Something For The Weekend (105)
By Steve Wade
When I was a kid there weren't many choices. The Dandy or Beano; Corky The Cat or Desperate Dan - you might go for the Topper but there wasn't much else (Jackie perhaps - if you liked air-hostesses). Buying your sweeties was the same: Rolos or Toffos; Fruit Pastels or Fruit Gums; Spangles or Acid Drops; Mint Polo or Fruit Polo - within any category the choice was between two or three and not much more. Choice was limited and to be honest I think we were better off for it but perhaps, as a result, my generation are not very good at choosing. That American Bill Bryson, said lack of choices was a British institution, so certain compatriots might just understand.
Possibly the kids of today are rather better equipped in that department, than we are - but I suppose if you are asked to pick between Mum and Dad when you are ten, all future choices look simple from then on.
But sooner or later the dithering has to stop and you have to pick. But choose as you may, it does not mean that you do it without suffering.
The Villa fans are doing a fair bit of suffering these days as each rival group, bidding for the club, promises everything from castles in Spain to pie in the sky. And I have to say, that going from a couple of decades of no choice at all (with Mr Ellis) to a position of choices which seem to multiply daily, does not make it any easier. Each option offers as many doubts as they offer hopes and like picking between Mom's winning smile and Dad's, the responsibility is crushing. Running screaming from the room, seems like the best option right now. Will someone gimme shelter?
From all accounts the club is set to go from toy balloon to the Hindenburg, whoever Mr Ellis et al choose - and we all know what happened to that. I tell you its pretty f***ing scary. The only option left for me and my fellow ditherers, is to slag off all the bidders, in the hope that, should Villa crash and burn, then we can take refuge in the knowledge that, we were against it from the start.
But the trouble is, that we are talking major revolution here and dithering just does not do it. Whoever it happens to be, it looks like in the short to medium term, it's going to be one hell of a ride and it also looks as though absolutely no one, will ever be in receipt of enough information to make anything like an informed choice - not as though there is a choice. So all we can do is lie back and think of Villa and hope Mr Ellis knows what he is doing. For once self-interest and Villa's interest look likely to coincide.
So it's just like they do in the quality-control department at the lollipop factory -suck it and see.
On these occasions its better to leave it to someone who knows how it feels, so here's a verse from Pope's Rap Of The Lochead:
A constant Vapour o'er the palace flies; Strange phantoms rising as the mists arise; Dreadful, as hermit's dreams in haunted shades, Or bright, as visions of expiring maids. Now glaring fiends, and snakes on rolling spires, Pale spectres, gaping tombs, and purple fires: Now lakes of liquid gold, Elysian scenes And crystal domes, and Angels in machines.
Just don't ask ME to choose.