The Lost Art of Tittle Tattle

Many years ago, I enjoyed reading things called “newspapers”.

Back then, they could be produced surprisingly quickly – for example, one could pick up the latest edition immediately upon leaving a football stadium – and they would be reporting the final score. There would be a full account of the game, and it would be written up in a certain literary style too:

“… As the East-sharpened wind drew flurries of orange and brown autumnal leaves across the Parkhead goalmouth, Murdoch’s cross was deftly deflected by the cat-like agility of the Dundee keeper amidst the visitors’ defending mêlée…”

I devoured The Diary in the Herald (David Belcher then Tam Shields), and adored the wit of Chic Murray and Bud Neill (especially Lobey Dosser). Back then, there was a definite type of humour, a style of wit that was “Glaswegian”. I miss that still. But its not just the Glasgow banter, it’s also the freedoms of the past. We demanded our right to fun, and I think we were all wittier than we are now.

Private Eye – Willie Rushton! Mad Magazine – Don Martin! Just brilliant. My sister even showed me that the personal columns could be funny; people didn’t die, they were “just sleeping”. I remember being sore from laughing at the Lonely Hearts columns, and “The Snips” (where people tried to sell rubbish stuff).

The papers are all but gone now, and there are all sorts in the workplace now, and we all have to observe political correctness and be scared of tweeting the wrong thing or whatever.

People were expected to do what they wanted, they were to be feared – they were the customer, they were the audience. You wanted their laughs, their patronage, their loyalty. My, how times have changed.

Now, I am not hankering after the past simply because I am an old fuddy-duddy, oh no, I just miss the tittle tattle. It really is a lost art.

People used to tell tall tales, interesting stories, and ripping yarns. It was not always a ghost story or a joke, but it was always a slice of life, and something peculiar.

It seems to me that people now seem to be satisfied with liking and sharing viral stuff on the internet. If they do talk, its usually about viral internet memes, popular TV shows, or themselves.

Anyway, I started this blog as a place to put my tittle tattle, any tales and stories that occur to me or memories that are triggered by events. I hope you find them interesting, inspiring or an insight into a different slice of life.


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