Thursday, January 26, 2006

Why this is hell, nor am I out of it

Every now and then I feel I am afforded a salutory glance into Hell.

There was the time I looked at a former neighbour's trade weekly, still being sent to his address long after he moved out, so I could get it returned to sender. He was a double glazing salesman. (He also quite distinctly told me he was moving to Kent. After he left he started getting mail from estate agents in Norfolk, and a debt collector came looking for him. Maybe in a story one day ...) The trade weekly read by double glazing salesmen is foul and blasphemous literature for those who have whetted their appetites on the Necronomicon and want to move on to something meatier. Page after page of sales statistics, gloating and preening for those who have milked the life savings out of frail pensioners, snivelling and apologetic for those whose sales have shown a drop. Stakhanovite praise to the high achievers, stark rebukes and thinly veiled threats to the ones falling behind. Not a shred, not a cell, not a particle of decency or humanity at any point between the covers. And perhaps not surprisingly, no editorial address either.

And then there was Tuesday night ... On Monday I taped Life on Mars, on Tuesday I watched it while I did the ironing. But it was a large pile to get through and Life on Mars finished. So I stopped the tape, and found myself in the middle of what seems likely to become a legendary exchange of views on Celebrity Big Brother. Reader, I watched it for 20 minutes. That's 19 minutes and 30 seconds more than I have managed since the show started. I still feel vaguely soiled.

Being locked up with Gorgeous for three weeks must already equate with at least the anteroom to Hell. But when Michael Barrymore is the one rising above the occasion with grace and dignity, and Pete Burns emerges as the voice of maturity, rebuking some child of about 12 whom I totally failed to recognise on what is and what isn't appropriate to say to a man with a drink problem ... That has to take you down the third circle, minimum.

And now George is out. Gorgeous Galloway: hell could not hold him ...

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