A few years before I was born there lived a skin called Bob Monkhouse. He was a comedian, tv presenter, gameshow host and actor. He died on 29th December 2003. You’re probably wondering why I mention him, as I never knew him. The reason is something I overheard my dad say – Bob Monkhouse changed his life.
It was quite by accident, it shouldn’t have even happened, total chance. Dad wasn’t a particular fan or anything, he liked him I think because he found Mr Monkhouse’s one-liners very funny but as dad is not a fan of gameshows at all, he never watched the show in question: “Wipeout” I believe it was called.
Dad had been working in Birmingham but had the day off, the day his life changed. He was a bit bored so he decided to watch tv that afternoon. He couldn’t find anything he wanted to watch so he was flicking through the channels and getting more and more bored, more and more agitated; there were things on his mind and the worry they were causing was getting him down. The problem with dad was he worried too much; he worried about money, about mom, about his family, about his cat, about the weather, about what people thought of him, about whether they thought about him at all…. he worried about not having anything in particular to worry about. He was a big bag of stress and I honestly think it was killing him.
He flicked the button on the remote control once more before his finger moved towards the off switch, and up popped the last minute or so of “wipeout”, Mr Monkhouse was just wrapping up the show in his usual style with the delivery of one of his famous one-liners. This time though it wasn’t a joke he told, it was a piece of advice and dad heard it and went rigid. He sat there as Mr Monkhouse’s face disappeared and the credits rolled, he sat there while tasters of upcoming programmes were shown, he sat there as the next show started. He didn’t see it, he didn’t hear it, none of it registered. All that was going on in his head was the implications of what Mr Monkhouse had said.
From that day on my dad remembered that advice and chose to live by it, I told you it changed his life because he stopped worrying about everything and let the world take care of itself. He is a happy man now thanks to Mr Bob Monkhouse. Dad doesn’t know if it was an old saying that he had never heard before or if Mr Monkhouse had made it up himself, but Bob had said it and Bob had saved him. This is what he said, I hope it helps and comforts anyone who needs it:
“Worrying is like paying interest on something you may never own.”
Bob Monkhouse (1928-2003) R.I.P.