Something For The Weekend (97)
By Steve Wade
To be frank, a good and virtuous person can be a bit annoying, so its a good job you don't meet too many in a lifetime, if any at all. Speaking personally and if I'm honest, my occasional attempts at being nice tend to take it out of me, and usually requires a little lie down to get over it. The trouble is, unlike Earl on the telly (of My Name Is fame), who for the sake of a few laughs, weekly finds that karma is as predictable as a Newton's cradle, I find it not to be so. In real life the old Jewish saying about no good turn going unpunished seems a more accurate prediction of consequences, than the, do good and expect good in return model. If it's a system, it's a bit of a messy system. It seems a bit more like spread betting than an absolutely predictable and identifiable certainty. Shit happens no matter how good you think you've been. Its all very discouraging.
And I still get annoyed by people who build a career on just being nice; Michael Palin say. And definitely a sense of inadequacy in the face of the simple kindness of someone like Alan Bennett. I can convince myself that perhaps Palin's a schmuck behind all that disarming charm but the story of Alan Bennett and the Lady In The Van, makes me feel like a moral weakling. Basically, our Alan, of Cambridge Footlights and Talking Heads fame, allowed some yampy malodorous, not very grateful old woman, to park her van (which was her abode) on his drive and live there for several years. Buying a Big Issue is hard enough, so this story of kindness met with rudeness and ingratitude, would be an Everest ascent for me. You might not need oxygen but you would need a gasmask apparently but we won't go there.
What if he wanted to sell his house or something. No one would want to buy a house which came with its own mad woman, or mad man for that matter. Just
imagine if you were trying to sell a house or a business, say, and you had to explain to any prospective buyers, that although you still wanted top market value, the sale was entirely dependent on them agreeing that an old man would continue to live in the garden shed and would want a full say in how the house was furnished and decorated. Its impossible to imagine really, that anyone would have the cheek to ask, or that anyone would be daft enough to agree. You can't imagine an advert that ran - Very substantial Villa, modernised, huge lawns, comes with its own eccentric old gentleman. It just would not happen.
But talking about eccentric old gentlemen, I noticed that The Apprentice has given up all pretences that it is about the search and the rewarding of, budding business talent and has lurched into a game of hunt the freak of the week, which culminates in the afore mentioned eccentric gentleman, declaring someone 'fired!' but with an increasing amount of added personal abuse - Anne Robinson meets HR. It seems that all we the audience really want, is to be able to identify with the rich and the powerful, and for a few moments enjoy giving someone the sack. It is a sort of a Stockholm syndrome thing, where we participate in something that psychologically
prepares us for the time when we give up all rights at work entirely.
Freak of the week this week, was some hand-picked neurotic Brummie called Joe Cameron, who managed to substantiate the theory that having your hair permed, does something to the female brain, as first demonstrated by the original bunny-boiler Glen Close. It never did Kevin Keegan much good either.
Anyway, whatever the ultimate effect it has on the public's view of animal-testing for home-perm products, at least some Villa fans seemed to take up the theme of sacking someone on the telly with enthusiasm, and they had their crayons out last weekend, in a flash, and tried to brighten up a rather drab afternoon, watching their team go through the motions (motions as in shit) against Fulham. Predictably the Villa team co-operated rather enthusiastically and by dishing up yet another helping of tripe, the fans' time spent shopping for coloured pencils and cartridge paper was not wasted, as they could have hardly have used their creations if Villa had won. I just hope they enjoyed a profit at the bookies based on such prescience. Even so, if they got themselves Blue Peter badges for their creations in cardboard, I just hope they didn't go selling them on Ebay. The promise of free admission to Villa, might have tempted them to take some such evasive action.
This week, after struggling to beat a team with the worst away record in the Premiership, Villa take on Arsenal in sixth place and who managed single-handedly, midweek, to remind the TV audience what all that 'beautiful game' bollocks, is actually referring to, as they won another Champions League game rather convincingly. The chances are though, that after his hospitality tour of his old Highbury haunts and frotting the bust of Herbert Chapman, the Villa manager is in danger of dropping into Colonel Nicholson mode and forgetting which side he's on. So after he's protested his lack of playing resources and told the press, what a bunch of lovely but sadly talentless lads he's lumbered with, I fully expect him to finish off the press-conference with a resounding: 'Come On Arsenal!'
It will be April 1st and I am aware that I chuckled rather too maniacally over the Blues getting mauled by Liverpool (too much hair gel perhaps), so I expect karma to come a knocking and to kick me squarely up my claret and blue arse, at least three, if not four or more times.
If not, Villa are better than Juventus.