Readers will instantly recall the details - recorded in an edition of the present communication on 4 October 2018 - of the Gap Year Roadtrip which Professor Thrupiece undertook in the summer of 1958 when, barely eighteen years of age, he crossed the great continent of America with travelling companions Bob and Carol Threadeagles in search of the first McNightly Restaurant. It was during this trip that he met with President Dwight D Eisenhower.
We have also come to know that the trip had a profound influence not only on the Professor [who found himself sharing an errant and briefly disputed onion ring with US President Dwight D. Eisenhower during a stop over in the Chez Bubba Cafe, 1234 May St Goehner, Waco, NE 68364], but also on the course of American history. Having argued over the bill, the two went on to discuss the need for a US Space Agency and the rest - as they say - is conjecture.
Given Hollywood’s constant vigilance in trying to sniff out out a good box-office story: it is hardly surprising that the moguls of Tinsel Town have turned their attention to the incident and have decided to turn several recent quasi-authoriative accounts of it into a screenplay and film. The result - Persimmon Book - in which Dorset favourite Jason Stourpaine once again reprises his role as a young Professor Thrupiece - receives its UK premiere at Graubone’s Chinese Theatre, Chaldon Herring this evening.
Cinema enthusiasts will be intrigued to know that in addition to featuring - as the centre-piece of the narrative - the important encounter between Professor Thrupiece and the President [brilliantly portrayed by on on-form Gary Insole], the film also tells the largely unknown story of the notorious Persimmon Book - a guide for Academic Motorists published annually in New York by Victor H Green - listing the places and facilities in which members of University faculties and other researchers could expect to be served (and even welcomed) despite the “colour bar” in place at the time. This was designed to protect “ordinary decent white folks and their kin” from the habits and tedious conversational manners of overbearing academics and encourage the latter to keep to themselves or as the phrase of the time had it: "stick to their own kind".
Social Historian A P Art-Hyde has written: "It is not hard to imagine the animosity which academics generated amongst ordinary sensible and decent living people. What with their loud tones, didactic habits, extended metaphors, allegorical thinking, rhetorical devices, over-extended theorisations, tedious and tendentious pedagogy, complex sentence structures, endless postulations, speculations and conjectures - not to mention their ill-fitting suits, bad hair cuts, poor personal hygiene and endemic halitosis - it is easy to see why they could ruin the enjoyment of a perfectly good family burger party". It was for these reasons that it was considered "safer all round", if special places [sometimes known as Campuses] were set aside for them and the general public could go about their business elsewhere knowing they were safe from casual encounter.
A copy of a Persimmon Guide for 1959 was found amongst Professor Thrupiece's effects in 2006, proving that in this as in many other things he was always thinking ahead [his trip took place in 1958].
Persimmon Book opens tonight at the famous Graubone’s Chinese Theatre, Chaldon Herring this evening. Invitation only. Red carpet returned to storage 10 minutes before film commences.