Wednesday, February 18, 2009

“Enthusiastic Self-Starter with GSOH…”

The big fella’s almost five weeks in now and has his feet firmly under the desk in the Oval Office. It’s like any new job: I reckon he’s got past the enthusiasm common among new starters and is now probably spending a high percentage of his day on Facebook, emailing jokes to his mates or nicking Post-It notes. Actually, he’s probably not nicking Post-It notes given that he’s “working from home”; he probably just logs in first thing in the morning, ambles around in his pants watching Loose Women and sends the occasional email to give the impression that he’s actively hard at work. Pretty soon he’ll start having a shave once a week and throwing sickies.

In all fairness though, he’s earned it and all power to him. He’s now one of the few people alive who doesn’t have to lie on his CV – having a job title of The Most Powerful Man in the World is difficult to top and not something many people can boast. If I put that on my CV, eyebrows might raise skywards among prospective employers who would immediately question my sanity. Still, I like to think I’d have got the inauguration speech right.

“He fucked that right up” commented my lovely wife, and I’m afraid she was right.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cha-Cha-Cha? Sh-Sh-Shit…

There’s a question I’ve been subconsciously pondering for years now but it’s like one of those Chinese puzzles in that, the more you contemplate it, the more difficult it becomes to answer. Who on earth watches Strictly Come Dancing? I’m genuinely baffled, not only that it’s lasted for more than the odd series, but that it commands an audience of millions. Who in God’s name are these people? I didn’t think there were that many lobotomy patients in the country.

Having a stab at the demographic (not literally, that’s just wishful thinking), I can only assume they’re either individuals too lethargic to raise a sweaty bingo-winged arm to reach for the remote to change channel, or are immobile hospital patients unable to turn the TV off despite frantic efforts to summon a nurse.

It’s dancing for God’s sake! The only possible entertainment value dancing can ever possess is watching awkward men in nightclubs, stomping around with telltale beads of sweat rolling down their brows, undergoing the ritual humiliation synonymous with trying to engage a member of the opposite sex with desperate gyrations. This would be a much more entertaining show, and one the producers of SCD should seriously think of adopting:

“John Sergeant now takes to the floor, exhibiting the classic ‘white-man’s overbite’, clutching a half pint of snakebite with one hand while using the other for counterbalance, gazing lasciviously at his prospective partner, sweat stains under the arms of his best Top Man shirt… etc.”

The judges would have to rate his chances based on cringeworthy technique, ‘gone-to-bed’ eyes and percentage of the room he manages to fill with the tangy odour of Joop!.

I reckon it’s the shallow celebrity element which is the cause of the inflated viewing figures. You could screen Celebrity Toenail Clipping or Celebrity Manure Sculpture, and the same people would watch it in their droves.

That said, Celebrity Big Brother was pretty good this year. I liked the bit where Coolio had to wear a car costume and get sprayed with foam in a miniature car wash in the garden every time Rose Royce was played. Or there was the bit where that chap who played Mini-Me had to dress up like Lionel Richie and sing a duet with Ulrika Johnsson. In fact, the only thing it was missing was a manure sculpture task. Still, maybe next year…

Friday, February 13, 2009

"With [luke]warmest wishes"

"Happy 100th Birthday!” bore the message on a card I spotted while ambling round one of those cheap card shops the other day.

While the specificness of cards is a good thing, I can’t help but think the market for those commemorating such a comparatively rare event is fairly limited, and I’m surprised that some manufacturer somewhere has deemed it to be economically viable to print a stash of them up.

Apparently, there are about 8,000 centenarians in the UK. Given that the population of Trowbridge is about, ooh, at a guess… 28,163, there’s probably about three or four of them knocking around the local area. The chances of well-wishing relatives of selecting a card to commemorate such a monumental achievement of longevity from a crap collection in a sub-Clintons “three-for-a-quid” card shop is, however, I believe minimal.

If I hit 100 years old, I’d want Olympic-style fireworks and cards hand-fashioned from pulp from the rarest trees; not some wafer-thin half-hearted tawdry effort which I’d be embarrassed to display on the mantelpiece.

It didn’t even come with one of those flashing badges.

Here’s One For You James…

Footage from the Australian Open tennis tournament was on the news earlier this week, including the closing moments of the men’s wheelchair final. For able-bodied individuals to fling themselves around a tennis court is demanding enough, but doing it in any kind of vehicle while brandishing a racquet and having balls belted towards you at tip-top speed must be nigh-on impossible.

“They should invent wheelchairs with those balls underneath, like Dysons,” mused my wife while we sat there, hugely impressed at the ability of the individuals taking part.

Come on James! Let’s see you put your Ball™ Technology to good use and come up with an ultra-maneuverable chair. Balance would, of course, be the primary obstacle – maybe four little rocket boosters could be used to steady the device – but such problems should be mere piffle to an engineer of JD’s undoubted talents. The man is, after all, worth £1.1 bn. (I’ll say it again - 1.1 billion pounds)…

Right, I’ll shut up about him now (though I can’t believe he’s been allowed to trademark the word “Ball”…)

Hot Birds

Strange top story on the Beeb a couple of days ago in which a chap was caught trying to smuggle a couple of live pigeons into Australia by popping them in Jiffy Bags and Sellotaping them to his legs. Looking at the accompanying picture, I can’t be the only person who’s noticed the hairyness of his limbs. I bet the little fellas were warm as toast on their inbound flight.

Apparently, airport police also seized eggs, seeds and an undeclared aubergine from him. He must have waded through customs like John Wayne, or some carrier-bagless Ready Steady Cook contestant ready to empty his pockets onto Ainsley’s table. Maybe he too felt the social pressure of not accepting a bag when asked and chose to inventively secrete his purchases about his person instead.

I ate pigeon in a restaurant once. It made me ill.