Meeting report

04 July 2016

John Hicks

There was a good muster for last night's meeting with a healthy mix of old and new members. David Clarkson is always a safe pair of hands and guided us through another entertaining programme as Toastmaster. It was pleasing to see Tom Fuller back, after a period of absence, and he was at his entertaining best as Table Topics Evaluator. 

It is also satisfying to see our newer members taking on more demanding roles. Doreen Bestmann and Vita Tasman both gave very good introductions to the speakers. 

We were also "graced with the presence of" two guests (you can't be too careful with your phrasing, as a reporter, when one of them happens to be your wife). I think Viv was present to make sure I didn't sully her name in my "Shaggy Frog Story". This hinged upon a sordid episode from my past and involved the antics of a Mr and Mrs Grenouille on a beach in the South of France. 

Carolyn Skerret's speech "Teenage Boys and Domesticity" was a delightful exposé of her sons' lack of tidiness and other transgressions (such as the cracked soap bars and improperly squeezed toothpaste tubes) that disturb her equanimity.

Stephen East's Table Topics were about choices. David Preston had to decide - were he Donald Trump - whether he would opt for a #1 haircut or a comb-over. He compared the orange comb-over with "some marsupial animal" and further complicated this imagery with an allusion to mice running around beneath it pulling levers. Michael Shand - as Peter Jackson - chose to use his funds for a film on the life of a Buzzy Bee, rather than a documentary on road kill and in the course of his little talk he managed to link himself, quite favourably, with Prince Edward. Stephen also had Doreen Bestmann as the Queen plaiting horse tails; Emma Garlick as Rachel Hunter dabbling in anti-ageing cream etc. I'm not sure that the sky is the limit when it comes to Table Topics.

Zena, our other guest, made a brief appearance after table topics and we learned she was from England which, as Tom enthused, was where all the best people come from - and never a murmur of disapproval from Lloyd Bathurst! What Tom lacks in tact, he certainly makes up for with tongue-in-cheek bombast! We can only hope his unctuous remark results in another member joining Shoreline.