Thursday 28 May 2009

I also at one point used the phrase 'Slight Disimprovement'.

That was dispiriting. I was just called up by ICM, the pollsters. And it wasn't a boring one about how many holidays I take or how much yoghurt I buy, it was a proper one about general elections and the expenses row. Great! Like everyone else, I've always secretly felt it was a shame that these polls consist entirely of people who aren't me, and that they therefore do not reflect My Important Opinions. Now all that would change! Now My Important Opinions would at last be heard. Bring it on. 

Turns out I don't know anything. 

What they asked: 
'On a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to vote in the next general election.'
What I replied:
What I thought before I replied:'
'Oh yeah. I'm Mr Responsible Politically Active Citizen. You're talking to the right guy here, my friend.'

What they asked:
'Do you think the MPs' expenses saga is: a major scandal; serious; regrettable but not serious; irrelevant?' 
What I replied:
'Regrettable but not serious.'
What I thought before I replied:
'Great! I already have an opinion on this! And, by lucky chance, my opinion is totally correct. If only people asked me what I reckon about stuff more often. I'm basically a policy wonk. If I was in the West Wing, I wonder whether Josh or Sam would want to be my friend most?'

What they asked:
'Which party leader do you think has been least affected by the MPs' expenses saga?'
What I said:
'Nick Clegg'
What I thought before I replied: 
'Er... hang on... er... I don't know... none of them, really. I mean all of them. Well, technically I suppose Nick Clegg, in that he's least affected by everything, because we still don't really know who he is. I'll say Nick Clegg.'

What they asked:
'How would the following measures affect the political system: large improvement; slight improvement; no effect, slightly worse, a lot worse. Allowing MPs to vote remotely, via the internet or video link-up?'
What I replied:
'No effect.'
What I thought before I replied:
'Oh God, I've no idea, I've never heard of that suggestion before, I thought you were going to ask me whether I thought constituents should be able to sack their MPs, I know exactly what I think about that, they shouldn't, ironically this is based on my general feeling that constituents are easily-lead opinionated idiots who don't know what they think until someone tells them, a theory I am amply demonstrating right now, well come on, think about it, I suppose it would allow MPs to spend more time in their constituencies, less need for second homes, so I suppose it's a good thing, but there must be all sorts of arguments against it, I just don't know what they are, but I bet if I heard someone explain them I'd agree, also going through the division lobbies is an ancient tradition, and my knee-jerk response is always in favour of keeping traditions, oh I don't know, if this was just a news story I was supposed to be coming up with jokes about for the Now Show it would be easy:  'MPs, videolinks, the internet, not a very wise combination, Jackie Smith's husband, haw haw haw', is hopefully the sort of train of thought I'd reject in favour of something better; but actually deciding, on the hoof, whether it's a good idea or not is just too much for me, I'd better say 'no effect' but that's ridiculous, it's a massive change to the system, the one thing it's definitely not going to have is 'no effect'; but still, this pause has already become embarrassing; it's about to tip over into unsettling, I've got to say something, at least that's sort of neutral.'

I'm an idiot. Take away my vote. 

Monday 18 May 2009

I might start using it as an exclamation.

Prayer improvised by teenage boy on bus yesterday, sort of jokily, but not, I think, deliberately getting it wrong:

'Oh, Father God, Heaven, and Holy Christ!'

For full effect, bear in mind this was said while making a 'T' shape on his throat - starting by drawing a finger across it in the sign for 'dead', then drawing a line down from Adam's apple to clavicle. 

Still, he didn't mean any harm, so just say four Hail Caesars and a Mary Mary, my son. 

Thursday 14 May 2009

I'd call it 'Johntember'.

Advert Google served up to me alongside my emails today: 

'Dates Highland

Only if you are serious and from Highland. Free month.' 

Sadly, I am not very serious, and not all from Highland. But I would dearly love a free month. 

Friday 8 May 2009

Cabin Pressure II

Just to let you know that the second series of my radio sitcom Cabin Pressure, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Roger Allam and Stephanie Cole, will be recorded in London on the 7th and 28th June, and the 12th July (all Sundays). Tickets are available from here , but it's possible that they'll go quite fast, what with being free and all, so I suggest you get in quick if you'd like to come. 

Monday 4 May 2009

Pieces of advertising material that have recently annoyed me - part five of at least three.

Wow! Surely, this is the very epitome of daring fusion cuisine - McDonalds, but thrillingly combined with the exotic tastes of western America! It seems like madness, but McDonalds dare to dream. And what is it they most dearly hope to gain from this previously unheard-of 'western' influence on their burgers? Why, sophistication, of course! Because if there's one quality the people of Utah, Wyoming and Arizona pride themselves in having above all others, it's sophistication. They might not be able to rope a steer like those folks in Boston, and you can bet they're always gonna come off worst in a fist-fight with a Parisian, but hoo boy, when it comes to sophistication, they've got 'em all licked.