Reading a fellow bloggers entry about how we name things, it triggered the memory of hearing my Father recount an anecdote, which meant that the name “George” stuck with the family, even to this day.
BACKGROUND – My Father was a vintage car enthusiast, he owned different ones at different times, he had a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, A Dedion Bouton, but by far the favourite [and the cutest] was the 1910 Renault AX10; even the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen’s Mother commented “Oh isn’t that a darling little thing”. On my web site there is a photo in the Mic Album. Anyway, he and his best friend or one of the boys from the garage would go to “Veteran Car Club” meets and rallies. They’ve been to numerous places in Europe causing chaos [this was the 1950’s/1960’s], being pulled over by the gendarme because he wanted the little Union Flag flapping from the bumper, participating in driving contests [some said that little car sent sideways].
To the anecdote.
My Father and his best friend were on one of these jolly jaunts in Europe [either France or Belgium, which slips my mind], a week long trek along country roads, visiting villages and factories, being guests of one organisation or another, staying in quaint little hotels. The sort of proper ‘do’ where men dressed for dinner and ladies were excused before the cigars and port were passed around. At one of the evening gatherings, at one of the stop overs they went into dinner and found them selves seated opposite each other at the end of a long straight table, between there was a place setting facing up the table, but as they began serving the first course at the other end of the table no one had sat there and no one was missing from the gathering.
They devised a cunning plan ….. ….. ….. [no doubt fuelled by pre dinner aperitif’s]
They took the napkin from the plate, poured water into the tall glass and chatted, as the waitress neared to serve them she pointed to the empty seat. “That’s George’s” one of them said, and nodded indicating that yes someone was indeed seated there, not sure whether she understood English or not. So the first course was served and the extra portion divvied out between my Dad and his mate.
Those next to them cottoned on. The servings were cleared away, and the next course brought in. Again the waiter approached, pointed, they all nodded “Toilet” said someone, so “George” was served. They divided the food around. The wine was poured and “George” par took mightily. By the dessert course, all were merry and rather full, as the waitress approached to serve dessert, she looked, the person next to my Father lifted the empty wine bottle, turned it upside down and pointed towards the bar “George” had gone to get another bottle from somewhere. And so this went on, through the cheese course, right through coffee and brandy; each time someone would make “George’s” excuses, gone for cigarettes, making a phone call, and so forth.
They never knew for sure if the waiters and waitresses were wise to their deception, but “George” had a brilliant night!
So in our household, if there was one of something left someone would ask “Is that George’s?”, if something extra delicious was being served someone would enquire “Where’s George’s?” or as we were tucking in another might comment “If George doesn’t get here soon it will all be gone”.
“George” now has a friend “Ron” ….. something set aside would be excused as “That’s for Ron” [as in late/r-on]