This week trials will begin in Hampshire in an experiment which might result in motorists paying motorway tolls. How tragic. Traffic jams are one of the last bastions of democracy. It is great for those of us with normal cars to sit next to a posh git who is as trapped as we are. Have Roller ... will sit here with the rest of the plebs.
A recent survey in America shows that women rate a previous rape conviction as more desirable than obesity in a prospective partner. Good God, are we destined to go down this road, too, as we move unavoidably to become the 51st state of America? I'd always thought that the difference between us and the Americans was demonstrated by the fact that their top boxer is a convicted rapist and ours is Widow Twankey in Margate. It seems that being fat may soon become a capital offence in America. Better start looking forward to that last fag.
I was up in Manchester during the week attending the launch of a custom- built lorry under the auspices of "Manchester Action on Street Health", a project which offers health care to a group reluctant to visit the statutory health services: male and female prostitutes. You can't blame them really. There is so much moralising going on in the Health Service these days, it's becoming indistinguishable from the Church. (Yes, that hallowed institution which as we know always practises what it preaches.)
The aim of the project is to minimise harm rather than blah on about becoming the model of health. I wish my GP would take this approach with me on the smoking and weight front. If all the unhealthy people in this country stopped contributing to the Health Service there would only be about two quid in the kitty.
Arrests were made this week all over the world following an investigation into child pornography on the Internet. Who were these characters? Slavering, greasy sex offenders who looked like hunch-backed medieval perverts? Strangely enough, no. We are told that in Britain they are all "businessmen" in their forties and fifties, some with their own businesses. Are people shocked by this, then? How long are we going to go on thinking that, because someone looks respectable, they are respectable. After all, it is not long-haired crusties accompanied by mangy dogs who are taking trips out to Thailand to procure the services of child prostitutes, it is these same "respectable" businessmen, at whom police, customs men and the general public would never normally bat an eyelid. And they're getting away with it.
My brother, who lives in Germany, suffers from apparently looking like what the customs men think of as an archetypal drug dealer and therefore has had to suffer the indignity of a hand up his jacksie on more than one occasion. I think it's time we got away from this idea that good-looking equals good person, because we'll end up with a government full of slimy yet visually acceptable morons lacking in humanity and understanding. If we haven't done already, of course.
Speaking of long-haired crusty types ... in north London last Sunday, a group of protesters decided to block a busy high street. They poured tons of sand all over it for the kids to play in and drove in some sort of huge army vehicle on which were placed speakers the size of the Isle of Wight and enjoyed themselves for the afternoon, while the police stayed on the fringes in a fairly relaxed fashion. All this was relayed to me by a friend who'd made the effort to walk up there. I, being Mrs Apathy, stayed in and watched telly, I'm afraid. Apart from some trouble later, this was a friendly gathering which made its point. I was tempted though to phone the local paper and tell them how some poor sod on their way to hospital in an ambulance had been held up and died as a result. Well, it'd save the MI5 propaganda machine some time.
One thing which is very difficult about being a comic is that people do expect you to have a ready quip or funny comment for every occasion. I get asked the most bizarre things. A woman said to me recently, "That's my husband over there. Can you go over and be really horrible to him?" Oh, okey-dokey then.
The problem is that most comics are miserable as sin when they're off- duty, and can barely lift their heads up off a table, let alone deliver a finely honed one-liner off the cuff. I've had more people asking me to tell them a joke than I've had hot dinners (unfortunately). It's the only job where people ask you to demonstrate it in front of them, apart from perhaps medicine. Doctors must have a great time at parties being regaled with a selection of warty looking growths and descriptions of irregular bowel movements. Perhaps I should stop moaning. At least I've never had to explore someone's infected ear mid vol-au-vent.Reuse content