Sunday, 2 September 2007

"Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?"

In upper and middle class circles it was at one time the norm for the wine to be passed around the table (always clockwise) almost constantly at dinner to ensure that no one had an empty glass. If the wine got waylaid by someone too heavily engrossed in conversation or otherwise unaware of its location it was the duty of the next person along to ask “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?” in order to jog their memory. (One wonders if said Bishop was a noted tippler or simply forgetful.)

Perhaps we should invent some modern equivalents like “Do you know Sir Cliff ?” when the background music is getting monotonous or “Have you seen Sebastian lately?” when someone is hogging the remote control.

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