Years ago there used to be a television programme called All Gas and Gaiters in which the actor, Derek Nimmo, played the hapless Bishop’s chaplain to William Mervyn’s Bishop. I suppose you could call it a kind of forerunner to the Vicar of Dibley though Gas and Gaiters was much earlier. It ran from 1966 through to 1971, my memory is not that good – I checked it out on Google, of course. I have to say that my family thoroughly enjoyed the programme but found I could never quite take to the Vicar of Dibley despite it’s popularity. Easy to take a look online for yourself, if you feel inclined and see what you think though I dare say younger watchers might find it a little dated. Maybe, when I get round to it, it will not be as funny now as then. Gas is a word sometimes used to mean a lot of hot air by way of talking; it is talk that means nothing, talking for the sake of talking. My Dad always referred to it as coming from people who just liked to hear the sound of their own voice or who waffled on without knowing when to stop. Dad was well versed in giving speeches at weddings as he gave away three daughters, a niece and a sister. He said that the golden rule was to – stand up – speak up and shut up.
Round about the same time as the above programme was being aired natural gas was discovered under the North Sea. It was hailed by all and sundry as bringing the good times. The county would be spared the cost of making it and as prices would tumble. Hah! Of course they never did, plus there was the cost of converting appliances to run on it. In addition, natural gas came with no smell and so a noticeable smell had to be added for reasons of avoiding deadly consequences. If the smell of gas is noticed, wherever it is, it is dealt with swiftly.
It would be good if such swift action were taken when that other poisonous gas is apparent and by that I mean gossip. The passing on of information that should not be, the sharing of information based on hearsay, the telling of something of which is simply not true. As it is put in Proverbs 11:13 “A man who lacks judgement derides his neighbour, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.”
I do wish the media, generally, could show such good sense. I am sure the world would be much better for it. Well, that is my opinion; perhaps I am turning into a grumpy old woman or maybe I’ve been affected by too much gas!