I have lost my wooden spoon
I had it a minute ago while I was stirring the soup
Now I wish to stir the soup again
And it is gone
How can this be? I am an educated man.
I have not done much harm today because I have not been out
So then, why should this happen to me?
It is not where it should be. Worse,
It is not where it should not be
It is not in the phonebook
It is not under the cushion
It is not down the back of the fridge
It is not in the Arts pages
It is not on my manuscript
It is not in my boot

I am agitated. I can do without this.
Surely this should not happen to a person in their own home?
With no one about to blame
I have prayed
I have made sudden dashes at things and lifted them up quickly
Before it could get away
It wasn’t there
I have gone into rooms I have not been in and looked
Drawers and cupboards the same
It is not here
It has left the flat
It does not exist
It has been transported
Deported dematerialised – whatever it is called –
Teleported yes!
Even now I suppose it is on television
In a programme on the occult

Very well then, I do not need it
I never liked it
I will get my other my second my reserve spoon
I am not without spoons
I have spoons
I do not need it
I do not need to be agitated about it

See, I now have my reserve spoon in my hand
It is friendly, it acts like wood, I like it
I stir the soup
What is this?
Something in the soup impedes my deft stirring motion
What could it be?
I do not wish to know
I do not wish to know that I am foolish
I’m not having soup now
It is a funny colour
I have somewhere a tin of sardines
I had a tin of sardines, I am sure

I am going to eat out
I am going to a restaurant
I have been in all day
I deserve a treat, the company of my fellows
A glance at the Telegraph
What harm could there be in that?
None. Good. I will go.
I put on my coat successfully, and here are my gloves
Now where is my hat?
It is not where it should be.
I am not looking for my hat
I am not going out
It has been a long agitating day
I am going to bed
The bed is in the bedroom
Surely that is the case?
It was there when I looked for the spoon.
Was it there when I looked for the sardines?
Oh now I am being foolish
Boldly, I open the door and go into the bedroom
Oh, there is my hat.

– Alan Jackson

Humphrey Littleton, before he died, used to host a comedy programme on Radio 4 in the UK called “I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue“.  After his death, the BBC put up several extracts from the show on their site, one of which just makes me laugh and laugh.  The programme often featured audience feedback from a Mrs. Trellis, of North Wales, as in this case, the Mornington Crescent Audience Response Survey.  I’ve seen several transcriptions on the web, but none are quite right, so here’s my own:

“We asked 20,000 listeners ‘How would you rate your level of Mornington Crescent satisfaction? Excellent, good, or merely well above average?’  and the reply we got back, …,  came from a Mrs. Trellis of North Wales, who I see has ticked the box marked ‘Neither Good nor Bad,’ and also the boxes marked ‘Poor,’ ‘Very Poor,’ ‘Really Extremely Poor,’ ‘Words Begin to Escape Me as to Quite How Poor,’ and ‘Buttock-clenchingly Piss-Poor’.  In fact, Mrs. Trellis sent us back the wrong form, and if there’s anyone listening at Virgin Rail wondering where it got to, …”