All entries for March 2006

March 07, 2006

I'm Great, Employ Me…

… is something that is very hard to convey after you have been walking around in London in the pouring rain for three hours, getting lost in Soho, smiling back at dodgy men in fedoras and sunglasses, avoiding Scientologists who want to drag you into a back room for 'a little chat,' spending far too much time in close proximity to the Middle-Aged Potential-Adulterer Business Man type (ugh), spending far too much time in knee high boots that are retaining more rain-water than the London streets, and with scary mile high frizz hair.

Nevertheless, I feel I may have made my mark, if only in soggy wet patches on their lovely thick pile carpets.

And as reward, I am not going to attempt any Shakespeare whatsoever tonight. I am not even going to open the optimistically-named word document wherein it doth not lie. He is going to stay in the corner until tomorrow. Instead, I am going to ponder three of the world's great mysteries, prompted by today's adventures:

  1. Why, at the only point in your day when you actually do want a Starbucks, one is nowhere to be found. Yet as soon as you've given up and have settled for a dodgy paper cup of something brown coloured in the corner of a tube station, an outlet miraculously appears, warm and dry and cosy looking and smelling of actual coffee, whilst you stand outside in the rain, pressing your nose wistfully to the window like orphans do with toyshops in Dickens television adaptations.

  2. Why I only ever get chatted up by drunk guys and middle-aged married men. I mean, really. Do I have some sort of sign on my chest saying Get Your Adultery Here? Which, for the record, I categorically don't. And yes, talking about your wife is a great turn-on, as is the business card. I'll stick to my original game plan with the cats, thanks.

  3. Why on every train, it is prerequisite that there must always be one elderly lady with a suitcase that is larger than her, and also one bolshy man in a business suit and horrible pink tie, probably called something like 'Stu' or 'Phil,' who insists on talking very loudly and agitatedly into his mobile about something very very dull like the price of paperclips per 100g as if it's a war council, and then persists in sounding annoyed and surprised when the signal cuts out as if it's some unexpected crisis, and carries on barking 'Hello! Hello!' down the receiver til everybody around him wants to ram his stupid shiny black all-singing all-dancing phone-organiser-and-sex-toy-in-one gadget down his ugly pink tie throttled throat. Come on Stu/Phil, you must have got used to this whole flickery signal on a train sort of malarkey by now. Surely at least you saw Trigger Happy TV at some point in your paperclip filled existence?

Ah, that feels a lot better.

I knew Shakespeare wasn't a good idea tonight.


March 01, 2006

The Doctor Quinn Way

Every young girl with access to daytime television* has at one point in her tender years aspired to be the Medicine Woman herself. Doctor Mike is such a positive role model for the ladies, isn't she? Look at her with her gutsy ways and Strong Moral Fiber (yes, yes, I am allowing the Americanism here, seeing as it's Dr Quinn) triumphing in a gloriously politically correct manner over all adversity, rewriting history itself. What a woman.

However, I am a little troubled that her morally enriching adventures appear to be consigned now to sporadic appearances on regional television and the occasional feature length dramas on Channel Five, condemning today's youth to a Medicine Woman free zone. What hope have they of finding another such role model in our callous, ceramically straightened hair'd 21st century society? So I have provided here a fully comprehensive guide to living the Doctor Mike way of life, for the sake of the children.

  1. Be a woman. This helps a lot. If your gender happens to be against you on this one, find another reason why you can feel oppressed and victimized, e.g. your race, your political views, your irrational love of the colour yellow (which is, apparently, the colour of oppression, as well as coming in some nasty shades) etc. etc. Whatever you like. What's important is you have an angle. You'll need it for the impassioned speeches (see no.9).

  2. As a woman, exercise your right to go completely alone into an extremely male dominated chauvinistic environment, where the men don't get much female company. Think of it as the 19th century version of a woman on her own in a very very sleazy club. However, fear not, because solely based on your truly exemplary moral and freethinking ideals you will not get hassled/raped/otherwise bothered, and you will, of course, end up being a pillar of the community.

  3. Find some orphan children to adopt, preferably outcasts from society. It doesn't matter how ugly/stupid they are, under your benign and liberal care they will flourish and grow up to become fine upstanding young men and women. However it is important to note that only the girls may become doctors. If you're a male Quinnette, you can only become a decent farmer or journalist.

  4. Fake hair is good. Especially if it has lots of curls. Men with fake flowing perms are also good, especially if they have a leather jacket with tassels on to go with it. Mmm, sexy. The exception to this is no.8.

  5. Wear more make-up than anybody else, even the town whore. If at all possible, it should also be a style of make-up that is completely anachronistic. Yes, waterproof mascara is available to you out on the prairie in the 19th century, because, well, you're already defying so many aspects of history that a few more can't really hurt, as long as they make you look good.

  6. As far as clothing goes, this should stay true to the period, apart from the fact that you have a wardrobe that has an entire claim shanty to itself. I know you're bringing up three orphan children, saving the Indians and running a surgery on very little money, but it is important that you have a different dress every day. These clothes will only get torn and dirty if you are in the pursuit of the Greater Good.

  7. Pivotal moments in your life should come in slow motion, preferably with some heart rending orchestral music. These bits are easy to spot because there will probably be a deathbed nearby, or you will have just rushed in gasping 'what is it?' or there will be a small child, or in fact all three of the above.

  8. Beware of men with Fake Handlebar Moustaches. The FHM is a symbol of Conservatism and Oppression and Bad Things. Men who have FHM must be conquered by the Impassioned Speech (see no.9).

  9. The Impassioned Speech. This is one of the most important parts of the Doctor Quinn Way of Life. Obviously, the aim of the speech will change every time it is used, but the most important point to get across is that you are Morally Correct In Every 20th Century Way, and everyone must bow to your anachronistic views and fashion sense, despite living in an entirely different period of history. For the longer speeches, pointing out that you are a woman also helps. And looking earnest is very important, especially in your close-ups.

  10. Finally, the Tear In Eye is the jewel in the Doctor Quinn crown, especially if your eyes are two different colours. This means that not only can you vary the level of moisture depending on the nature of the situation, but you can also introduce variety in the colour symbolism. For example, if you find out you are pregnant, it might be a misty green-eyed moment, symbolising the joy and springtime renewal of life, but small innocent child dying of disease is definitely a compassionate blue eye swimming with tears sort of occasion. (Some completely anachronistic contact lenses are of course available to you if you need some help with this one.)

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*As well as some of the boys, but they probably won't admit to it.


March 2006

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