A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times



I’ve been quite busy recently...

I think I mentioned my ever increasing to do lists, and that they have taken up a lot of time. And as a result I’ve got behind with a lot of other stuff... and as a result of that I haven’t had much time to devote to writing this blog. By now I should be putting out three items a day but I’m well behind that. In fact it’s got so bad, in order to try and keep up, here’s a piece I wrote quite a while back and in order to cut corners, I resurrected it.

You see, something’s got to give, and to my simple mind, that has to
be the things I do for free. That’s just the kind of mercenary
sod you’re dealing with here. Sorry!

Anyway this is how it went.

I was watching TV last night, and I thought “I know... I’ll write a bit about that, It will be easy and they’ll never notice that I’ve just knocked it off over a sandwich, and even if they do they haven’t bloody paid for it, so they’ve got no right to complain.”

Let’s see if I was right...

I’m a big fan of quality TV, so I switched straight on to Channel 4. There’s none of your boring documentaries on there, or in depth news analysis which sends you to sleep. Just a lot of real people doing real things... that’s what I want to see.

So the first programme I saw was called “We’re A Set Of Fat Gits And It’s All Our Own Fault”. Well that wasn’t the real title, but it should have been. It featured a family of severely bloated Brummies who had enlisted the help of some mad Scottish nutritionist (currently starring in trying to get out of a jungle near you) to help them lose weight. For some reason, the 5 million calories a day of junk food they were shovelling down their necks each day wasn’t doing the trick, which seemed to come as something of a surprise.

But despite the fact that anyone with a half a brain (let alone a full degree in Food Science) could see what the problem was, our nutritionist had an extra trick up her sleeve which would get to the bottom of the problem...

“I want to look at your poo,” she said

No, I’m not making this up. Viewers then had to endure 5 minutes of analysis of three Black Country turds before the final piece de resistance... a full colonic irrigation on Mummy Brummie... in full colour, close up detail.

Have 4,500 million years of evolution brought us to this... the point at which human excrement is now deemed prime time public entertainment? I know some people might say we reached that point in the 1980s with The Little & Large Saturday Night Special, but you know what I mean. When John Logie Baird saw the first flickerings of life on his prototype TV screen, do you imagine that one day he thought its primary purpose would be for displaying the contents of fat peoples’ toilets?

The more I think about it though, the more I think this could become something of a trend, but the format needs livening up a bit. I’ve got an idea for a new show, and it features David Frost and Lloyd Grossman. It will be called 'Through the Arsehole'. Every week Grossman takes a medical camera and shoves it up the nether regions of an unidentified celebrity. A full bowel examination is carried out before Grossman drawls...

“Okaaay... so who’s about to pass a turd like this?
David, it’s over to you.”

Think it couldn’t happen? I’m not so sure!

Anyway for a bit of light relief, I switched over for the news. The first story up was about the proposed new law on smacking your own children. Now I’m not going to get into the rights and wrongs of doing that, but the stupidity of the people we entrust with our legislation defies belief.

The final decision this collective of great minds made was that they wouldn’t ban smacking altogether... just so long as it wasn’t too hard. Well I’m pleased we’ve got that one sorted out, now that we’ve got the European standard measure of ‘not too hard’ to refer to, nobody can be in any doubt where the boundaries lie, can they?

Next week, they’re moving on to the drink drive laws. The current limits will be replaced by a new one of “not too much.” And the same thing will happen with speed limits too. All the current limits are to be scrapped and replaced with a new all encompassing limit of “Not too fast”. Absolutely brilliant.

Speaking of idiots in power, the next story
was about Ken Livingstone...

I don’t know whether you know, but central London roads get a little bit crowded, especially at rush hour. So Ken had this great idea this week, of closing off a lot of said roads just as people were trying to get home from work, and allowing the Formula 1 racing teams to show off in their cars. Apparently it was a promotion for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

So what better place to do it than in
the centre of London at rush hour?

The reason Ken thought this was a good idea (and as a committed tree hugger, this is astonishing) is that he wants to bring the race to the streets of London. His reason, and I quote, was that...

“People find it difficult and expensive to get out to Silverstone.”

No Ken, people (or at least the 85% of the population who don’t live there) find it difficult and expensive to get into London. But isn’t that typical of the people in power in the UK? They live and work in the capital and see everything from that perspective. Now if they lived and worked in the spiritual, cultural and literal centre of the country which just happens to be Lancashire, I’m sure common sense would start to prevail.

They probably won’t want to move, so I’m prepared to take on the job, just so long as I don’t have to take part in any tedious elections. Maybe someone could arrange a bloodless military coup.

Anyway, with the news now out of the way, and my blood pressure steadily rising, I returned to Channel 4 and the delights of ‘Wife Swap’. I don’t know whether you’ve seen the programme, but here’s how it works...

Two husbands swap wives for a week or so. For the first few days the replacement wife has to run the house by the original wife’s rules. Half way through the swap, she gets to run the house by her rules.

To liven things up a bit, the producers put together people who are never going to get along. In the red corner there is usually a couple not too far removed from Wayne and Waynetta Slob, but without the charm or table manners. In the blue corner is the solid middle class couple... think Tom and Barbara from the Good Life and you’ll not be too far away. It’s a classic battle of opposites... rich against poor, underclass against middle class, good against evil... take your pick which is which.

The idea is supposed to be that they each learn from the other,
but the reality is somewhat different.

What’s interesting is that there is almost always a correlation between the amount of structure, discipline and order in the families’ lives, and their respective financial position.

The comparatively wealthy families always have rules and procedures in place which broadly govern what they do, how they do it, and how they inter-relate with each other. Wayne and Waynetta don’t like rules. Meals are eaten ‘whenever’ and ‘wherever’, household tasks are done ‘whenever’ and by ‘whoever’... and kids are left unconstrained by rules or routine - free to ‘express themselves’. The end result of all this is chaos... which Wayne and Waynetta don’t mind at all.

But then, when Waynetta is plunged into a household where people have obligations and there are tasks to be completed, she gets very agitated and upset. Within a few days, she starts to realise that these people have so much more than her, and it’s probably because they do things differently, which makes her even more upset. And she deals with this by lashing out at the poor bloke who’s been lumbered with her for the week...

He’s boring, he’s a wimp, he lets his wife walk all over him because he helps around the house and spends time with the kids. Not like her bloke who spends 90% of his time either pissed or asleep. Now there’s a real man! She shouts, she screams, she does everything she can to try to justify her existence... at least to herself.

And when it comes around to her turn to run the house, she’s determined to show them the light. This invariably consists of two things. Do no housework for a week and...

“We’re gonna ‘ave a partay!!”

And here lies the perfect combination of pleasure, gratification and work avoidance which keeps people like this in exactly the same financial position for their entire lives.

If you ever want a clear picture of why some families prosper and others never get anywhere, watch Wife Swap.

Well that was enough TV for one night. Big Brother was on next, and even I have to draw the line somewhere. And besides... there are only so many words you can write while eating your supper!




A NIGHT BY THE TELLYSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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