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The latest Phil Evans column

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The latest Phil Evans column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star. Website – www.philevans.co.uk


Readers who’ve followed my rambling ruminations for years will know that a handful of irritating things in life are a constant source of ‘Driving me up the wall-ness’ that I’ve returned to time and time again.

One that I regularly moan about – and I know from the feedback I get that I’m not alone here – is the pervasive manner in which large shops and supermarkets encourage people, including those with young families, to spend money on goods they probably can’t afford and could easily live without.

This has been going on for decades, but it’s astonishing it continues during a time when many people are struggling to pay their mortgages, rent and heating bills (Winter is already lurking in the wings, waiting to make its unwelcome return) and are relying on foodbanks to feed their family.

Think about that for a moment.

In 21st Century Britain, thousands of people, including many who work for the NHS, couldn’t manage to get through the week without being given a box of free food.

I genuinely find that an appalling situation.

I’ve set up this preamble to explain (I hope) the reasons why I was so dismayed to see Halloween goods on sale in a Welsh branch of a UK wide chain store – on August the 14th!

I won’t mention the store’s name, but it rhymes with Dee and Yem.

I’ve complained in the past about seeing Halloween and Christmas goods vying for space on shop shelves in September – but this was mid-August and the store had devoted a large section to cheap and nasty (not to say scary in some cases) plastic masks, costumes and other ghoulish goods.

I know there’s a generation of children now who absolutely love Halloween (encouraged by retailers of course) and I’m quite prepared to be labelled a killjoy.

But if just a few people diverted the money they might spend on a plastic skull or a Pennywise mask to make a contribution to their local food bank, wouldn’t that, in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, be one in the eye for the Devil?


Politeness and Appreciation: The Lost Arts?

Dear readers,

Call me old fashioned, but I believe in the power of please and thank you.

It’s amazing how something so simple can brighten someone’s day and create a ripple effect of positivity. Yet, it seems that in today’s fast-paced world, acts of kindness often go unnoticed. Let’s take a moment to reflect on this and share some amusing encounters.

Last week, I witnessed an extraordinary act of chivalry. A young man in a bustling Cardiff shop graciously held the door open for a middle-aged lady. However, to his astonishment, his gentlemanly gesture was met with complete indifference. Undeterred, he simply smiled and continued on his way. Kudos to him for maintaining his kindness despite the lack of acknowledgment!

Our roads, too, have become a stage for unappreciated acts of goodwill.

When I find myself stuck in traffic, I often allow fellow drivers to merge into my lane, if it’s safe to do so.

However, it seems that the art of a simple wave or nod of gratitude is dwindling. Are we becoming a nation of self-absorbed individuals, or are we so engrossed in our own little worlds that we forget the importance of acknowledging politeness and courtesy?

Now, dear readers, I turn to you. Have you experienced similar situations where your kind gestures have gone unnoticed? I invite you to share your stories with me. Whether it’s holding a door open, letting someone merge, or any other act of kindness, I want to hear from you!

And here’s the exciting part: the best story will be rewarded with an incredibly popular gift from Evans HQ! So, put your creative hats on and start writing. Let’s spread some laughter and remind ourselves of the power of politeness and appreciation.

Good luck, and may your stories bring a smile to our faces!

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