I made a simple comment in response to something on the news and received a snap-back-answer for my trouble this morning. The presenter made a throw away comment about the number of supplements and leaflets in the weekend Newspaper, I said “I stopped even picking them up when we used to get them because of the junk that fell out”. “We? who are ‘We’?”, shot back at me from the other side of the living-room.
I hadn’t thought about this before but I say ‘we’ a lot. Not the royal ‘we’, to me it’s a simple way of showing that the time period I am talking about, I wasn’t alone, there were others around me and what I am talking about wasn’t an automatism decision, but I was involved. How do you talk about a group of people from a time that long ago, that you can’t instantly define their names and numbers. There have been so many people in my life, not surprisingly when you get to the age of 50, that instantly placing a memory to it’s era and family, is difficult. I’m sure for a normal brain it would be hard, mine has a lot of lesions in the way and roads that over lap, where no crossroads should be. I can’t say I, as I wouldn’t be true, but if I was to wait and sort out the memory behind the thought, it would be 10 minutes to late to make any sense.
That zip response meant that I had to locate the time period, I eventually pulled back to belonging to around 1970. I was still a kid and we were on holiday in the caravan, every Sunday morning a van arrived on the park that sold milk, breakfast cereal, eggs, warm butteries and newspapers. It was my job to take my little brother to the van for the morning supplies, coming back meant the juggling of bags, bottles and papers as the there were no carrier bags. Once we were back in the van I had the job of splitting the paper into it’s sections and my payment for this mammoth task, I got to read the comic section first. As time went on I learned to hate this job, the promise of reading ‘Our Willie’ first ran out. It got harder and harder just to get across the site to the caravan without leaving a trail of advertising garbage. If it was that bad that long ago, I hate to think what it is like now.
My next recolection of Sunday papers jumps forward to 1988, when working in the Ardencaple Hotel we offered a full range of papers for the public to read in the lounge bar. This brought a good number of people in for morning coffee, but not one of them ever left the papers as the found them. As each one left, the sections had to be collected up, sorted and restored to the rack. I suspect that somewhere in the world at this very second that is a person smiling and saying ‘Thank, good-bye’ and cursing silently as they walk towards the now vacated table to clear up the thousands of bits of paper into a once more deceptively compact newspaper.
If there is another word in the English language to cover what to me is the natural word of we, then please tell me what it is!