The Life of a Man
These were the final words of Lord Jeremiah Golfsale who died in 1965 after a long then short illness. He left three midget sedan chair bearers and a small collection of Bolivian pornography to the RSPCA.
Let us look at the life of this man and try to enlighten our brains in the process.
Jeremiah Golfsale was born in 1877 from the womb of a lady, in a place.
As soon as he was weaned his parents sent him to boarding school where he developed his life long obsession with spaffing on biscuits. An obsession which was to prove embarrassing in later life during a tea party with the Queen.
Then came the time for him to leave school and be sent up to Oxford before being sent down to Dartmoor after an incident in a park with some soldiers.
On leaving prison he set himself up as a travelling hair straightener and cockle seller. Before long he’d opened his first of one hundred shops in the Strand which sold hair straightening and cockles to the aristocracy. This launched him into society – which was highly unusual for a shopkeeper in those days – and he was the talk of every ball and feted by every knob in the land. Not bad for a chap of only nineteen years old.
Years went by and Jeremiah married a lady, out of which fell a baby boy who – after some small deliberation – was called Jeremiah. However this was to be the only child this lady bore him. An incident at the docks with some sailors was to prove the final straw for said lady and the couple split. On this occasion his vast wealth allowed him to buy his way out of prosecution but he was a broken man and never bummed a sailor again.*
Then the world went all upside down. People began to talk of war with Prussia and asked whether The Strand really needed a hundred hair straightening cockle shops.
Jeremiah realised that this was the time to change direction so he sent his son to the Somme and his Mum to the sun and opened a factory making guns and canned whelks. Soon the money poured in, as the Minister of war and canned molluscs gave Jeremiah an exclusive contract to provide war and fish to the brave troops who were already making swift if slow progress through the French countryside. The Minister also got the Queen to bung Jeremiah a Lordship for his trouble.
After the war was over and his son was shovelled into a bucket and buried. He set out on the venture which was to ultimately loose him his fortune, and ruin his investors.
In 1919, confident that the war which had just ended would be the last ever. He sold his arms factories and set out to Germany where he purchased a plot of land near the pleasant town of Bergen. He set up a health spa and holiday camp which, for a number of years, was the choice de preference of the middle class German family. However this was not to last. In 1931 the value of the German Mark plummeted and Golfsale had failed to make any provision. He was left with a holiday destination at a time when a holiday was beyond the means of the average German family. In 1934 he finally gave in and sold his land to the German government for the Stirling equivalent of £6 which in today’s money is £1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0000,000 but in those days was only £1 more than £5 and not worth very much at all. This money was quickly used up on a steerage class ferry ticket to Hull and a pasty when he got there.
Broke and with only the clothes he stood up in, he began the long walk to London. After many weeks he reached what he thought was Finsbury Park, took a job shoeing horses (which were a pest at the time) and took lodging with a Miss McCavity. Only then did he realise that he was not in fact in London but Edinburgh. He had remembered the way home upside down.
This didn’t perturb him and he swept Miss C off her feet and quickly made her the second Mrs Golfsale. He took over the running of her boarding house and built a kipper shop next door. And there he lived happily until he contracted influenza then pneumonia while riding about the city in a sedan chair carried by midgets.
So there you have it! The life of a great man whittled down to a few lines.
Ta ta for now!