Our podcast The Truth Lies in Bedtime Stories, from See Through News, Series 7, Marcus & Jemima – how I deal with people at parties who assume I have children, starts with a tricky social situation when strangers meet
In Episode 1, we’re introduced to George, who introduces us to Rupert, to whom he then introduces to his children, Marcus & Jemima…
To hear the whole yarn in one go, there’s the Omnibus edition.
To have it spun out episode by episode, next is
Narration and series theme music by George Hinchliffe
Produced & mixed by SternWriter
Podcast sting by Samuel Wain
If you enjoyed this series, why not try:
- Series 1: The Story of Ganbaatar – the only qualified deep-sea navigator in Mongolia
- Series 2: Betrayed – A Tale of Christmas Spiritual Pollution
- Series 3: Life on the Edge – Taiwan, China, America and the Moment I Realised Mrs. Wang Was Mostly Guessing What Her Husband Said
- Series 4: The Quiet Revolutionary – the heroic role played in a plot to assassinate the King by someone you’ve all heard of
- Series 5: A Classical Chinese Dirty Joke, Told Thrice
- Series 6: Teetering – how a Hawaiian beach bum held my career in the balance
The Truth Lies in Bedtime Stories is a See Through News production.
See Through News is a non-profit social media network with the Goal of Speeding Up Carbon Drawdown by Helping the Inactive Become Active.
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Episode 1 – The Truth Revealed
Okay. George, would you mind introducing yourself, please?
Hello, I’m George Hinchcliffe. All you need to know about me for the purposes of this story is that my wife worked in the film industry and when filming had finished, they usually had a party – what they call a wrap party because shooting had wrapped, and all the people involved in the film and the movie went along to a party and they had drinks and canapés and socialisation, and so I came along and met lots of people who I’d never met before and who I probably would never meet again.
At one of these parties, I found myself talking to a gentleman who was in a similar position. Had had nothing to do with the film, but he was there and his partner was off talking to her colleagues – the assistant director, the key grip catering manager, whatever. And so he and I were in a social circumstance not knowing anybody really.
And so we started making conversation and in order to facilitate the conversation we were being friendly – whereas in actual fact we initially had no reason to talk to each other, didn’t know anything about each other.
Sorry. Can you just tell me what his name was and what colour trousers he was wearing?
I was getting on to that, so I found myself talking to this gentleman, Rupert, and he had red trousers and a waistcoat. So I deduced, perhaps inaccurately, that he was middle class bourgeois, perhaps had a job in the city.
He didn’t know anything about me. But in order to make conversation he said to me, Have your children left university? And I thought, Well, I don’t have any children and therefore they haven’t gone to university. So we’re missing out a few steps here. He’s rather jumping the gun and making assumptions.
But if I were to say no or I don’t have any children, it would seem to be putting a negative sort of dampener on the whole social intercourse. And so I thought that what I should do is say something else. So on this occasion I thought I’m probably never going to meet this man again and he’s probably never going to be in conversation with my wife, blah blah blah. I could just say. Yes. And then carry on the conversation as though I’ve got children.
Obviously his children have left university. This is the world that he’s operating in. And so I said, Well, Marcus is in Peru and he has some business things going there and Jemima has only just left university and she’s in Indonesia and is travelling around Asia and who knows what she’s doing. She’s with her partner Simeon and I don’t hear from them too much currently.
And then I thought – this is rather masterstroke – Marcus said to me recently, Dad, the business is going pretty well, but if you could see your way clear to giving me another, I don’t know, 60,000 pounds, it would really enable me to take things on to the next level and it would be brilliant and I’d really appreciate it.
And so I then thought, for heaven’s sake, all that time shelling out to keep them going through university and now I thought I’d finished all that process. I don’t have to worry about them. They’re off doing their own thing. They’re totally independent, starting to generate their own income. I don’t need to worry. But here we are. A demand for £60,000.
And indeed Rupert said to me with his red trousers, I know what you mean. My Henry is exactly the same. He said, blah blah, blah. And then he carried on talking about the situation with his son Henry, and I discovered that the totally fictitious situation that I’d described applied entirely to this chap and his son Henry.
And so we started talking about his son Henry and how much money he wanted and what the business was and where it was going. And that meant that we were able to talk happily for the rest of the evening about things that followed on from that without me having to make up any further stories about Marcus or Jemima.
So I thought ‘very good’.The social lubrication has been achieved. We’ve got some rapport and for the purposes of this evening we’ve been friendly and supportive and I’d never met him again. And I didn’t have to talk about Marcus and Jemima ever again.
But I’d made up my children. I don’t have Marcus. I don’t have Jemima.
[SternWriter] Just to clarify, what business was Marcus in?
In Episode 2, Overheard, we see this story from a different angle.