Rules of Intestacy: ‘You Plonker!’

You plonker: the rules of intestacy are ugly.

Most delightfully, Celia Delaney – keynote speaker, MC and comedian – was an early guest on The Whole Lot podcast. A few weeks later, I had the unbridled pleasure of talking to copywriter Helen Reynolds. Each in her own way remarked on the benefits of education.

The gains accrue directly to the individual on the one hand, then to society on the other. In even the most obtuse frame of mind, it is difficult to quibble with their sentiments.

Rules of Intestacy
Actors: understanding rules of intestacy

They reminded me in their turn of an academic of my long-ago experience. I witnessed her declaiming the constrictive nature of specialisation. I saw her enjoin her charges to read widely. To read beyond the scope of their studies. Read to broaden their knowledge and experience. To, as preparation for their dissertations, quote widely.

She, one eye on the potential for contradiction, with a mild air of disdain, cautioned against reference to popular newspapers though. Some smartarse put her in check.

All concluded the exemption proffered by the pupil was worthy. No doubting it. For the young man in question to have piped up with that example was a clear case of smartarsery – there is value in encouraging such foolishness – albeit tacitly.

One needs noble cause to quote certain periodicals. You know the sort – publications of scant literary merit, with intellectual pretensions that would be surpassed in a kindergarten classroom.

A Headline, Then Another

This chap popped up with a headline from one of the red-tops: Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious. I recall the headline being from the pen of Paul Hickson. In the goings-on of football in Scotland, Celtic had been thumped by Inverness Caledonian Thistle. In the goings-on of Scottish football, that was huge. I suppose that was as big as it got.

Said of Mr Hickson: ‘Celtic losing to a team nobody had heard of – or could even spell, that was the story.’

I’m minded of a newspaper headline you might have seen a good while ago.

First. Look back to the days we had three channels of television. There was Only Fools and Horses. A recurring line from that show was: ‘You Plonker!’

The actors went on to grander things. The actors went on better things. Alas, in relative youth, one of the principal actors on the show, Roger Lloyd-Pack, died a half decade ago. You’ve a promising idea how this ends.

The actor died without a will. The thespian didn’t know the rules of intestacy.

I’m unable to identify the sub-editor. But, you might have seen the article. The story of thespian intestacy – with its attendant tax consequences – was titled: ‘You Plonker!

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