Sunday, January 31, 2010
John Terry is a Rat-Faced Knicker-Model-Botherer, or, My Daily Mise-en-Abyme Hell, Never Mind the Other Things I Find to Worry About
One thing I’ve noticed in my life, and Lord knows there haven’t been many, is that I am never more than a prompt or two in the nearest media outlet away from a spot of absurdist mise-en-abyme, and this worries me. For instance, I see John ‘Champions League Vodka’ Terry (slogan: ‘Bottled in Moscow’) has got into a spot of misplaced-winkie-and-tabloids related bother. He attempted to take out not just an injunction against the media to prevent them reporting on his knicker-model-bothering ways, but a super-injunction to prevent them reporting that they were unable to report on his knicker-model-bothering ways. But would he then have had to take out a hyper-injunction to prevent them reporting on the fact that they were unable to report on the fact of his knicker-model-bothering ways, I wonder, and there’s my aforementioned mise-en-abyme in the bag. It could quickly spiral into a very time-consuming activity indeed, could it not. Someone once told me of putting an out-of-office automated reply on his email before going on holidays but sending an email just before he did so, which prompted an automated out-of-office reply at the other end, which then generated an out-of-office reply at his end, and so on, in a cycle terminable only in death or the uninvention of the computer, whichever comes soonest, a bit like the story Evelyn Waugh used to tell about his father’s thank you cards for birthday cards which generated thank you cards for the thank you cards which then etc. If there was any way of transferring his travails (travaux?) to the computer example I’ve just described, perhaps John Terry could bludgeon this story to death with a flood of automated out-of-orifice replies to requests for comment? Yes, that’s exactly what he should do.
In other news, I see a branch of Tesco’s in Wales has introduced a dress code to discourage people from wandering round its aisles in their pyjamas. ‘I’ve got lovely pairs of pyjamas, with bears and penguins on them. I’ve worn my best ones today, just so I look tidy’, snorted Elaine Carmody, in an I-really-am-too-lazy-to-dress-myself-have-you-got-a-problem-with-that kind of way. ‘Do they have any idea how difficult it is to get three kids off to school when you are a single parent? You haven’t got time for a cup of tea, never mind getting all dolled up.’ Which would be why I wander the streets dressed only in my underwear after staying up late the previous night doing a simplex crossword, and with my balls hanging out if I’ve gone for the cryptic instead. Put your goddamn trousers on women, with bears and penguins on them if necessary. I, however, am not putting my underpants on, because unlike getting your mewling brats out of bed, doing a cryptic crossword the night before - that is actually work.
The above two examples raise the question of standards and relative standards, even. Which brings me to my third point. Are appalling criminals in one particular field universally amoral or do they get to be judgemental about forms of criminality outside their field of, em, expertise? There is a sign on the back of Hull buses listing consequences of drink-driving, one of which is ‘Dropped by Friends’. Suppose you were a heroin dealer or paedophile and your fellow heroin dealer or paedophile, let’s call him Keith, got done for drink driving. What would you say to him when he rang you up for a bit of heroin dealing or bairn-worrying? Sorry, don’t want to know you, I think that kind of thing is disgusting? But if that seems disproportionate why don’t heroin dealers and paedophiles always make a point of drink-driving, since it’s hardly any worse than what they’re already doing, is it? Isn’t there a consistency issue here?
I bet you wouldn’t catch a heroin dealer or paedophile walking round Tesco in bear and penguin pyjamas though. These people have some standards, you know.
This is the kind of thing I walk the streets thinking about, believe me.