WHISPERING SMITH: Searching for answers to life’s big questions

I SPEND a couple of mornings a week in the High Street’s Little Coffee House with a friend, watching Littlehampton passing by while we try to put the world to rights.

After a little while we give up to the futility of that and turn our attention to the town’s problems. Smaller in scale but just as frustrating, and we soon abandon that also as, we agree, the local Arun politicians appear to take little notice of public opinion anyway.

So we downscale and the morning disintegrates to questions we may be able to deal with, such as why does one rarely see young women with natural curly hair these days; or, what are the seven beer drinkers gathered in the town centre finding to talk about at 10 o’clock in the morning, hugging their tin cans; or, why does a seagull peck at my friend’s patio window at the same time every day?

We moved on to: if you eat a whole large cauliflower will that one vegetable suffice as your five a day?

Or, why does the hair grow out of your ears and not on your head when you reach a certain age; or, with the coming weekend in mind, why do people still watch the Eurovision Song Contest?

Or, when a visitor calls and you ask would they like a coffee, do they ask if you are having one; or, who did frame Roger Rabbit?

And lastly for the morning, is there a ‘Higher Power’ watching over us? If so, everything will be alright on the night and the only problem we might solve today is why the seagull taps on the window.

The big questions are perplexing enough to say the least and the more questions raised, the fewer the answers.

So we finish our coffee and move the morning along – he, married, off home to do the hoovering and me, single, to enjoy a spot of digging on the allotment.

It was so much easier in the old days, when you could sit in a café over a raw pine table, drink dark red wine and be soaked in the heavy grey smoke of a Gitanes cigarette, nothing like red wine and tobacco to aid the thought processes.

Hey, but wait a moment, didn’t we do that then and still not come up with any answers? Sure we did, but it did seem possible that we would, back in the day…