The greatest joy of being a Buddy is, for me, meeting some very nice people, some of whom are naturally or unwittingly funny. One, in particular, I've mentioned before; the man I came to call "Frank Malaprop." Frank Malaprop, for whom I collected shopping and medicaments, falls into the unwittingly funny category. On many occasions after our doorstep chats I'd drive away with a fit of the giggles, and the second of such occasions I'd like to record here:
On a very hot day last summer we got talking about holidays we'd had before lockdown confined us to the great indoors. Frank is a huge fan of the Yorkshire coast and in particular the town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea, where he'd enjoyed many a holiday with his wife before she died. Having spent a few days there myself while living in a campervan, I agreed that it's a lovely little place.
"What do you like most about Saltburn?" I asked.
"Well," he said, "it's unique."
"Unique?" I said, "What makes it unique? The beach? The locals?"
"No," he said, "The vernacular railway."
"Funicular," I corrected.
"Very," he said, "I never understood how it worked."
Driving to my next client and chuckling to myself, I resolved never to correct Frank again. The joy of it, I decided, was running with it.
Written by Nantwich Buddie Mark Bickerton