So our Bernie, “What’s not to love” Springer, is strolling down the street sucking on a out-of-season iced-lolly and glancing in at shop windows, as he does so, when he sees a figure he dimly knows approaching him from the opposite direction. As they pass each other he says. “How’s it going then?” to which the figure responds. “Utterly unbearable. I just don’t know if I can carry on ” to which our sparkling hero replies. “The darkest hour, my old son, the darkest hour” and walks on by with the sense of a job well done.
Shortly afterwards he passes a teenage boy he knows from his evening “Motivational Class” and searches the lexicon of possible questions before settling for exactly the same one as he uttered to the last acquaintance, “How’s it going then? ” he repeats and the young boy begins to break down and says, “My Mum’s just left my dad for her fitness coach and he’s hysterical, ”
“No need to watch any more of those pointless rom-coms then” says our gifted hero and walks onwards congratulating himself on another well- judged remark. So he proceeds spreading cheer and comfort to all those who cross his path. His wise observation to a newly grieving widow that “You won’t have to fight for the pillows now” doesn’t have the reaction he expected, but then, as he observed to some traffic warden, busy fixing a parking fine ticket onto the car of the vicar who was in an adjacent house attending to a parishioner with a broken leg,” You can’t please all the people all the time”
Finally, his shopping bag full of lunch-time goodies, he swerves a “quick leftie,” as he says, and enter’s his house, situated round the corner from the dentists where he works. As he walks into his home he sees his wife moving across the living room with a suitcase in her hands. “Where are you off to?” he asks and she tells him. “My friend has had an affair with her fitness coach and I’m going to comfort her husband. I may be some weeks.”
“A friend in need” says our gifted sage, and his wife looks at him with a weariness which might give a more insecure man pause for thought. Finally, as she walks through the door she asks him, “Do you have any friends?” and, unusually for him, our hero is stumped for a reply.