Ask Katy

Hi Katy, Long time no write. ha!

I caught the tail end of the Alastair Sim's version of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol".
Scrooge yells out to the boy to buy the goose and offers him a silver if he returns quickly. The boy snatches the purse that was thrown down to him, says, "Whoosh!" and runs off. Is this shining moment in the classic film Simon's inspiration for his catch phrase? Thanks, Ruth

"Dear Ruth,

I also am a great fan of the film which you've cited. It happens to be one of the classics which I rely on to get me into the xmas spirit at that time of year; the others being "Miracle on 34th St" (not the remake) and of course '"White Christmas". I was aware of the "whoosh" in said movie but I have to tell you that this is not the inspiration for my whooosh, which as I'm sure you notice contains the vowel three times rather than the more conventional two. This, I might add, is in order to convey that little bit of extra, well ... whooosh.

Furthermore the inspiration came for this many years ago, when a long-time girlfriend I had been living with, upon learning of the dalliance which was to end our relationship, ripped a GPO 706 model table telephone, cable and all out of the wall socket and hurled it at my 80s highlighted hairdo. She was a tall rangy lass, with long levers, Amazonian you might say. Moreover, she was handily practiced in the art of baseball, as she had been the primary pitcher in her Canadian little league team. And indeed, she was able to generate some considerable velocity with said object as it left her hand. Luckily, as I was standing across the hotel bedroom from her I was just able to shift myself out of the path of the rapidly approaching piece of equipment before with a crash of hard plastic and a pathetic ring of bells, it shattered on the wall behind my head. However, the sound which I remember; the sound which seemed to perfectly sum up the situation was the sound that 1960s telephone made as it passed close to my ears. It was the sound of the end of a relationship, the end of a conversation. It was then for me and still is now, the sound of change; of saying goodbye to one thing and hello to something new. And that is an aspect of the human experience which appeals to my sense of optimism; something I need to remind myself of on a daily basis. It is specific and inevitable that in this life, everything begins and ends with a WHOOOSH."