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“A familiar face” I shouted (a stroke of genius)

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 10 November 2018

After a good lunch of fish and chips Joshua and I started to make our way back from snooty Clifton, where we had been Christmas shopping,  to our unfashionable Edwardian suburb at the edge of Bristol. The theory was that it would be a good walk for me and that we might find some more Christmas presents on the way back.

As we wandered down the hill an older man came into view, a good friend of the Mrs.  He had been round for supper at least twice and is not a completely barking mad commie like most friends of my wonderful wife. I just could not remember his name.  And so as he approached, in a stroke of genius, I said very loudly “Now there’s a familiar face” and stretched out my hand. The man looked a bit confused as we shook hands.

For a moment I wondered if I had made some terrible mistake in greeting a complete stranger as he was clearly rather confused as to who we were.  So I doubled down and pointing to my son in his pram said “surely you remember Joshua?” Er yes he said .. how are you? I sensed that he was now bluffing. So I said “Its Tom the husband of R”. At that point he sort of remembered, if only by association, and we chatted briefly; he remarked how Joshua had grown so large as to be unrecognisable; and agreed that he must call my wife for a catch up.  He was clearly a bit embarrassed so I strode on.

About ten minutes later I finally remembered his name. E. But my bluff had worked. My own failing memory had been hidden. If I can remember this handy hint and stroke of genius it will come in handy next time I bump into someone whose name I cannot remember.

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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