… and now Victoria Wood has gone too; the comedian that penned the one-liner that passes for the title of this posting has died. There has been a heavy toll taken of performers recently, but, for me, hers is the most egregious loss. Too soon and too young. A genuine laugh-out-loud writer and a comedian that could turn her hand to serious drama. I would rank her wordsmithing, her comedic delivery and her characterisations (both serious and humorous) alongside that of Ronnie Barker. I don’t often rate the Daily Telegraph’s opinion highly, but it got it right in her case, “She made the mundane seem magical”.
Sometimes I’ll write a limerick in my own trivial way to mark the passing of a celebrity, just to amuse myself, but not on this occasion. Instead, I’ll be amused by a few phrases of hers taken from ‘The ballad of Barry and Freda’ (aka ‘Just do it’) on the unsated desires of a late-middle-age, libidinous housewife:
Some lines from Freda:
I’m on fire, with desire — I could handle half the tenors in a male voice choir
This folly is jolly; bend me over backwards on me hostess trolley!
Get drastic, gymnastic — wear your baggy Y-fronts with the loose elastic
No cautions, just contortions: smear an avocado on my lower portions!
Be mighty, be flighty, come and melt the buttons on my flame-proof nightie!
Not bleakly, not meekly — beat me on the bottom with the Woman’s Weekly
And some replies from a very reluctant Barry:
No derision, my decision: I’d rather watch the Spinners on the television.
I’m imploring — I’m boring — let me read this catalogue on vinyl flooring!
Stop stewing — Pooh-poohing — I’ve had a good look down there and there’s nothing doing.
Stop pouting! Stop shouting — you know I pulled a muscle when I did that grouting.
Stop nagging! I’m flagging; you know as well as I do that the pipes want lagging.
Don’t choose me, don’t use me, my mother sent a note to say you must excuse me.
Better still, see it all here.