Monthly Archives: October 2011

No. 76: Internally Rant

It’s like having a small child sworn to secrecy on pain of never being allowed Octonauts again, sitting in your midriff. It’s like trying to ingest a wellington boot. With someone’s foot still in it. You may get a little taste of it whilst listening to people from TOWIE talk about anything except fanny-glitter or themselves. You need to share because you cannot bear this burden of rage alone, but you also know that if you start, bile will pour forth from your eyes and it’s possible you will breach-birth an Anger Calf. You cannot physically articulate your emotions about whatever may have just occurred because the fury sounds do not exist in any language that can express how much it makes you want to stamp on a kitten or punch Felicity Kendal. There may be a Nico album that comes close.  But, we suspect, not close enough.

Internalising is very often the safer option because society seems to have evolved two things. (1) Corporations whose code of practice seems to be ‘we can treat you howsoever we wish. But for expressing YOUR displeasure or objection you will receive a £25 fine/passive-aggression from one of our BTEC-achieving customer services representatives/sweet F.A. for weeks until we decide to send you another fine or letter that suggests we don’t know or even care who you are. Despite insisting we do in all our company literature. Which, incidentally is funded by your fines.’ Reacting externally with bile to this rarely gets you anything. Except an ulcer and/or some Virgin Vie vouchers.

And (2) human beings whose reaction to any reasonable suggestion that they are perhaps engaging  in some possibly slightly anti-social behaviour isn’t what it should be, ie. shamefaced acquiescence and potential apologia for being caught out. Oh NO. Rather, they will heavily coat their embarrassment at being unveiled a douche with a flurry of F-based Anglo-Saxonage and/or The Finger. This includes even middle-aged women with expensive hair who look as if they should be benignly browsing pate in Waitrose with a copy of Grazia rather than telling someone to ‘mind their own effing business’ after it has merely been pointed out that  letting their dog shit all over the pavement and just wandering off squawking into their Blackberry isn’t really cool. And so internal ranting here is the only way to avoid a faceful of swear. Or a faceful of Elizabeth Duke’s finest if the dog owner is wearing a hoodie rather than Per Una.

(We can’t even let it go. Because it wasn’t a tiny dog poo that arguably could have been tapped into the gutter in an emergency. It’s was a big Alsatian poo from a dog that clearly consumes the equivalent of a family-sized tub of hamsters daily.)

And so we wander about, muttering like lunatics.

Thank Christ someone invented Twitter or Anger Calves would literally take over the world. And no-one’s going to tell an Anger Calf that their Alsatian can’t shit right by a bus stop, are they?



No. 75: Learn Important Things about Life from Downton Abbey

 As a flancer, escapism is everything. From boredom. From endless Loose Women. Mainly from feelings of being as vastly unfulfilled as a Little Chef chef. And so anything that escorts you from real-life into a world of excellent hats, special Socialist soup tureens for ink and cow pat and looking astonished when a woman declares she’d rather drive a tractor than be the ugliest daughter of three is welcomed heartily.

Downton Abbey is ace. It looks nice, it sounds nice and I bet it would smell nice too. Except maybe now all those rotting soldiers are cluttering up the drawing room and demanding a ‘tuck’. It also teaches us things that are very important.

(1) Whatever is happening in your life, there is a servant somewhere going through the same hell

Which is a relief, of course. They obviously don’t have someone to put their necklaces on for them when they are too immobilised by grief to do so. And of course, they still have to make eighty nine beds up by 6am when they want to die of misery. But this, people, is a comment on how some things are experienced by everyone in the world, rich or poor, upstairs or downstairs. Things like love, jealousy or gentle revulsion at O’Brien’s deeply unsettling fringe. This rule is not applicable to putting on the wrong diamonds, turning down a proposal by a Duke or getting a hole in your hunting tweeds. But this just goes to prove another rule. Which is: we get that humanity is a universal experience, but shit is way shitter if you get dumped and promptly have to scrub fish soup out of an evening gown.

(2) Unrequited love is brilliant

It’ll give you something to do (that isn’t pester the broadsheets for a commission) for ages. And you always end up together apparently. So stop fretting, Mary, Matthew will eventually realise that Lavinia Swire is only really twelve years old next birthday (and a ginger to boot) so he’ll be back in your arms before you can say ‘here, you can have my virginity, the Turkish fellow didn’t really count because he died halfway through.’ It takes literally months out of your year. And gives you a good reason to cry all the time. Flancers, take note.

(3) War is fine. You get to come back loads

Which is a great relief. There we were thinking that if you got sent to the trenches that was that. No return for you sonny, until you get shot in your smoking hand (Thomas) or suffer shell shock and promptly cannot handle cutlery without shouting (Mr. Lang). Not so! It appears you may still get to skive off loads  like Matthew Crawley who appears to be  shipped back from France for dinner at least once a week. Who said soldering was hard? Shut up, Lang.

(4) Orchestral swells mean something very good or very bad is happening

 If only they were around in real-life to help out. No more confusing of indigestion with realising you really ought to marry someone you thought was an unrefined prig, or to alert you to a person or persons attempting to bring about your demise via a bar of soap. Not when you have fifteen violent stringed instruments sawing away to indicate ‘SIGNIFICANT’.

(5) If there is dinner to be served, it must be served by a footman

Or you are no better than an accountant.