“There are worse places than Swanage to have a bad time”

28 Aug

Our ageing local newspaper columnist is busy giving Jan Moir a run for her money.

Under the name “Tilly Whim” he uses his page of column inches (which I’ve noticed has been squeezed somewhat of late by double glazing ads and the like) to review/rant about local events.

Like the proverbial scorpion, there is always a sting in the tail. “Shakespeare would be turning in his grave!” he announced of one am dram production which, upon further inspection, it turned out he had rather enjoyed after all.

Sometimes he goes out on a limb and discusses national politics, although I fear he may be a little out of date because last week’s missive mentioned Tony Blair.

But the main subject of last week’s hate-fuelled rant was a poor woman who made the mistake of complaining to “Mr Whim” about her Dorset holiday apartment. The electrics were dodgy, she said, and the walls were crumbling. She had contacted the letting agent and the council but nobody had responded.

Well, he wasn’t going to give her any sympathy either, he thundered. Principally because “there are far worse places than Swanage to have a bad time.”

That may well be true but the fact is that the lady hadn’t booked 2 weeks in Basra, she’d come to the jurassic coast with her family just to have a bit of fun on the beach.

And tourism is a key part of the local economy. Might it be wise to encourage people to return, rather than turn their break into a dice with death and then blaming them for moaning about it?

This week he’s furious that one of the local coastal paths has been closed off, for the mind-bogglingly ridiculous reason that an unexploded bomb has been discovered underneath it. Who cares as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the view?

The man is an absolute legend. My all-time favourite was his apology to a woman he had met on a visit to a newly opened leisure centre, and whom had he described as “looking very spritely for an 88 year old”. The following week he was forced to eat his words. “Of course she looked spritely, she wasn’t 88 she was 52” he wrote through gritted typewriter.

I aspire to this level of journalism – although I think it’s going to take years of drinking whisky and getting seriously mad.

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2 Responses to ““There are worse places than Swanage to have a bad time””

  1. Jon f August 29, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Made me smile!

    • zskdorset August 29, 2010 at 10:13 am #

      he’ll probably come after me now 😉

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