Stella Allan M. Laing, M. E. V. Lane, Ia Booth, Brenda Poynting, A. Dawson- n?raY, P. Barnes, John Manning, K. jitch, E. A. Lioveridge, Valerie Ranzetta, Tuck Gunter, Rosina Williamson, Rhoda and Pook, Jack Browning, Mervyn Horder ona.d Jennifer Poole. Below are given selected ‘;"erings from them and from others in a erY large entry. ,,,PARENTAL: 'When Twas your age . It 1 change the buttons over, nobody will Tess it used to be your sister's." Remember smte's Your little guest."Oh, for the hun- dredth time, behind your ears!"Well, dear, cualP't You pretend it's a space ship?` You ate* You are funny, but people are laughing 8You, not with you."Try, darling, I'm You haven't really tried."Ignore '01! simply showing off."Beeause I say ' I used to make five shillings last :v _whole term."Come on, it's not too cold W„`" You're in.' Do bring your friend. v sin e kept his sheets."You will under- frod Mother better, dear, when you have ocifl Your National Service.' 'Do wash 0•C you use the towel.' 'Goodbye, John,

I've spoken to Matron about your spots.' `Why don't you go for a nice walk?' `You're missing the best part of the day.' When I was your age, / always wore them.'

CONJUGAL: 'Funny, I had steak and kidney pudding in town for lunch.' It's cod and carrots.' I think it's up in the loft, dear.' 'Don't crouch over the soup, dear, it gives you one more chin.' `You're looking tired.' Joan's husband has found a chair for her."Well, you're his father.' 'You'd do far better to ask the way.' It beats me what you did with the money.' `I liked you better with your hair straight.' Don't say you didn't post it 1"I suppose this was meant to be cold?' I never get tired of seeing you in that coat, dear.' Your birth- day? Is it?' You aren't listening to this, are you?' (switches off). • SCHOOL-MAGISTERIAL: shall burn Comics.' /f you pass.' This term we will read A Study of History.' And when you go out into the world ...."Well, had a good holiday?' Tackle him low, man!' Tell him, Smith."Right, we're doing nothing else

till we've mastered the verbs in-ui."I never doubt a boy's word, but.. .

BOSS-CLASS-IN-BUSINESS: 'Well, 1 haven't taken a proper holiday for live years' `We're all one big, happy family here.' In your own best interests, Mr. Jones, I consider. . . ."Going? Oh, I see . . .it's 5.30."Twenty-five bob a week when I was your age.' Young university fellows, coming in and trying to teach us our business.' 'Unemployment . . . that's what we want, a good stiff dose of unemployment again.' 'Oh, she likes working late.'