Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Claude Board: A Coleman family tradition

A well-known example of a Claude (Makalele)
This week, I have a meeting with a gentleman called Claude. In a decades old Coleman family tradition, I shall be taking my darts with me, and hope to have a game of Claude Board.

I know what you're thinking, and you'd be right. Coleman's gone bonkers again. But there's a valid story behind this, a story that needs us to travel back in time to the mid 1970s.

*Waves hands in front of face* WoooOOOOooOOOOOooo

It was a time of flared trousers, economic collapse and kiddy-fiddlers at the top of the pop charts. My mother, a State Registered Nurse, had gone back to work and found employ as a district nurse, racing around the Berkshire countryside in a Mini, knocking old people into ditches.

One of these old people was Claude, one of her patients, and a nicer sort you couldn't expect to meet. He would potter around the local villages on his bone-shaker, wearing a long, black coat, no matter the weather.

How did I know this? There comes a time of year as a district nurse that you have to work during the school holidays, and you have three children would would absolutely 100% burn down the house and scratch each other to death if left alone long enough. God know we tried. So, there were morninf when we too were loaded into the Mini and driven around Twyford and Hurst dropping in at elderly people's houses for possibly the only company they'd be getting that day.

Some of them would ply we kids with sherry, so my mum's lead-footed driving was worth the risk.

Claude Debussy escaped the ravages of Claude Board by cunningly dying in 1918
That's where we ran into Claude. Or rather, didn't run into him. He was gliding along in front of us down a country lane, and we were asking (politely) if he wouldn't mind getting out of our way please.

So we came up with Claude Board.

The rules were simple: You threw darts at Claude's back while he was trying to escape. End of rules.

We never actually got to play Claude Board, because throwing darts at people is A Bad Thing, and a new patient with multiple puncture wounds was the last thing my mother wanted.

The closest we actually came was a cardboard cutout of a cyclist with "Claude" written on it for target practice. A Claude Board Board, if you will, but Board Claude Board never caught on. However, Claude Board remained a Coleman family tradition, right up to the moment more shiny things took over. ABBA, I believe, because we were so achingly hip.

But Friday comes my chance. Can Claude escape? If he does, I've still got my Swiss Army Axe, just in case.

1 comment:

Ernest J. Fishwinkle said...

Claude Board sounds like a fun game.
Perhaps there could be a version for the gentry: Lord Claude Board.