Off The Top Of My Head, It’s On The Tip Of My Tongue

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

I seem to be hung up on names these days, but not because they fascinate me but because I can’t remember any. Mary and I were watching Skyfall one evening, the James Bond thriller. 

Something happens to M, the head of Britain’s Spy program and Jim’s boss. I cannot tell you what that something was; if I told you there would be a host of tricker- treaters who have yet to see the movie marching down Woodside Drive with burning torches on All Hallow’s Eve.

I just so happens that M is a Dame, I don’t mean she is a broad, a chick, a common trollup, or any other type of young lady who can be seen standing under a lampost any evening in London wearing a red dress and fishnet stockings. Certainly not, she was honoured by the late Queen and now proudly bears the title of Dame. The problem was I couldn’t remember what this dame’s real name was. The credits had already run by and they were down to the Best Boy, the Gaffer, and the name of the lady who sews James’ torn underpants after the obligatory bedroom scene. We went to bed shortly after it ended. I started to think about the movie and particularly about M, but do you think I could remember her real name? 

No, I couldn’t otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this column. 

Don’t fret, it gets worse. 

I tried the standard going through the alphabet from Archibald Aardvaark to Firpo Zbyszko (there really was a wrestler by that name in the 40s and 50s), but nothing. Granted I could have climbed out of bed, walked into the living room, and asked Google but then I would have to admit I was an idiot. I thought I had her name so many times, but it just wouldn’t come to me.

And then to top it off, I then forgot the name of the actor who plays James Bond himself and I have seen every movie he starred in. Back I went to the alphabet, but nothing. Then suddenly after what seemed like hours, from somewhere in the empty corridors of my mind, came Judi Dench. That is M’s real name and it just appeared out of the blue, although I spelled Judi wrong. But who is hell played James? I think it was close to morning before Daniel Craig’s name popped out and I drifted off into dreamland. 

I can remember the names of every actor who has played James, from Sean Connery to Daniel, all of them and in the right order. Plus I can discuss at great length their different acting abilities and do it quite often until everyone in the room either leaves or threatens to have me gagged.

I can envision every Bond girl and often do until Mary shakes me awake asking if I am okay and why I am moaning. I loved them all. I wrote so many letters to Honor Blackman, the actress who played Pussy Galore. She finally moved and left no forwarding address. 

I loved all of the Bond girls, Molly Warmflash, Holly Goodhead and my personal favourite, the redhead Tiffany Case. And then there came May Day, played by the  Jamaican singer and actress, Grace Jones, the scariest woman I have ever seen in my life. When she bedded Roger Moore in A View to a Kill the studio had a hearse idling outside in case she killed him for real. Oddly enough, that was Roger’s last James Bond film. That doesn’t surprise me. Another role (or roll, take your pick) like that and he would spend the rest of his life in traction.

Where was I? Oh, yes my name problem. It happens to me all the time. A couple of days ago I was with some friends and the subject got around to Canadian politics and eventually to the guy who started a rebellion in Manitoba; I couldn’t remember his name. I knew he was Metis and thought he had a French name but my mind kept coming back to Guy Fawkes who was the flipping Englishman who tried to blow up the British House of Commons in the infamous Gunpowder Plot and had never even been to Manitoba. I went to sleep thinking about him, not Guy, the other guy and it finally came to me. It was Louis Riel. Or was Louis the guy who murdered M? Oops, damn I gave it away.

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