Echo... Echo

Scene: A television studio in Yorkshire, UK, midway through a live broadcast of the regional news programme Aye Up Yorkshire. The presenter turns to welcome his latest guest...

PRESENTER:

In the most recent instalment of our feature on fascinating local characters, we welcome to the studio Mr Alfred Clutterthwaite. Mr Clutterthwaite, it's good of you to join us here today.

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Aye, 'appen it is... it is.

PRESENTER:

Now you've lived in the area for -

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

All me life... me life.

PRESENTER:

For over seventy years, I believe.

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Aye, all me life... me life.

PRESENTER:

And in that time you've come to be considered a bit of a celebrity, is that right?

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

'Appen I have... I have.

PRESENTER:

Often called upon to open fetes, judge local contests and so on.

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Aye... aye.

PRESENTER:

And all because of this unusual talent that you -

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Aye, well I don't reckon as how you'd call it a talent, but it's unusual ah reight... ah reight. See, ever since I was a wee nipper, from the moment I could talk, my voice has had this kind of natural echo... echo.

PRESENTER:

Extraordinary. And can you give us a demonstration of that now?

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Demonstration... stration? What the chuffing hell you on about... on about?

PRESENTER:

Wow, that's incredible!

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

I do it all the pigging time... time. Can't turn it off... it off. It's a bastard nuisance... nuisance!

PRESENTER:

I see, but all the same, I bet it comes in handy.

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

What the 'ell for... 'ell for? Go on feller, you tell me what use it is, because I've had seventy years to think on it, and I've come up wi' nowt... wi' nowt.

PRESENTER:

Well, I don't know. I suppose what you're saying is that it's more of a curse than a gift?

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Aye, a curse... a curse. And there's bugger all that anyone can do about it... about it.

PRESENTER:

Nothing? No medical help? Throat lozenges, or something?

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Throat lozenges... lozenges! It's a weird, possibly paranormal, quirk of nature, not a bloody chesty cough, you soft bastard... bastard. I've had all them posh doctors and specialists and folk poking me and prodding me and faffin' about, and not one of the barmpots 'ad a clue... a clue.

PRESENTER:

Oh, well I'm sorry about that.

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Is thee now... thee now? Hark on, lad - I've had years of being treated like a freak an' I'm reight sick on it... on it. T'only reason I come on this 'ere television programme was to put an end to it, once and for all... for all.

PRESENTER:

I see. Well -

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

I want no more reporters and television folk and the like mitherin' me and calling me up at all hours, when I'm 'avin' me tea, or readin' paper or summat... summat.

PRESENTER:

Yes, of course.

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

I dunna want some local committee meeting draggin' me away from me pigeons so as I can lead the bloody carnival procession... procession. Or the women's guild nagging me to judge their baking competition... petiion.

PRESENTER:

You have every right -

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

I'm reight sick of it, and I want everyone to know that I'm done wi' it, as of this 'ere minute... minute.

PRESENTER:

Of course. Well, thank you for your time this evening, Mr Clutterthwaite. I'm sure we've all got the message, and I don't doubt that everyone will respect your wishes.

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Aye, well, good - I'm glad we've got that sorted... sorted.

PRESENTER:

No problem.

CLUTTERTHWAITE:

Champion.... champion. Sithee, then... then. And mind you think on - because I don't want to have to repeat meself... meself... meself... meself.

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2015

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