Bad Manners: a true story

Today I ran into Quentin, someone I once worked with, on the street. He was talking to an elderly man and I caught his eye, and we began to talk.
‘So what do you do now?’ said Quentin.
‘I’m a writer, a speaker coach and a stand up comic,’ I said.
‘Make us laugh, then,’ said the elderly man, a stranger.
‘Ah, it’s my day off,’ I said, which isn’t Wilde but equally, isn’t bad off the cuff.
Quentin and I resumed our conversation, until the elderly man apropos of nothing recently said decided to ram home the point:
‘You don’t look funny.’
‘And you don’t look like a war hero,’ I didn’t say, partly because he had a chest of medals, and was selling me a poppy, but mostly because my manners are faster than my brain.

I should’ve told him a joke and asked him to shoot a German, but Quentin was on a parking meter.


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