I know this will come as a surprise to many, but I have noticed that sometimes my opinions don’t seem to be widely shared. The last time Becky publicly agreed with me, for example, I felt compelled to note it in my diary. (Yes, I really do have the date: March 20th.)
And I never could stand Benny Hill. Yet, whenever I meet someone new and they discover the origin of my accent, there’s a 50% chance that their next gambit will be to smile and say something complimentary about the misogynistic fool. I’m sorry, but having young women chase him at the end of each episode does not mean that he was empowering women.
The first few times I heard such fulsome praise, I was quite taken aback. This, of course, was a significant error on my part. Questioning someone’s love of a bygone comedy series pretty much always condemns you to hearing them recite a couple of sketches from it.
Which is odd, if you think about it. I have just told you that I couldn’t stand the man, and your reaction is to quote him at me? Are you looking to buy Greenland too?
Mind you, Monty Python lovers can be worse. I actually quite like the Pythons individually, and three of them were in Do Not Adjust Your Set, which I grew up on. But two men slapping each other with fish? How is that funny? Or the dead parrot sketch? Even Bob and I will never agree on that!
So I was delighted yesterday evening to meet a young woman of obviously impeccable perspicacity. (That means that Strudel agrees.)
Ms. Birla was sitting at the table next to Strudel and me at the local Indian restaurant. She made all the right moves.
First, she smiled at Strudel and then made a fuss of her. Then, a bit later, she moved on to discussing the merits (or otherwise) of various literary works. She mentioned The Catcher in the Rye. She was not impressed. “I kept turning the page, waiting for something to happen, but it never did,” she said.
My sentiments exactly! I responded by saying that, when I read it, everyone else loved it and — guess what? — I was the odd one out. (Anji gave me a particularly hard time over that.) But I read an article a couple of weeks ago that said that it was no longer fashionable to like The Catcher in the Rye, and so I felt I had been twenty years ahead of my time.
No Sense of Time
The one problem with that statement was, I realized later, that I read it more like 35 years ago. But if that says more than I’d care to recall about my age, at least it also suggests that I was even more ahead of my time than I thought.
It also turns out, however, that having similar literary tastes can have unexpectedly pleasant side effects. For her father was kind enough to pass on some helpful suggestions that he had been given about places to visit in the area.
I, in turn, made a suggestion about cheesecake and wine tasting. I’m hoping that I’m not 35 years ahead of my time on that front too.