Friday, 28 December 2007

Strictly unfair

I had heard that if you hung around with an addict for long enough there was a real danger that you would become addicted yourself. Well Mrs B, a self confessed Strictly Come Dancing Junkie for a number of years, finally managed to infect me. I tried hard to fight it but it was a losing battle. It all started so innocently with me recording the main show in case Mrs B was out, building up to recording the Weekday show (1) with the wonderfully named Claudia Winkleman. With Mrs B watching so much of it, however, my exposure increased and thus the inevitable slide into the dark and murky world that is celebrity hoofer watching.

I now find myself shouting at the judges with a passion normally reserved for something more important like football. When Bruno, the over-excitable Italian pratt gave Brendon “I desperately want to get into Kelly’s undergarments” Cole and Kelly “Complete airhead” Brook a 10, despite a blatant transgression of the rules. The air turned blue in the household, I can tell you, a gross miscarriage of justice. Add Len “I’m such a nice guy, unless you disagree with me” Goodman into the mix and not forgetting Arlene “old enough to know better” Phillips and Craig Revel “seems like a nice boy” Horwood cat-fighting it out over the hunky and sweet blokes and you have a recipe for my Saturday night from hell.

Mrs B's Strictly Dance party Disaster - well me basically, the party itself was great fun...
Mrs B got her dearest wish and our residence was thrown open to host "Mrs B's Strictly Christmas Dance Party". Everything went perfectly to plan, except me I'm afraid. Poor Mrs B expected me to turn up in a smart DJ. I had even gone out of my way and got my DJ cleaned for the event. Unfortunately, after I had collected the DJ, I found a completely hideous, yellow and red flouncie little number which called (or rather screamed) to me from a Market Stall I was passing. It was called a "Rumba-man" outfit and was made of the finest polyester that money can buy. This quality garment came complete with a reassuring little sticker, which I interpreted as "Do not expose to direct heat" taking this to mean "no ironing required". I think it actually read "Do not expose to naked flame" but that doesn't allow me to even attempt to justify this purchase, other than avoiding smokers which I try to do as a rule anyway....

I managed to dress in the shirt, complete with stick-on hairy chest and gold medallion then sneak out of the house to pick up a couple of the revellers, intending to use them as a smoke screen when I unveiled myself to Mrs B, in a full frontal Latin attack. The plan went fairly well until I reached my friends Kirsty & Joe's house. I flounced up to the door (Let's face it, the shirt would not allow any other approach). It happened to be Kirsty's mum that opened the door, a woman who I had never met before. She did her best to smile, managed to say, as she slowly looked me up and down "Very nice" (in a slow measured style, used when you can't believe what you are saying) and then she grabbed her dog. I thought she was worried that I might attempt to steal it or something worse, but it turned out that she was just putting its (I'm assuming "it" is a "her") pink diamond-studded Christmas Collar on (my guess is that they were not actual diamonds) to be honest I'm not sure who looked worse - me or the dog (sorry Kirsty/Lorna).

On reflection I can see why Mrs B was a little underwhelmed by my attire for the evening....

With Kirsty and Joe as moral support (although I suspect they were still sniggering at my shirt) I faced the wrath of Mrs B. My reception was a little on the frosty side, more of a stunned silence than muted celebration. Fortunately after the initial shock wore off, Mrs B saw the funny side with the added bonus that she hardly noticed the smoke machine and Strobe light that made their inaugural appearances (they had both been around for ages but this was the first opportunity for them to break cover and come out into the open). The strobe went down particularly well with the men folk at least, who seemed to spend much of the evening staring intently at it and going off into a little trance world of their own, probably trying to look anywhere but at my shirt......As for the Strictly Come Dancing competition itself, most people started the evening supporting Alesha but switched allegiance to Matt, who most of us felt shaded it on the night. Not that the judges seemed to notice, doing very good impressions of a football referee and missing the blindingly obvious. So that's it for at least another year, the TV recorder can now have a well earned rest from its relentless seven days a week schedule. As a final note I feel it is only fair to point out to Mrs B that the World Cup is only every four years, not annually, lasts 8 weeks less (probably 10 from an England team's point of view ) and is not on every night..... "I just want to know where my sainthood is?" "What do you mean I lost it when I put on on that yellow and red monstrosity!"

In order to avoid being sued, for using copyright material Al, Deidre, Joe and Kirsty pose as the Strictly Judges - Graig, Arlene, Len and Bruno respectively. Frankly I'm shocked by Len and Bruno's antics, just as well the smoke machine obscures most of the image......

After failing to make the Judges panel, Sharon and John tuck into some consolation cheese.

As the tension mounts, even Joe, who attended the event under sufferance, appears to be enjoying himself..

Mrs B, like the cat that got the cream, as she thoroughly enjoys her party...


(1) This is where a certain amount of double standards start to crop up. While Mrs B seems to enjoy most sports (if you don’t include, boxing, snooker and darts) she has a real problem with the excessive build up to any event and even worse the endless autopsies after the event. Yet she is more than happy to watch 5 days worth of “Strictly Come” autopsy, “So-en-so’s left foot went 1/8” to far and their Chasie watcha-macall-its were simply atrocious. This also incorporates Strictly Come build up from hell with hours of debate on what they will be wearing, dancing to and how’s it looking, they have now had almost 30 seconds of practice and they are just not getting it. To cap it all it is now on Sunday as well, seven days a week Aaaaggggghhhhhhh

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Featuring midlife crisis & a West End Theatre disaster

Midlife crisis
Having reached forty I decided it was time to indulge myself and show some outward signs of a midlife crisis (other than writing a Blog). The first obvious thing to do was rush out and get a Mini Cooper convertible. Despite driving in a period that you need a secured bank loan to just pass a petrol station let alone stop and put any liquid gold into the car, it has been great fun. Even driving with the roof down in temperatures (1) that are less than appropriate and will probably result in moving my midlife crisis back to my early twenties, has not been enough to dampen my spirit.

West End Theatre disaster
I treated Mrs B to a night out at a West End Theatre (Man behind the Iron Mask), in the mistaken belief that if the show has made it to the West End it can’t be that bad. I now know that this is simply not true, how could I have guessed that the writer had put up £500,000 pounds of his own money to honour the dying wish of his wife that the show should have a run in the West End (2) I can only surmise that either she wanted him to go broke, making it harder for him to find a replacement for her or was suffering from some dreadful wasting disease that impaired her judgment (apparently she saw the potential that the show had. Those must have been some powerful drugs she was on when she read his script; I bet most of the audience could have done with some to null the pain). It felt like we had been trapped in a timeshare sales conference and the only way to make it out alive was to sign up for every one of the hard to shift properties on their books. Following what felt like the purchase of 64 weeks of strictly non-transferable accommodation, we were released onto the London streets, stripped of all dignity and lacking compassion for dying old ladies with judgement issues.

Breaking News
McG caught a mouse, which, for those of you who have followed his life story will be aware, is somewhat of a miracle. It would not have surprised me if it had been frozen and wrapped in a Tescos’ shopping bag, but fair play to him (3) he gets the credit for his first kill in nine years. I felt pretty bad swiping it off him, but it was worth it when I presented it to Mrs B who gave me an extra helping of cream and a rub behind the ears, although it took weeks to get rid of the taste from my mouth.......

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(1) I have seen a number of brass monkeys kicking spherical objects along the road, all of whom have refused lifts unless I put the roof up.

No brass monkeys here, although some people can't believe that
I have the balls to wear the hat and goggles
- All I will say is "They keep me warm!"

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(2) Run is not really the appropriate term; It was more of a stumble to be honest.

Mrs B attempts a run worthy of "Man Behind the Iron Mask"....

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(3) Without forensic evidence proving that it had been handled by a number of other animals of a feline persuasion, indicating McG had got it on the "cat market".

McG & Mischief - Rare photo of them sitting together,they
normaly get on as well as Celtic & Rangers fans........

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