Author: Terry Ravenscroft
Author: Terry Ravenscroft
If you are a Brit, please excuse my ignorance if I never heard of such well-known BBC comedy shows as Les Dawson, The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise, Alas Smith and Jones, Not the Nine O'Clock News, Dave Allen, Frankie Howerd, Ken Dodd, and Ray Hudd. These are some of the shows that Terry Ravenscroft wrote the scripts for and if they were as hilarious as his recent journal, Stairlift to Heaven, they must have been a blast!
In the Forward to Stairlift to Heaven Ravenscroft informs us that the day before his sixty-fifth birthday he decided to keep a journal chronicling the first five years of his life as an old age pensioner. And incidentally, he doesn't like to use the term 'Senior Citizen' explaining that people his age are old and draw a pension, neither something to be ashamed of-why call ourselves senior citizens?
His piercing curmudgeon humour concerning problems faced by those of us who are getting along in years could best be described as a blend of the late legendary American television writer Andy Rooney, who appeared regularly on the CBS News program 60 Minutes and Larry David, co-creator of the well-known American television series Seinfeld and creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm. A word of caution, his graphic take on his medical problems pertaining to hidden parts of his anatomy are best enjoyed by those who are not easily put off by his raw and crude descriptions. Yet, you still have to admit, after reading some of his essays, that he is very funny man and his perceptions are right on, particularly if you have reached the age where trips to the doctor for a variety of tests concerning your derrière or bladder become part of your medical routine.
And as for some of the wacko shenanigans he has pulled off with his neighbour Atkins, all I can say is that I am surprised that both of them have never been locked up and the key thrown away for their lunacy. Moreover, I don't know how his wife Delma, whom he calls “The Trouble” because she has a habit, when addressing him, of beginning her sentences with the words 'The trouble with you is....,' puts up with him.
Perhaps the best feature of Ravenscroft's writing is his unique creativity in the way he approaches solutions to some problems. For example, it can be quite annoying if you live in a small town with an open countryside where horses defecate on your street. Ravenscroft's quick fix is that just as responsible dog owners carry a poop scoop and a plastic bag, horse owners should be obliged to do the same. No doubt, as Ravenscroft reminds us, this would probably require a couple of bags, and granted, the filled bags would be quite heavy. But as Ravenscroft states, so what, you could hang them either side of their horse like saddlebags. In fact, he is seriously thinking of starting a national campaign to implement his idea.
If you are wondering why Ravenscroft entitled his tome Stairlift to Heaven, he explains that it is a metaphorical stairlift on which he rides-as yet he has no need of the real thing, and sincerely hopes he never will. But, as he states, “at my time of life I am certainly on it, sat at the bottom with St. Peter and the Pearly Gates awaiting me at the top.” With this in mind, he invites his readers to join him on his ride on his Stairlift to Heaven-a great highly energized, blend of truth and wit with constantly on-target punch lines, and if you want a book that will keep you in stitches, this is the one.