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Friday, 27 June 2008


Nothing exciting or interesting has happened to me this week. I know this never normally holds me back when writing this, but although I have passed the time in a very pleasant way (saw the world’s fattest man when I was swimming, had a very pleasant picnic next to the biggest pile of dog’s muck I have ever seen -we didn’t see it until the end of the picnic), there is nothing I have done that has been worthy of note. Which made me think: this would never happen if my life was a musical.

I love musicals. Deeply. Even the bad ones. I am one of the few people who can sit through “A Chorus Line” and not want to hang myself. I just think they’re great. I love the heightened reality and the idea that you can get so excited or so moved that you must sing, and then limit your thoughts and words of wisdom to ones that rhyme. Having to rhyme is a real problem in songs. I’m sure Frank Sinatra would never have sung “for heaven rest us, I’m not asbestos” unless he was really stuck for a rhyme, and god knows what Snap were thinking when they thought “I’m as serious as cancer, when I tell you that rhythm is a dancer” was a stroke of lyrical genius. But even still; imagine being able to express yourself in everyday life by having a little sing a long. And when you’re having your sing a long you find that market stall holders, bin men and flower sellers all know the words, tune and are able to harmonise with you. Somewhere in to the second verse you are all able to do a massively choreographed dance routine despite never having been introduced to one another.

Of course some of the musicals fall down when they decide to have no speaking what so ever and so end up having to sing everything, no matter how dull. “Oh I am going to go to the shops, and buy some heavy things which I might drop(s).” The most horrific example is by R Kelly. Yes! He wrote a musical. It is the most awful thing I have ever seen. I have only watched bits of it on you tube as I can’t bring myself to pay £10 for it on amazon. It’s called “Trapped in the Closet” and from what I can work out it’s about a woman who is married to a cop. Sadly the woman is also having an affair with a midget. The cop comes home and despite hiding the midget in the cupboard under the sink it all comes out in the open. The greatest thing about this is that no one else speaks or sings in the musical, R Kelly sings it all. He even puts on voices for the other characters. So whilst this woman is flapping around in her nightie, ‘R’, as I like to call him, is stood in the corner singing “ the man jumped over the table and landed on the midget, the midget starts kicking and yelling out Bridget, Bridget”. It’s very important in some musicals for people to have easily rhyming names. You never get a character called Orange.

But genuinely I think musicals are brilliant. I love going to the cinema to see something that makes no attempt to be realistic and has people being moved to song and dance routines. Although it is an acquired taste I deeply love Moulin Rogue (Ewan McGregor may be a strong persuading factor in this love). But I think it is an amazing piece of film making. As are: Chicago, Mary Poppins, Bugsy Malone and the Sound of Music (although I would prefer it if it stopped after the wedding and missed out the bit about the Nazi’s).

My ambition is to make my life a musical. It’ll take a bit of doing given that I can’t sing, play any musical instruments, score music or dance but I am willing to try. Living on my own may banjax the harmonies as well but I can pop my head next door and see if Mad Mary wants to join in. I think it will make life far more enjoyable and if I don’t like it I shall sit next to a rain splattered window and sing about my favourite things until I don’t feel so bad.

Big Brother

It’s that time again. Yes, Big Brother is back. I’ve not watched it all, but I’ve seen at least two episodes which I believe entitles me to form hard and fast views about a bunch of strangers.

Sponge Bob Square Head. Weird. Changed his name from Sean Astelbury to Mario Marconi as he thinks he looks like Sylvester Stallone. I know. It makes no sense. It’s like me saying I look a bit like Clare from Steps and changing my name to Ted. I don’t look like Clare from Steps, by the way. I look like something out the Beano. Much like Mario. Likes to think of himself as principled and all knowing. Actually just a very strange man.

Mario’s other half. Although for the first weekend had to pretend she’d never met him whilst Steph pretended to be his girlfriend. Seems to be confused on the differences between being up for eviction and the electric chair. “Mario we could be up for eviction, you must sleep with Steph and convince everyone she’s your girlfriend”. “We must do this, we could be up for eviction!”. All said in a breathless, nervy voice, like she’s in the resistance trying to escape the Nazis.

Thick and moody. Now I can see her point about not wanting to share a bed with Mario or pretend he’s your boyfriend but nearly vomiting everytime he goes near you isn’t going to make anyone think you’re going out. She got in to the final 25 on Popstars the Rivals. She was thrown out as she was only 13. This was discovered by Cheryl Cole and Steph has come on Big Brother to get revenge. Bet Cheryl’s terrified. Also means we have to endure Steph singing all the time. You know the type. They sing happy birthday and Steph’s still going 20 minutes after everyone else has finished as she’s attempting harmonies and putting Mariah Carey style flourishes on every word.

Odd. Quite funny in an absolute gimp kind of way. Seems harmless enough.

There are no words. Oh hang on, yes there are. Vile cow. I loathe her. Shouts over people, refuses to listen to what people say, bullies people because she can and then says that she’s not arguing. A good reason not to do anything about knife crime in the hope that she becomes a victim.

Thinks he’s good looking so hasn’t bothered to cultivate a personality.

Interesting. Was bought up in America so hasn’t tried to copy any previous housemates. Is an Albino black man and is dealing with failing sight. Got slightly more going on than other housemates (mentioning no names Dale) so is interesting to watch.

This years camp Scottish person.

A right wing glamour model. Told Dale that she has a wisdom and life experience that only comes with age and Dale has nothing like that. This is fine until you realise, and indeed Dale pointed out, that Jennifer is only seven months older than Dale. She seemed to take this as him agreeing with her. Therefore I can only assume that she still has the mind set of a 6 year old and counts her age in halves and quarters.

This year’s thick housemate. But with a twist – I don’t hate her. She is genuinely very sweet and is not pretending she doesn’t know what a car is or anything. Just a very sweet, slightly thick, girl.

Michael is a blind, cross dressing comedian who also works as a radio producer. Given that he is not even slightly amusing you have to hope that he is slightly more skilled as a radio producer. Some housemates have decided to interpret him being blind as him also having had a lobotomy and being incapable of doing any wrong. Mikey has decided to go along with this and I applaud his game playing. I’m sure at some point he’ll decide to reveal that he lives alone and has a complicated job and is therefore capable of getting himself a glass of water but if people are willing to do it for you why not let them?

I like him. Facially he reminds me of the Pilsbury Dough Boy but slightly less creepy. Seems quite normal and laid back. Works as a toy demonstrator which surely isn’t a job.

Shreiky. Leaps around all day. Speaks all day. To be fair doesn’t have an ounce of malice in her but if I was in there I’d drown her and make it look like an accident.

Actually I’d pin Rachel’s murder on Rebecca. She is fantastically annoying. She wobbled in wearing what looked like an old nighty with a belt strapped round it and then proceeded to scream solidly for 10 minutes. Was the first one to strip off and throw herself in the pool. In short she’s awful. In real life she works as a nursery nurse. Yep. People pay her to look after their children.

An “executive chef”. Nope, me neither.

A chameleon. Can on occasion seem very pleasant and then talks to Alexandra and becomes an uber bitch. Very pretty but as we all know this is not enough in Big Brother.

All in all they seem less annoying that last years lot. There will be the usual rows. A lot of people who like to slag people off all the time and then when someone asks them to shut up they will say that they are being “disrespected”. At some point someone (I’m guessing Rebecca or “The Bex” as she calls herself) will play the thick card and start pretending they can’t read or make tea in the hope this makes them adorable and cute rather than worrying. I reckon Rex will walk in the next couple of weeks, Steph will be first out, Mario and Lisa will be repulsive and I’m going to go out on a limb and say Mohammed will win.


I have found a way to buy birthday presents for impossible people. Think of what you would like to get them if money were no object, google it and then realise that money is an object and then think laterally and get them something nothing like the original thing you thought of. It’s like that game you had to play at junior school where no matter what you said the answer was “Grey elephants in Denmark”. The upshot of this is that this is how we bought my dad’s birthday present. He turned 60 last week and he is not an easy man to buy for. But we struck gold. Gold in the form of …. Personalised Monopoly! And some glasses for 100 people in the third world (he’s an optician – there is a link). But the Monopoly is great. We’ve changed all the street names – goes through where his mum and dad were born, where they met, where he was born, went to school, met my mum, worked and ends up with where they’d like to retire. It is in short; genius. Although he did open it and point out two mistakes we made.

The best present I ever got was a cabbage patch doll. Being terrified of most dolls and having parents who shunned most commercial goods (you want a Mr Frosty? But why? Here’s some ice and a hammer) I was delighted to have a toy that wouldn’t make me soil myself and was recognised by other children (unlike my other doll Flang Wang Ci Agnes, who was a “rice paddy doll” from Hong Kong. Had her own passport but took some explaining). My Cabbage Patch Doll was called Suzette Dahlia and accompanied me everywhere. Even to church where some woman in a very unchristian manner felt the need to shout out “ooh innit ugly”. I can only hope she was talking about the doll.

Advertising was better when we were young. Mainly because the adverts didn’t have to be truthful. Mr Frosty could produce delicious icy drinks rather than requiring the strength of Geoff Capes to produce a small melted piece of ice. You could cook the delicious meal of swiss roll and baked beans on an a la carte Kitchen although when you used it in real life all you could really do was open and shut the oven door. Now what is there? I am going to go out on a limb and say that the only three memorable adverts in recent years are Cillit Bang (I bought some, it doesn’t work, but that’s the power of advertising), Shelia’s wheels and that Frosties advert with the intensely annoying child.

I am easily influenced by adverts. Not that they make me go out and buy stuff (with the notable exception of Cillit Bang) but they do make me change the way I speak. I will quite happily tell people that I am “not happy Jan” and if someone asks me how I am feeling I will reply by gunning both hands and saying “I’m excited”. Now both of these adverts are at least 5 years out of date and were shown on the other side of the world and in one case the person who pioneered the saying is dead (R.I.P Big Kev) but that doesn’t stop me. A while back in our office a girl was ringing round Monsoon stores looking for a dressing gown. We persuaded her that it would be a good idea to start each enquiry with “it’s just possible you could save my life”. This amused us enough but it was the spontaneous outburst of “You do” that really made us laugh. And that JR Hartley advert must be a good 20 years old.

Why is it that we still can remember to “drinkapintamilkaday”? “Shake and Vac to put the freshness back” and that “Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet”? But can then watch an advert for a car and barely be able to realise it’s for a car let alone what brand it’s for? We need to start singing again in adverts. It’s the only way forward. Singing and lying – that’s how you flog stuff to kids.