I’m at that age when I’m starting to mishear and mispronounce things. I blame events in 1978 and ageing relatives.
During that year, every Tuesday I’d go to Karachi. At least that’s what my Great Aunt told anyone even remotely interested in my whereabouts in the grocer’s housed in our Balham flats. I wasn’t an employee of the Pakistan International Airways; every week, I’d go to St George’s Hospital in Tooting to learn karate (a kind of medical paradox). Only 5,000 miles out (perhaps the Proclaimers did this trip and inspired their hit song?)
That year also saw the release of The Motors’ song “Airport.” I was still living with my dad (my mother having successfully constructed a tunnel four years earlier) and we’d always have the radio on. “Have they just sung ‘eff off’?”asked my dad. “No,” I replied, “airport”. He went off muttering something about Frank Sinatra being more articulate.
Later that year, while getting ready for work, doing up our respective Van Heusen shirts and arguing about the Old Spice being stolen again, we heard on the news that one of the members of the band Chicago had died. The Newsreader went on to inform the listeners that, “one of their biggest hits was, ‘If you leave me now’”. “Effing appropriate” said my dad (well, that was the gist of what he said). And he wondered why he failed the audition to appear on “Fifteen to one”!