Thursday, 20 August 2009

It's hip to be square. Isn't it ... ?

When will I learn?

Making conversation in the car the other day, with my "verbally economical" younger son, I sought to display my knowledge of Young People's Music. He's off to the Reading Festival soon.

Me: "So, who'll you be seeing at Reading?"
Him: "(Grunt)....lots of bands.....(mutter)"
Me: "Like who?"
Him: "(sigh) you'd have heard of...(grunt)"
Me: "Try me! What about You Me At Six?"
Him: "Yeah...(mumble)"
Me (emboldened by early success): "What about that other lot you like, you know, Beat 123?"
Him (incredulous look, shakes head, speaks r e a l l y s l o w l y for the hard-of-thinking) : " I think you mean BLINK 182 ?"
Me: " Ah. Yes....that'll be the one."

Ho hum. Another cruel blow. Second of the day. The morning had already struck me down when, in conversation with my hairdresser (a pretty, 20-something Kiwi who's about to go travelling) we got on to the hazards of hitchhiking. "It's ok if it's someone like you, y'know, an older man.....".

HELP! I'm not ready for the Pipe & Slippers phase. I hate slippers. There must be someone, somewhere, to whom I still appear at least slightly cool. Surely? Please...?

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

There's been a murrrder....!

Riffling through some old paperwork the other day, I renewed my acquaintance with a treasured cutting from the Glasgow Herald, published in 1993. It made me guffaw then, and it still works its magic all these years on. Here's the deal:

Central Scotland Police were called in to investigate a campaign of hoax letters, sent to people in Glasgow and Edinburgh and purporting to offer the recipients the opportunity to appear, as a corpse, in the splendid tv crime drama Taggart.

The production company, Scottish Television, was inundated with complaints from outraged people who'd been told that they were considered ideal candidates in the producers' quest for "someone with a natural, sad, haggard expression, deformed torso, misshapen legs and a large bottom". The letter went on to explain that the person would play the part of a murder victim, and be seen for around five seconds, "naked, face-up and in a contorted position on Glasgow Green".

What a job description! Why do I find this so funny? I don't know, but it has brought me tears of joy over the years.

Never mind the outraged complainants, I wonder how many actually applied for the role?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

To Hull and back...

Just back from a trip to Hull, the latest venue for the event often disparagingly termed "Radio Nerd Night". It's always a fun evening, as an assortment of folks from the radio biz get together to scoff and quaff, exchange outrageous gossip and lapse into dark mutterings about the shortcomings of various items of modern broadcasting apparatus.

Hull was curiously quiet, last night. Very strange. It was almost as if there'd been some sort of emergency evacuation of the town, but we'd somehow missed the announcement. Surely word of our impending arrival isn't so drastic as to cause the locals to leave in droves?

By the end of the evening, some of the population had returned. I know this because we encountered two fine representatives in the street shortly after midnight. As we meandered in the general direction of our hotel, along a pleasant cobbled street, two girls clad in the attire of "lasses out on the lash on a summer's eve" (ie not much!) came wobbling towards us.

One tripped on the cobbles and tumbled both sideways and headlong - a good trick if you can do it - into the arms of her friend (sideways) and the lead members of our party (headlong). There was much squealing and guffawing. I decided to contribute some of my most calming words to the incident: "It's alright, we're doctors." From the shadows, into which the tumbling girlie had now stumbled, burst the squawked reply, in broad Yorkshire tones, delicately matured in fags and booze: "Doctors, my f*cking arse!".
"Well, that's not actually my specialism..." I ventured, before deciding on a tactical withdrawal, lest my medical qualifications be put to the test.