I bumped into my old schoolmate, cheeky chappie, Mark K. the other day. Bearing in mind his wife divorced him and took him for every penny she could, Mark looked remarkably well…well! The last time anyone had spoken to me of Mark, I’d been told my friend’s business had gone down the tubes and creditors had bankrupted Mark, so my question was now, how come he looked so well fed? It turned out, for the last year or so Mark had been feasting for free on funeral buffets. Mark explained he only attended Jewish and Irish wakes, because such people laid out the best spreads, and in the case of the Irish, copious amounts of liquor! Mark’s modus operandi was, having crashed a wake, he would immediately make a beeline for the widow or widower, pretend he knew the deceased, express his sincere condolences, and then head towards the food. Indeed, in many cases he would be led by the arm towards the buffet. On occasion a mourner would even fill a plate for him! “Oh I’m so sorry for your…fuckin’ hell, is that a smoke salmon cream cheese bagel over there?” Jesus, such chutzpah! Only now, writing this blog do I recall what the headmaster once wrote across one of Mark’s ‘end of term report’ cards. “Charm is no substitute for hard work!”

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