Captain Moonlight: These are a few of my unfavourite things

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The Independent Online
HO! YO! MILLENNIUM! No, come on, you must join in! It's that time of the year. And, seeing as this is a very special year having that time, your Captain thought he would treat you to a bumper dose of traditional Moonlight entertainment. Yes, it's that all-time old favourite, the Captain's big list of people, phrases and general phenomena of which he has had far, far too much, thank you very much! Conventionally, this would take the form of 99 people, etc, we don't want to see in 00. But, being where we are, this list will be the 99 Etc of the last 1,000 years! Equally conventionally with these list thingies, you will notice that most of the 99 Etc objected to have happened in the last few weeks or so. Ready? Off we go! The 99 Etc That The Captain Hopes Never To Hear Of Again On The Grounds Of Purely Personal Choler are:

1) Hang on, though, there's quite a lot that should be taken as read before we really get going: you know, Evans, Halliwell, Vlad the Impaler, Viagra, Gascoigne, Robespierre, The Sherriff of Nottingham, Clarkson, Lewinsky, Richard III, Bruce Willis, Rasputin, the entire cast of Friends, Graham Norton, Stalin, phrases like "to die for", "it's a dirty job but someone's got to do it", "sad or what?", "but, hey", "get a life", "in your face", this fox bother, Genghis Khan, all Spices and all Spice appendages, including Manchester United, Two Jags jokes, Savanarola, Dimmock and Titchmarsh, supermodels, daytime television presenters, "don't give up the day job", "he speaks highly of you, too", all these damn lists, things like that.

2) Nelson Mandela being so damn loveable all the time, even with Dimmock and Titchmarsh. Nelson: get a little bitter. Please.

3) Beggars. Complete pain and nuisance, always in the way, everywhere. Mr Tony is right: don't give them anything, it only encourages them.

4) And while we're on about Care in the Community, when is he going to do something about all these people wandering about muttering to themselves, saying things like, "It's me, any messages?" and "I'm just passing Safeway, I'll be there in five minutes"?

5) The Renaissance. That trip to Florence can really eat into a relaxing holiday in Tuscany.

6) Those signs everywhere: "We apologise for any inconvenience". They're not really sorry, you know.

7) The Forces of Conservatism. Unfortunately, they've got another two years in office.

8) All these things being delivered, like services and results; interest being engaged, demons being exorcised, operations being headed up, concepts being led or driven, juries being out all the time.

9) E millionaires. You know, "and then it came to me, just like that, and within hours of going on line we'd had 300,000 hits and 200Ks' worth of orders". Just stop showing off. And what is all this K business?

10) All these sad, envious Jeremiahs who keep predicting that our fascinating and enterprising e-entrepreneurs are all going to come terribly unstuck very soon. Shame!

11) The expression "cheesy".

12) There was an eclipse?

13) George Carman and "his gift for encapsulating the argument in a telling phrase that the layman can understand". George: let someone else have a go.

14) The suffering of Mohamed "Al" Fayed in an unfair world.

15) The suffering of Neil Hamilton in an unfair world.

16) Journalists who find Christine Hamilton strangely attractive.

17) The overuse by critics of the word "dark".

18) Newspapers that find pictures of Elizabeth Hurley irresistible.

19) Or ones of Catherine Zeta Jones and that old bloke.

20) Or ones of Caprice and the other old bloke.

21) Old blokes attracting thunderous acclaim from other old blokes because they can still do it. Thank you, Lord McCartney and Sir Keef Richard. Get down!

22) What? Hands off Sir Cliff. He's a treasure. And he irritates George Michael.

23) The Impressionists. What a wet lot. And what a lot of posters to answer for. Give me Trace or Hirsty anytime.

24) Digital television. Why should we have to use our fingers when we've got those remote channel changers?

25)The expression, "Bless!", used in that ironic way.

26) That ironic way.

27) Proust. It was only a flaming biscuit, Marcel. Get a life.

28) Doublet and hose. Very nippy.

29) All that "thou" and "ye" and "prithee" stuff. Lawks a mercy, it was hard work.

30) Particularly on Sunday evenings on the telly.

31) Quadratic equations.

32) Peasants. Never anything but trouble. Look at France today, for example.

33) Someone being "a man for all seasons" who "doesn't suffer fools gladly".

34) Politicians on the Today programme who say, "Well, John/Jim/Sue".

35) The Hundred Years War. God, it went on. I mean, the attention span! Kosovo, that was more like it.

36) Mars probes. They don't like them, you know.

37) The plastic water bottle as fashion, office and airport accessory.

38) Anyone who has ever made or appeared in a car advert, particularly that woman with all the kids dancing on the mountain while the car rolls off.

39) Ambivalence.

40) Pear-shaped, as in it's all gone.

41) Historians and documentaries using the present tense - "Caesar is now faced with two choices", etc - to make it "immediate" for us.

42) Agendas.

43) Plangent, risible, discrete, eclectic, resonant, ineluctable, etiolated.

44) Ibsen. Gloomy or what? Lighten up, Henrik!

45) Football. Rugby League, now there's a real game.

46) Football discussions in offices. "Deborah is really gutted about Arsenal".

47) Shakespeare. Really overrated in my view. So he lived in Notting Hill. So what?

48) Listen, I like actors! They really

49) Add to the gaiety of the nation.

50) The Reformation. Indulgences were fun. And pretty reasonably priced, considering.

51) All these dreary old tech metaphors about drawing boards, back burners, litmus tests, points of reference.

52) Any more books about the Irish, their joys, their tears. Except Cole Moreton's, out soon. He sits next to me and is bigger.

53) Films. Except Leave it to George (G Formby), Pressed For Time (N Wisdom) and Intolerance (DW Griffith).

54) The Black Death. You try sleeping with all those creaking carts and bells ringing.

55) The Titanic, and all who continue to sail in her, especially

56) That Song by That Woman.

57) My Way.

58) Imagine.

59) People turning in their graves.

60) Genes. Nothing but trouble, wherever you look. I blame God. Or Richard Dawkins. Or is God Richard Dawkins?

61) Or Denise Van Outen? Sorry, that should read: God. Denise Van Outen.

62) The Corn Laws.

63) Fergal Keane and the rest of them and these significant pieces to camera which always start "It is..." as in "It is not journalism. It is more important than that".

64) Servants. You just can't get them, you know.

65) Baby Blair's Conception.

66) How Charlie span what Gordon wanted, and Ali did it for Tony, and then Bobby squared Mo over lunch in ... zzzzzzz ...

67) Bach. Just how repetitive can you get?

68) The Fendi Baguette. Can't get my lunchbox into it. Or the Thermos.

69) The Olympics bid. Just shut up.

70) The World Cup bid. And bribe them.

71) Zones.

72) Posey BBC2 sitcoms. Why can't we have our canned laughter back?

73) Winnie-the-Pooh. Dreadful creature. And if I read another story about the rights to him or that bridge where Pooh sticks was invented, I'll scthweam.

74) Noddy. Muffin the Mule. Pokemons. And Torchy the Battery Boy.

75) Another article about how much money JK Rowling has earned. I'm not envious, just bored. Oh, all right, then.

76) The contest for the mayoralty of London. General Pinochet has still not replied to my letter asking him to stand, by the way.

77) How many more ponies have to die to make all these fancy fashionable slippers, then?

78) And how many more pashminas, come to that?

79) Home improvement. Far too exciting.

80) The Schleswig Holstein Question.

81) Mobile phone ringing tunes, William Tell, 1812, etc. So amusing.

82) Sandwich shops with mission statements and coffee shops with multiple choice and staff who are implausibly pleased to see you.

83) People who say "Suits you, sir!" all the time; these are the people who used to say "I don't believe it!" and "Lovely Jubbly" before that, "Nice to see you. To see you nice," and before that "Swinging" and "Dodgy" and before that, "Bluebottle!" all in funny voices. Stop it.

84) And the Monty Python sketches.

85) Pubs that paint themselves one flat colour and change their name from The Goat in Boots to The Thin White Line.

86) That advert where the Nobel scientist says brown bread is his most exciting discovery.

87) If you have a push button phone, please press the star button twice when you hear the beep.

88) Retiring cooks, chefs and restaurateurs. Don't be so shy, guys and gals!

89) Television reports ending with the formula "Whether XYZ will be enough, remains to be seen".

90) Accountants who do high fives.

91) The Edict of Nantes. The Diet of Worms. And we don't want another Defenestration of Prague.

92) The phrase "in the interests of your comfort and safety" and derivatives thereof.

93) Airplanes. If God had meant us to fly he would have given us pleasant British Airways cabin attendants.

94) Disc jockeys since Jack Jackson.

95) Cognac. Awful stuff. What else? Look up at my hat NOW.

96) Russians. Always trouble, gloomy, too. And those novels! Long, or what?

97) Dinosaurs. Arrrrrrrr!

98) People who tell you the MM doesn't really start till next year.

99) People who say there are 365, 230 days (about) until the next one.