The Benny Hill Show – in my street!
Do you remember The Benny Hill Show? Unapologetically sexist, it titillated middle-aged men with slapstick humour and double-entendres throughout the 70s and, surprisingly, the 80s.
It became known, though, for the final chase scene, in which Benny Hill, in a parody of the Keystone Cops, was chased by a string of scantily dressed women while his famous theme tune, “Yakety Sax”, played (click here to listen).
While I haven’t given much thought to Benny Hill since about 1978, I found myself humming “Yakety Sax” at 7.10am this morning as I waved DH and DD off to school. Let me explain: While they fastened their seatbelts, a four-wheel-drive thundered down our road. Nothing so odd about that – it was a neighbour who always leaves at the same time as DH and DD.
Then I did a double-take as a small dog galloped down the middle of the road after the car, barking, its lead flying out behind it. Clearly, it was chasing the car.
Next came a small Filipina housemaid, running as fast as she could after the dog. (Is “Yakety Sax” playing in your head yet?)
DH grinned as he backed the car out. “Your turn next,” he said, imagining me doing a high-knee, comedy run down the street after the four-wheel-drive, the dog, the housemaid and his Range Rover.
And it would have been funny enough had it ended there.
But, as DH pulled away, the back door of the house flew open and Gerlie came running out of the house clutching DD’s forgotten lunchbox. She handed it to me at the gate like an Olympics relay baton, and I launched myself into the middle of the road, sprinting after DH (no comedy knees) waving my arms like a drowning sailor in the hope that he’d notice I was trying to call him back.
No joy, though, I’m afraid. I had to walk home with as much dignity as I could muster, but then, unlike Benny Hill’s women, at least I still had all my clothes on.