The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post


The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post.
Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.
www.philevans.co.uk

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THE SOUND OF SILENCE? IF ONLY . . .

Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse.
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.

I can relate to the lady in the nursery rhyme, even though I’ve no clinking, tinkling silver objects attached to my brogues.
And the closest I ever got to owning a horse was a Christmas present from my Uncle Doris (don’t ask!) which I realised he’d mislabelled when I unwrapped it to find it was a “My Little Pony” annual (the previous year’s, bought in a remainders bookshop) meant for my cousin Philomena.
Being 15 at the time, I was so disappointed. I was expecting my usual “Care Bears” annual.
I relate to the lady on the white horse because I hear music everywhere I go.
And I don’t want to!
Background music/elevator music/lift music - like the Devil it has many names – started when the Muzak Corporation decided waiting rooms, hotel lobbies and shops etc were too peaceful!
So, they infested public spaces with bland tunes played in a soporific style by anonymous musicians.
Since then, ‘mood music’ has spread like the common cold and now supermarkets have their own radio stations.
Why?
When I’m checking the ‘best-before date’ on a sliced loaf, I don’t want to hear Adele screeching one of her life-sapping dirges.
Surprisingly, some people are able to ignore background music.
I was once in a supermarket that was playing pop music so loud I only bought a few items because I had to escape the cacophony.
When I mentioned the annoying music to the check-out girl, she listened for a moment and said “Oh, I just blank it out!”
If background music is designed to encourage shop customers to stay longer and buy more, what genius decided banks should shatter their customer’s eardrums with foreground music?
I walked into a bank recently and was astonished to hear rap music blasting out around me. It sounded ridiculously incongruous in a business environment.
When I asked a staff member why they were playing completely unsuitable, loud music, she said: “Sorry, I can’t hear you because of the completely unsuitable, loud music!”
No. She admitted that several customers had complained. But added: “We have to follow Head Office instructions!”
I immediately left the building, wondering if Head Office is located somewhere near the Ninth Circle Of Hell.

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Morriston Hospital:

I recently had to visit a relative in Morriston Hospital. The new structural design looks very impressive and there are cafés and shops to cater for most patient and visitors needs.
Without doubt, this establishment now covers a huge part of the landscape in the Morriston area, and attracts patients from all parts of the country, to be cared for and treated by some of the leading names in modern medicine.
However, the biggest challenge I faced on this particular day was parking.
It took me just over 25 minutes to find a space.
Along with about 20 other drivers, I seemed to go round and round in circles with not a parking space in sight.
I was beginning to think it would be easier to have been flown in by helicopter as the helipad seemed to have the only free parking space!
Clearly, the hospital is getting busier by the day and ongoing development is on the cards to facilitate our health and wellbeing needs – well, if we can manage to find a place to park anyway!

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I'm writing this item whilst suffering from aching arms, wrists and shoulders.
On Friday, I spent the evening Go Karting with a team of lads from the Llanelli based BNI business network group.
This was supposed to be a relaxing social get-together or a team bonding exercise.
But, gather a bunch of males together in such a situation and it always seems to turn into something much more competitive.
I'm aware that many businessmen can be a different breed, which could be one of the reasons that they do so well in businesses.
However, on the evening in question, I witnessed a determination far beyond that of a social end-of-week get-together.
A few drivers pushed the track rules to the limits, while others effortlessly calculated their moves in order to take advantage of the mistakes that other drivers made.
It provided a sequence of events that Sir Alan Sugar would have gleaned so much character information from - and no doubt he’d have turned these skills to his advantage.
And there you were thinking that I lead a sedate life, eating cake in coffee shops . . .

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You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk

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