Tag Archives: Bramhall

Something Nice

18 Aug

I read a happy story today in the Stockport Express: a seventy-year old waiter was given a car by a customer.  The paper ran the headline, What a tip*; but it wasn’t given as a tip:

Carlos Alarcon, who works at Piccolino in Bramhall, had his Nissan Sunny stolen from outside his house in Didsbury.  The 70-year-old was struggling to get to work – having to catch two buses each way. But when regular customer Tony Howard heard about his plight, he decided he had to help.  So he gave Mr Alarcon a second-hand Mitsubishi car for free – because he thought the waiter was ‘a nice guy’.

 HUGE THANKS... Tony Howard hands over the keys to Carlos Alarcon

Tony Howard was being a really nice guy himself.  You can read the whole story here.

I admire a man still working past retirement age; but hope it isn’t because he has to.  Mr Alarcon’s age isn’t relevant to the story, but the papers almost always include a subject’s age; and if they don’t, readers always wonder what it is.  I suppose it gives us context.

I was reminded of an episode of Bread, a British comedy series from the Eighties, about a loveable bunch of benefit scroungers.  They wouldn’t be loveable now, of course, because Britain’s hard-pressed tax payers are fed up with benefit scroungers.

Adrian Boswell, redundant and humiliated to find himself having to sign on, doesn’t want to tell his age and rambles about why newspapers always include ages: Mr So-and-So, seventy-three, was run down by a horse, concluding…and they never tell you the age of the horse.  He makes a fair point – why don’t they tell you the age of the horse?

The most telling part of the exchange, however, comes towards the end:

Adrian: Why does it matter how old I am?

Martina: Because how old you are, is how long you live.  And how long you live, is how long we pay you.  And how long we pay you, Mr Boswell…matters.

I suspect that if Bread was made now, almost thirty years on, all sympathy would lie with the Benefits Agency, not the Boswell family.


*Fancy that – a newspaper which stretches the truth; whoever heard of such a thing?

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