That is what I am. The butt of all the jokes. My meeting today in Bury St Edmunds is a case in point. The chairman of each society (for I am a chair of men as well as a chair of vice) was given three minutes for a verbal report. I might have overrun slightly, but I did have two extra Useful Points to raise, for which I was thanked by the Chairman (this is the overall chairman; the Chairman of chairmen, and if you are thinking that there might be more chiefs than braves here, you might have a point) and was also delayed slightly by an inexplicable outbreak of hilarity.
I had asked if other societies expected their members to sign in at meetings. At ours, about 250 people at a time turn up so it isn’t really possible to ask them nicely, individually to tick their name off on a sheet, although we make it as easy as possible. And quite a few of them don’t bother. The bright idea was that it would help, in the case of a fire alarm, to ensure that everyone had left safely and gathered at the Assembly Point to be counted. Unfortunately, I explained, when just this eventuality happened (it was a false alarm, I’m glad to report), quite a few members wandered off to go shopping and never returned.
I wasn’t trying to be funny, not even in the hope of ready money, but everyone laughed. Rather loudly in fact. Now, I’m more than happy to provide amusement, but was this so funny?
Afterwards, I set myself behind the tea trolley and poured tea for everyone, so now they all know me. And will be charming to me in future as they believe me to be both amusing and helpful and, as a bonus, to be someone who says sensible things and gets thanked by the Chairman.