Eighteen feet in the grave
THE BROADER PICTURE
It isn't the glamorous end of the doppelganger market. The lucky ones get to be Marilyn, or Elvis, or Diana - but many more of us resemble Victor. All we need is a gaberdine, a hunted look and a flat cap.
In the mouth of a teenager, of course, the sentence, "You're just like Victor Meldrew!" is an unqualified insult. It means you're old, skeletal, terminally cantankerous, censorious and silly; instead of enjoying life, you dedicate yourself to spoiling the fun of others.
Most of us, though, carry a Meldrew within. Mark Twain famously said that, when he was a young man, he thought his father knew or understood nothing, but that - over the years - it was amazing how much his father seemed to have learnt. So, by the time one hits 40, Victor tends to become another person entirely.
I mean to say, what are the true characteristics of Victor? He is brave (sometimes to the point of recklessness), loyal, witty and not ungenerous. He is merely - and who is not? - exasperated by rudeness and crisp packets. Like us, he cannot believe it. !
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