Mr Grumpy....13th February, 2020
So Phillip Schofield says he’s gay, or at least thinks he is. I’m not sure how he knows (unless he’s tried it and preferred it, the same way I recently ate a piece of toast with Dairylea cheese spread and another with Marmite and concluded I preferred the former) and, frankly, it’s none of my business.
I wish him well as he comes across as a really nice chap; Mrs G follows him on Instant Radiogram and his posts always seem amusing and warm.
Most of us have known him for some time and grown up with him, from when he had a possibly unhealthy interest in hamsters to him getting the best job in the world: looking at Holly Willobooby’s chest almost every day. On that basis, I hate him.
The poor chap will be hounded by the media daily and if he called round at John Barrowman’s house to borrow a pint of milk, or went to a Will Young concert and paid extra for the meet and greet, people will assume all sorts.
Some of his words really resonated with me — I’m quite a thinker and do rather a lot of it when driving (which I also do a lot of) or other moments of solitude (like being in a hotel, as I am now).
If one thinks instead of using the time to play all of the Genesis back-catalogue at deafening volume, there’s a danger of over-thinking and getting in a bit of a pickle.
Only the day before, it had occurred to me that we never really know what someone else is thinking or feeling. We can only truly trust ourselves, because that’s all we know, unless there is physical evidence.
Moving this train of thought forward somewhat, the only person who really knows what Donald Trump has done is Trumpypants himself. Anyone who gave evidence could also be lying because they hate him as much as my dog hates me, and chose to impeach the guy, all of which was deemed of secondary importance to Mr Schofield’s new-found interest in underpants by the UK media.
Philip S said his “head was scrambled,” which I can understand: we all find ourselves in such situations from time to time and while it’s the trend to say this is “mental illness”, others might say it’s simply dealing with everyday life, in the same way some people can put money away into a Bradford and Bingley savings account or pension each month, and others spend a fiver more than they have earned. Some people will subscribe to Which? and buy its recommended best big telly or mattress, others will simply go to Curry’s and buy the biggest they can get for their budget.
“Sometimes, when you look around, everything seems still and calm on the surface. Then, you detect a little disturbance and then you know that — for sure — underneath that surface lies some other, secret, world…” — Peter Gabriel, Secret World.
Sometimes, being honest can be interpreted as being rude. Corporate or HR speak can often go round the houses and leave a poor employee walking out thinking: “Have I just been told I need to improve my performance or that I need to join the after-work running club?”
Life can sometimes feel like a game of chess, when it shouldn’t really be that complex.
If you tell your dog you love it, the bloody thing doesn’t understand the meaning of your words, but does know your soft voice and the rhythmic stroking of his head means there’s a chance a gravy bone might shortly be offered.
But how sincere are any words? How sincere is the apparent gesture of affection: is it simply a physical action / momentary attraction in the same way a dog will consume the biscuit in a matter of seconds rather than savour it for several hours?
His Worshipful Master Peter Gabriel wrote a quite splendid song Secret World, which he would introduce as exploring the invisible “thought bubbles” and physical actions of two people. He talks of looking for “the face behind the face” and “you put out / I receive” and one might think of two people holding hands — one may be thinking “I’m blessed to be holding the hand of the most beautiful person on this planet” while the other is thinking “How do I tell him he’s dumped?”
Whatever, the song offers a selection of most thought-provoking lyrics set to a most uplifting musical arrangement, which I most heartily recommend.
Of course, you may interpret the lyrics differently and think he’s singing about the late arrival of his Tesco order or that they were inspired by his plane being delayed.
I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, or what either my intentions were when I commenced writing it, or what my point is, so on that basis I’m going to put on a most splendid Prince of Wales check jacket and beautifully pressed white cotton shirt, finished with cufflinks and silk pocket square, and go to the bar and get drunk.
I may return, or just leave this column at that point, leaving us both in a state of confusion and balanced on a cliff-edge of indecisiveness.
I’m already over my editor’s target of 1,000 words, so I am not obliged to write more.
(Editor’s note: he didn’t write any more, so he’s either unscrambled his head or simply got hammered and couldn’t be bothered, and after all his swearing was removed, it was 921 words; 924 including this).