I have been commissioned to write a new period drama for an as yet untitled new channel on the television. I think it’ll sit somewhere neatly between Nat Geo HD and the God Channel. Having watched and been forced with a ped egg pointed at my throat to sit through what the twenty first century considers to be a period drama I have ultimately decided that even though it may have costumes and big frilly wigs it also needs a bit of… well the letters haven’t been invented to write the word out yet but for want of a better word let’s go with pizazz.
You can’t just hire Hugh Bonneville and except everything to fall into place; I learned that the hard way when it came to the shooting of ‘Soiling and Soliloquies’ in 2012. No, what you need is a wonderful idea at heart, an original idea that’ll whack those Johnnys between the eyes and scoop up the awards as well. So we come to ‘The Barrage of Flaps’. It’s a 17th century period drama but, for some reason, the 1980’s have travelled back in time to poison not just another decade but an entire century. Betwixt the poverty and the heartache and historical accuracy there will be Wham playing on a jukebox in the background, everyone is wearing Casio watches and teenagers hassle strangers with Slush Puppies and Sony Walkmans.
I think it’s when they have a synth fundraiser for some orphans in episode four, and Axel F turns up at the last minute to offer his support, that most people will start crying.
Generally speaking, I like words. Many words are lovely, like “frisky” and “solitude” and “rescind”, and I would tuck them up in bed every night and kiss them tenderly on the forehead if I could.
There are other words that sound wrong. Awful-sounding words that leave a nasty taste in my mouth. Words I wish I could replace with something else so I never had to say them again. Words that come back to haunt me, time and time again, words I cannot escape from.
In this post, the first of an important new series, I will bang on at length about words I don’t like. There will be more later. Feel free to add your own.
This word is almost always used in reference to food, but it doesn’t sound like something I want contaminating my lunch.
You can’t say this without sounding like you’re a bit posher than you are. You can’t say this without it sounding like you could have said something more conversational, as if you’d just said “crestfallen” when you meant “sad”. Except there’s not much else you can say, there’s not a straightforward conversational equivalent. Serving? Helping? Load? They all have their place but there’s some situations where only portion is right.
That’s how it gets you. That’s how you can’t escape. At some point you’ll want a bit of food and the word portion will arrive, ugly and aloof and inevitable, and you’ll have to eat your food with the nasty taste it left behind. Ugh.
Let’s crack open February with something I need to vent.
There is a lollipop man that works in the same place I work. Not the same building, obviously, but further down the road. His beat, if you will, is on the high street and like with most lollipop men and women it is his job to ensure the safety of people crossing the road. Surely this must be a mistake then? What could I possibly have against this person, this figurehead of the people? It’s very simple.
Let’s split this into three sections:
1) He’s a grump. I may be a grump too however I recognise the moments when to revel in the grump and when to respond to people who are being polite. In my first few weeks walking to and from work I attempted on numerous occasions to smile and communicate positivity towards him and he ignored every single one.
2) He only gets his lollipop out (wa-hey!) for mothers with children and older members of the community. He doesn’t move if you’re me, or you, or someone else who isn’t elderly or pulling a three year old like an overturned wheelie bin.
The worst and most annoying of the three…
3) Where he works, where he crosses the road, where he helps people to cross there is a pelican crossing. There is absolutely NO NEED for him to do what he is being paid to do. You press the button, the green man appears and you cross the road. There is no requirement for his being there. He is completely obsolete. I don’t want anyone to lose their job unless they have to but, for the love of flumps, if someone is paying this man they need to stop.
There. I said it. You can all judge me now if you want to.