Sunday, 7 August 2011

Storytelling Sunday - Masters of Disguise

Given the circumstances that we find ourselves in on this first Sunday of August, I thought that this month I would share a story of my parents-in-law. 
They both lived and grew up in the East End of London at a time when families all lived close and were very involved in one another's lives.  Monther in Law is as close to her cousins as she is her brothers and sisters as holiday times and Christmasses were all spent together.  She sometimes bemoans the fact that everyone has scattered now and that our generation don't have the family get togethers that they used to have. 
When she married my father in law they started to spend a lot of time with 2 particular cousins and their 'other halves' (J&B and R&J). The six of them spent many holidays together, and if not whole weeks of holidays, then hosting long weekends together.  There was one year when my in laws were celebrating a special anniversary.  May have been their 40th wedding anniversary, I can't remember.  But they had planned a week on the Channel Island Jersey, just the two of them even though it was going to seem strange going away on their own.
Unbeknown to them, R&J thought it might be fun to spring a surprise on them.  As R's son worked at Gatwick, they arranged flights to fly out and 'accidently' meet up with them.  But, decided to add a little bit of fun to the surprise.  They decided to go in disguise.  R changed the way he wore his hair and put on a false moustache and J coloured her hair, put on a pair of big sunglasses and bought a dress which was not to her style of dressing. 
On the first night at the hotel, they saw my in-laws in the bar before dinner and stood beside them but with their backs to them to test their reactions.  Not a hint that they recognised them.  They went into the dining room and chose a table near enough to be in sight but not too close for them to recognise their voices when then spoke.  After dinner they went into the bar again.  My in laws sat down and then father in law went to the bar to order drinks.  R&J decided the time was right to spring their surprise.  R stood next to him at the bar and in an assumed voice asked him to pass a bowl of peanuts.  A quizical look but no recognition.  R&J sat themselves at the next table to them and then after a short while when they were relaxed and sipping their drinks R removed his fake moustache, and J took off her glasses and spoke in her normal voice.  The penny dropped!  Can you begin to imagine how surprised they were?  What a lovely surprise and so typical of R&J to have some fun with them.  Apparently my in laws had noticed this couple in the dining room but obviously not expecting to see anyone they knew and with them both talking in a very posh disguised accent they merely commented to each other how much that couple over there reminded them of R&J.  Little did they know!

22 comments:

Amy said...

That is just wonderful Deb and such a fitting story for your family this week. I grew up very close, geographically, to many of my cousins and it was a fantastic experience!

Sian said...

Given the circumstances I am delighted that you have a story for us today. I think that really says something about the power of storytelling as a way of celebrating and remembering :)

And what a brilliant story - what a hoot! I'm laughing just thinking about it.

Thanks Deb. This is a great one.

jennifer said...

Hee hee, what a good story! A little bit crazy too which is what makes it brilliant, I bet they would never have expected them to do anything like that! Thanks for sharing the story. x

Mary B said...

Oh I love this bet they all had a good giggle afterwards too.

Gem's Crafts said...

What a fab story, and a great surprise for your parents in law!

scrappyjacky said...

A great story,Deb....what a laugh they must have had.

Sandra said...

What a lovely story, I can just imagine the laughter

Denise said...

Lovely story and very apt. Think you might like my story today! xx

Ifa said...

LOL funny! But a very nice surprise too.

Becky said...

Lovely story, really made me chuckle.

Gail said...

LOL What a neat story. Thanks so much for sharing it right now.

Jimjams said...

Marvellous practical joke - just goes to show that your perceptions change when you are not expecting people in the current context!

Ginger said...

Oh you made me laugh Deb! What a wonderful surprise for them and so well planned :)

Louise said...

wonderful story xx

Karen said...

What a fantastic story Deb, it must have been so funny when it happened. I love the extremes that they went to to pull it off.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Too funny Deb! Glad you are able to conjure up a happy memory and share it with us.
Rinda

Alison said...

Lovely story Deb....in times of sadness, memories are often what keep us going...hugs xx
Alison

Beverly said...

What a fun story and what a fun family :)

Cheri said...

What a fun story Deb!

Melissa said...

What a great story - R&J must have been a lot of fun.

Scrappi Sandi said...

How funny!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Oh my gosh, Deb, this is a great story. HAHA...so funny. I love that they pulled off the surprise, and I'm shaking my head because I KNOW I could never do that. I'm terrible at keeping a straight face when trying to play a joke on someone.

:o) Great story this month!