Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Barry Dunlinson

There Is Such a Thing as a ‘Free Lunch’!

A Cumbrian farmer, known as ‘Old Bill’, came from a tight-fisted family – the sort who would have to look at a penny, before spending a halfpenny!
He always wore his cap half-covering his face, making him look a bit ‘cock-eyed’. If he was in a pub, he would never buy anyone a drink first – everyone had to buy him one before he would put his hand in his pocket.
One day, we went over to ‘Dalton’s Mart’ in Botchergate, Carlisle – a well-known auction, which sold everything from garden tools, building materials, and bric-a-brac, to poultry. Old Bill was bidding for some second-hand timber, using his thumb tucked inside his jacket, so that no other interested party would know he was bidding!
The following lot was a copper kettle, the bids starting at £2.
“£2 bid anybody?” said the auctioneer, “£3, thank you.”
When a lady of impeccable breeding, with a cut-glass accent, remarked ‘It’s got a hole in the bottom’, the auctioneer replied ‘So have you, Madam’, and continued taking bids, without a pause!
By way of thanks for the lift to Carlisle in my car, Old Bill offered to treat me, by taking me out to lunch. We went to the Go-Sun Chinese restaurant where they served a two course lunch for 5/- (25p in today’s money).
Just as Old Bill was about to sit down at the table, (still wearing his cap!), a wide grin came over his face. He had spied a £1 note on the floor, which he quickly rescued – meaning that we both had lunch, and Old Bill got 10 shillings change!
Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch!

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.