Saturday, 14 April 2012

I spent all morning looking for an Ood...

Silurians everywhere and not an Ood in sight. Until I stopped off for a coffee...
I was reminded tonight of something rather nice that happened to me at the convention. I met up with my good friend Mark, who I haven't seen for while, intending to see a Radio 4 recording with the writer David Nobbs.
Who he? some of you may say.
I will say only two words: Reginald. Iolanthe. Perrin.
Now I didn't get where I am today by knowing that this is actually three words. Neither Mrs C.J. nor I  got where we are today by knowing that this is actually three words...
Yes, I was about to see one of Britain's greatest comedy writers - the creator of Reggie Perrin.
But I hadn't reckoned on BBC ticketing protocols - remit of a fairly secret army...
I assumed that if it said "Doors Open 7.15pm", I could safely turn up about 7pm. You would, wouldn't you?
NO! If you want to see a BBC TV or radio recording , apparently, you need to turn up about 2.30am, with a sleeping bag and a thermos. Two weeks before.
Now my good friend Mark (he will henceforth be known on this blog as "My good friend Mark") , who knows the secret machinations of BBC ticket protocols, turned up on time and could have gone in on his own, leaving me to languish in a nearby hostelry.
Yes, I could have just about survived 2 hours of being in a pub on my own. It would have been absolute torture, and I would have truly suffered (cough...ahem...) but I'm sure I could have survived the experience...
But no - "My good friend Mark"(TM) elected to give up his place so he could join me in the pub instead of going in on his own - and leaving me on my todd for a couple of hours.
There was a sizeable queue for Standbys - mostly couples who didn't want a single ticket - but he found one individual who, thanks to his (Mark's) unselfishness, got to experience something which he probably thought he had lost out on just few minutes before.
Basically, Mark made 2 people happy - at his own cost.
Me and that chap.
And this is what got me thinking about Oods.
In booking extras for the convention I inadvertently bought an "Ood Arthur Darvill Autograph", when what I really wanted was a "Silurian Arthur Darvill Photo". (BBC Conventions please note for next time - allow for people with hangovers to successfully navigate your web page...)
I only realised the mistake very late and I did manage to secure my Rory / Me picture, so I didn't bother to get a refund.
I took the ticket with me to Cardiff, intending to give it away.
At the convention, I hunted for an Ood (they were few and far between) but eventually there was a young man in the queue for coffee before me.

ME: "Excuse me, I see you're an Ood. I'm a Silurian - naturally. Have you booked an autograph with Arthur Darvill?"
OOD: "No" - uttered in the tones of someone who is convinced he is being eyed up by a serial killer.
ME: "Would you like one? - I got it by accident - so it's free".
OOD: "Well... yes..." Still convinced he is soon about to die, horribly.
ME: "Honestly, it's yours if you want it. I bought it by mistake and I'd like it to go to someone who'll appreciate it".
I fumble about in my bag - he obviously expects a a large hunting knife or similar to be produced.
The piece of paper emerges and gets handed over. He visibly relaxes, realising he has not been approached by a mad murderer, just a fellow fan who is a bit mad only.
ME: "Enjoy".
OOD (out of my earshot, to friends): "Some weird guy at the coffee stand just gave me a free autograph with Rory! Result!. Mind you, he did look a bit like that serial killer...". (Spends rest of convention constantly looking  over his shoulder...).

And the point of this? Two instances of someone giving something away. Something they could have simply kept and used and enjoyed themselves. But they didn't. Little unselfish acts. They aren't totally altruistic, of course. You are allowed to be a bit selfish and self-satisfied occasionally - but only if you already have it in yourself to be just that little bit unselfish.
And isn't that just bit Doctor-ish as well?

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