Meeting report

13 February 2017

John Hicks

The word of the day for this meeting was trump. Interesting word. Of course, the card sharps among will know all about trump cards, but what of the verb trump – to concoct and put forward unscrupulously? And there are other trump-linked words such as trumpery (showy and worthless stuff: rubbish: ritual foolery) and trumperies (attractive articles of little value or use). I love my Chambers Dictionary!

The meeting theme alternative facts, played into the hands of my fellow toastmasters who, from my past observations, are not averse to using them. I’m not sure to what extent they played a part in Emma Garlick’s speech, entitled “Painting the House”. This was an entertaining account of her partner’s failure to paint their house due to the lure of the new Adventure Park. We enjoyed Emma’s understated humour and, those of us who haven’t been there, must have made mental notes to visit the Adventure Park (if only for a coffee). She received a warm and helpful evaluation from Carolyn Skerret.

Alison Scott dug into her Scottish heritage to read a poem in the style of Robert Burns. This took the form of a Lament fur her American Fellows (Oan their election of a tangerine gabshite walloper) by Lorna Wallace. As a Sassenach, I have no right to pass judgement on this earthy-sounding verse, but Ali later received an enthusiastic review from another of her ilk, Buck Buchanan, so she can’t have put a foot wrong … apparently. For those who missed out, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNCJCnHGHKM 

TTM Lloyd Bathurst’s table topics were in tune with our theme: “Make America great again.” / “We’re going to build a great big wall.” / “Mr Putin is America’s friend.” / “We’re not going to get ripped off by China anymore.” Unconventional as ever, Lloyd generously gave the participants time to think about their topic by allocating it in advance. This allowed Stephen East to fantasise about a floating wall between NZ and Australia (to keep Aussies out of NZ); Vita Tasman to elaborate on the average person’s opinion of Trump and Putin; and Lillian Meng to prevaricate inventively about Sino-American relationships.

There were, of course, several other contributors to this enjoyable evening. Forgive me if I have not mentioned you, but if you are a regular follower, may I remind you that my meeting reports are arbitrarily selective, unbalanced and replete with alternative facts and trumpery.