What do you mean I’m a pretentious ass? Surely everyone uses words like peregrination in their day-to-day speech? No? Just me? So is this why people start edging away from me whenever I open my mouth in public…?
Anyway, these are some things that I noticed and then thought about a bit when I went for a walk recently. I know, it’s amazing, I can walk and process thought at the same time. Just don’t ask me to chew gum.
Several bill posters informed me, in an excitable font, that John-James (Jon-James? can’t remember, don’t care) from Big Brother would be appearing (or possibly had appeared – can’t remember, don’t care) ‘live onstage’ at a city centre nightclub. The nightclub in question usually describes itself as providing the ‘happiest’ and ‘bounciest’ ‘party-nite’ in the city. It is not a place I frequent, partly because the word ‘bounciest’, in the context of a nite night out, makes me shudder to the very depths of my coal-black, misanthropic soul, but mainly because I’m not 17 years old, basted to a bizarre orange colour with fake tan, and using an older relative’s ID to blag my way past security.
But here’s my question: what’s he going to do while he’s live onstage? Sing a song? Dance? Put a ferret down his trousers? Deliver a brief but informative lecture on the mediaeval guild system?
I can’t claim to have followed every moment of his time in ‘the house’, but from what I can gather Jon-James (or, possibly, John-James) was a frequently inert, occasionally belligerent, Australian-inflected, mascara-tinged lump who formed a “relationship” with the daughter of one of The Wurzels. It is perhaps churlish of me to bring it up, but none of this suggests to me a man who will naturally shine on a nightclub stage. I mean, what’s he going to do, just stand there looking mildly sheepish while a couple of hundred teenage women, and the occasional tragically misguided poof, scream and try to have their photo taken with him, probably for an exorbitant fee?
Actually, don’t answer that.
I find it disconcerting when a uniformed policeman is simultaneously:
- Younger than me
- Shorter than me
- Prettier than me
- Way, way gayer than me
I mean, it makes preserving your seething contempt for the strong arm of the authoritarian state so much harder when you find yourself idly wondering what one of its representatives would look like wearing nothing but his own handcuffs and a cheeky grin.
Insert double entendres focussed on the words ‘truncheon’ and ‘helmet’ here. Also the word ‘insert’.
An advertising hoarding I passed encouraged me to buy a KitKat Chunky, with the added enticement that, if I was lucky, I might receive free gig tickets. This is all well and good, but my immediate question is: what gig? It’s not like a gig is a single generic thing, after all. I mean, I’d happily shell out for a chocolate bar on the basis that I might get to see Eels. I’d be a whole lot less keen if the prize involved being part of a large, rhythmically-gyrating mass with The Saturdays somewhere in the middle of it.
There will now be a short pause to enable certain members of my readership to enjoy that mental image.
I walked past a fast-food restaurant specialising in ‘American Fried Chicken’. It has large signs in its windows announcing that their food is served with Bangin’ Bhangra Sauce, an Indian chutney that is, according to its website, produced in Norfolk. The restaurant is clearly owned and/or operated by the same Greek-origin family who run the kebab/ fish-and-chips/ pizza takeaway next door. At the time I passed by, a table of customers were having a loud and obviously hilarious conversation in an eastern European language with someone standing in the doorway. Other customers were watching the television, which was showing Coronation Street.
Isn’t multiculturalism wonderful? Ten years ago, that scene would have been different (the food would have been more compartmentalised – no US chicken with Indian sauce – and it wouldn’t have been eastern Europeans eating there), and in another ten years it’ll no doubt be different again. I know some people feel scared of, or threatened by, all this rapid change, but I think it’s a real privilege to live in a time of flux, even if the cultural anxieties thrown up by the process do produce the occasional fundamentalist bomber, or the resurgence of far-right ideology.
Give me this over the bland, homogenised, don’t-rock-the-boat 1950s any day. This is just so much more interesting. Plus, as well, I’m quite appreciative of the fact that poofs no longer risk imprisonment every time we have sex. It’s funny how a little niggle like that can put you off whole historical eras.