Sunday, January 29, 2017

It's Still Good To Talk

I got a Whatsapp from a friend asking if I was in fact going to come and to witness his debut DJ set. I had accepted the invite on Facebook but he was unconvinced. I suspect he was cynical as I fire out ''I'll absolutely be there" replies to everything but cannot make a firm decision about anything that isn't happening within the next three minutes. The future beyond that is an unknowable darkness we should not try to impose order on.

He was right too. As work is an gluttonous time-stealing beast there's little to absolutely zero chance of me transporting from Shoreditch to a 90s pop filled Reading pub by 8pm. I was going to give him the highly-expected 'sorry i'm a flake again' text but realised it's been months since we spoke. This is a friend I could, and would, talk to for days on end about aggressively silly things, mostly while impersonating the two Edies from Grey Gardens.

Yup we were those 'wacky' folk. At least we entertained ourselves.

So instead of sending a quick message before getting on my train, I rang him. And felt nervous about it. I know I hate getting unexpected phone-calls when a message would do, especially as I get panicked over how to wrap it up politely at the end (I really should adopt every Irish parents' method of "Well, I'll let you go..", which my own have been using more and more frequently of late). I was worried he would see my name flash up and feel that punch of dread. 'Uffff just text me you utter dickplant'.

15 minutes later, my whole day was lifted with a huge happy reminder of just how very funny my friend is, how solid friendships always pick up easily from where they left off, and how he sees right through me like no other. For example on the subject of Disney World...

Me "I thought I'd really hate it... "
Him "...because you pose as a cynic who is above popular things..."
Me "...yes exactly! But actually it was the most fun thing ever."
Him "Yes. That's why it's popular."

What could have been a 16 character text was a brief but happy chat about random shite, a friendship refresh button, and a good laugh to boot.

Warning: here comes the 'ugh sweet suffering jaysus, another social media think-piece' piece... Facebook likes and Twitter favs don't keep us in touch with each other, they just mean we're keeping tabs. It says 'I know you're still alive, I am too, we used to know each other, and kinda still do, but not really, let's all stay in our lanes '.

Which brings me to my favourite TV ad campaign of all time. In 1990 a meeting was called to make the idea of paying phone bills not such a scourge for men (still a time when execs said men paid bills and women made phone calls). They came up with Bob Hoskins, a seemingly gruff's man's man with a twinkle of sentimentality, telling the nation that 'It's Good To Talk'.

(Before that, here's my friend's DJ night, do check it out!)

I'm on Twitter @theroryjohn

Check out all the ads after the jump!

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