Sunday, 9 January 2011

Saturday 8th January 2010: A List of Apologies - But None For Meryl Streep

Hello again. This time I promise to keep to my title; this is a list of apologies that I believe I owe some people and things for the last couple of days, especially during the coach trip back to Britain.

The first apology is directed at you, the readership of this stupid blog, because of the crap spelling and lame sentence-structures in my last entry. My only defence is that I wrote most of it half-asleep, half-listening and still traumatised by Meryl Streep's screechy voice. It does make one less of a grammar-nazi then originally intended. So: sorry about that.

The second apology is to myself. I had promised myself, after losing 2 days of sleep to and from EdFringe 2009, never to travel on an overnight coach again. This I didn't keep, and I regret it. I again lost quite a significant amount of sleep, although around December 20th, it was arguably the only way to get from London to Eindhoven. Other than an icebreaker, perhaps. The trip from Victoria Station to Eindhoven was delayed by about 4 hours, leaving at 2 AM, leaving 85 people waiting in the cold for 4 hrs, me reading Kurt Vonnegut, turning the pages with gloves on, shivering. No sleep. I thought: it can only get better on the way back. As the bus arrived, with my mum and dad seeing me off (really sweet of them btw!), I got on, but the only seat left was one where the guy in front of me had seen it fit to crush the knees of anyone behind him by bending the seat back to where it couldn't go any further. The girl next to me shot me a look saying: 'good luck, mate!' as I sat down. My knees protested. I waved at my parents in a way that said: I'm ok! But I'm not ok as well!' The guy in front of me had big curly hair that smelt like it had been washed with Stilton, four months ago and not since. If he turned, some of it wafted through the bus like the plague. He didn't have the plague; but I wouldn't have been surprised, though. I actually did sleep for a bit, during the first part of the journey. As we arrived near the French coast, I saw that the Eurotunnel-train was just leaving, the next one would leave in 2½ hours. On top of that, we had to have a complete check by French customs.

Another apology is in place for the poor French customs officer. He asked, after having had my luggage scanned: 'Avez-vous un vélo le-dans-lá?' I didn't understand what he was going on about, at that time and I responded with something like: no, I haven't, what do you mean? But I did have a bicycle-component in there. My mum and dad had given me a bicycle saddle, that was in a plastic bag, together with my old trainers. The original seat was slightly too destructive for its own good. To me, that was. I'll tell that story some other time (again, too painful. This one physically). Where was I? Oh, yeah. Calais. The customs guy was looking quite tired and incredulous; he didn't quite believe I had an entire bike in there either. I was seriously tired too, I'd failed to get hold of my own passport after it had been given back to me, and had a moment of connection with an equally exhausted customs guy, whose job it was to just look at people's passports all night.

We finally took our place, waiting for 1½ hours to get onto the Eurotunnel trains. Then, the chauffeur did something unforgivable: he switched on the dvd-player and played the dvd on Mamma Mia. On a loop. For the rest of the night. So I had to listen to that shit 3 times. It was horrible. Trying to sleep while Meryl Streep yanks at the notion of music like a monkey picking a fight with a brick wall is not good for your mental health. It's not even funny or ironic, I genuinely hate Mamma Mia. Here's a list:
- Benny Anderson's smug face behind the piano during a song-sequence.
- The incredibly stupid dancing.
- The thick head of the main girl singing, looking sad and acting repulsively on all occasions like a diseased, unwanted family pet even though youre supposed to identify with her.
- Colin Firth actively embarrassing himself, with barely concealed self-loathing. And the bit where his character discovers he's gay, all of a sudden; after about 50 years.
- The annoyingly happy peasant locals, looking like they're from a Greek version of the Bertolli ads, like these bumbling fools wouldn't be hit by economic hardship, because they don't need that much money, do they(?!)
- Thingy ® from The History Boys, whose nipples get more screen time than his face.
- The inherent ageist agenda.
- The weird woman who uses a cacti as a comedy cock during the Dancing Queen-sequence and is generally dangerous to the human eye.
- (again) confusing dickishness and banality with female empowerment (I know where you live Sex and the City 2 (oh God that film was crap!))
- The Winner Takes It All. You can't polish a turd, we know that. But you can stamp on it, spread it over a baby panda's face, and cover it with anthrax so all the world's children die. I know awkwardness, but this is another step.
- Even Julie Walters angered me. And that's an achievement.
But the worst thing in that film, apart from Meryl Streep kicking all her credibility in a bucket and shoving it into the flaming pits of hell; is Pierce Brosnan. There's never been a man who looked more uncomfortable doing anything at all, ever. And I'm including people dying of dyphteria. He sang S.O.S., whilst looking like a man slowly turning into a whale. His eyes went weird, his forehead scrunched itself into a bendy envelope-holder, his shoulders went to the wrong side of his back, so he was breathing towards a blowhole that wasn't there, yet, while sounding like a porpoise with a cold.
And that 3 times. I can dream that film now, but I don't like it. Ah well, you get what you pay for. Luckily I was on time for the coach to Brighton at 7, so I was home early.

I apologise to you, again, for that particular stream of bile. I bet you liked it, didn't you?

Later, I put an anti-Mamma Mia-status on facebook. My friend Joyce replied by writing the chorus from the song. Guess I deserved it. Sorry to people who like musicals.

There's one other apology I'd like to make that I forgot yesterday:

I was walking past Boots, the chemist's, as a girl with an American accent asked me whether I liked Greenpeace. Now I had no money at all, so I just said:' erm..' for a long time, following it up with the unconvincing: 'sorry? Where are you from?' "Greenpeace! Do you like us?" I then proceeded to do the unforgivable: I'd funny my way out of this. I said: 'well, erm, there was this one time when...' (her face went to astonishment) 'oh, no! That was Oxfam!' (she now switched to amused) "What do you mean?" 'Well, I was about eight, and this lady from Oxfam came and took away my drawing away' (True, that. In a zoo, sometime around '96, '97. I vowed to always hate Oxfam after that. I didn't keep my promise, though. I'm far too Middle-class to hate Oxfam). She then went: "Oh no!" 'Yeah. So, can I please go on my way? I'm sorry but it's just getting awkwarder and awkwarder' (shut up, Jorik, that's not even a word!). "Yeah, it's fine, no problem," she still looked happy. I then continued: 'sorry I couldn't...' "No, we're cool. You did entertain me!" I shouted back: 'That's the least I can do. Literally.'

I hope I'm proud of myself. I've just killed a polar bear with mildly diverting a Greenpeace-girl. The world will be going to shit, and it's gonna be my fault. Ah well, live and learn. Me that is, not polar bears. So I apologise to them, with their translucent fur. At a Christmas party, this girl told me that I've got the same name as a Polar Bear in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. Ah well, pip pip. Love you all, bye!

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