“Never Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth” is one ofmany old sayings or ‘maxims’ that are ripe for parody.
Before becoming famous TV and radio personalities, those supreme wits Frank Muir and Denis Norden were two of Britain’s top comedy writers, up there with Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.
In the 1950s and 60s, Frank and Denis penned hundreds of parodies of old sayings, the most famous of which concerned an Eskimo who lit a fire inside his one-man canoe to keep warm and it went up in flames.
Thus proving…”You can’t have your kayak and heat it”!
Although “Never look a gift horse in the mouth”– not turning down a freebie when it’s offered – appears to be sensible advice, sometimes freebies can end up not being so ‘free’, as a friend of mine recently found out.
He was offered two free tickets for one of the hottest musicals in the West End by someone he knew in the cast and as the price printed on each ticket was £150, on the surface he’d been presented with a £300 gift horse.
However… to get to London he had to spend more than £100 on train tickets, then £250 for a hotel ( breakfast not included) and £130 on meals and taxis etc.
So you can see that ‘free’ evening in a London theatre cost him around £500. He could have had a week in Langland Bay for that! Or a month in Aberystwyth.
As it turned out, he said the show was sensational, he had a great time and he’ll be able to pay off his credit card bills by December 2026. If he wins the Lottery.
While I was writing this, I suddenly had an idea for a Muir and Norden type parody and while nowhere near their standard, I had to pass it on.
North Wales residents are warned that because undertakers along the M4 corridor won’t allow their funeral cars to be driven at more than 20 miles per hour, they can…
“Never book a swift hearse in the south!”
I’ll get me coat…