Cooper Brown: He's Out There

'Most daytime TV is so bad thay they should replace it with a picture of a man baring his ass in an empty field'
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The Independent Online

The pills are working... a bit. I got out of bed yesterday for the first time in five days. One of the weird side effects of these antidepressants is that I have a 24-hour hard-on. It's like wandering round with a flagpole in front of you. So yesterday I stumbled naked and proud into my sitting room only to expose myself to the cleaner who then accused me in very broken English of trying to molest her. I tried to explain that I didn't know that she was in the flat and that anyway, even if she was the last chick on earth I'd still prefer to molest a pig, but she wasn't listening.

I think that she's quit, so that's my last real link to the outside world gone. There's Victoria of course. She came round the other day and tried to be all sympathetic, but you could see in her eyes that she was freaked out by "head problems" and didn't want to deal with the fact that the Cooperman has gone temporarily mental. She was so uncomfortable that I eventually asked her to leave. She looked totally relieved, so I don't think we'll be communicating until this Black Dog passes over. I can just imagine the future family chatting about me.

"How's... whatshisname, the Yankee?" says the Dad.

"Fine, he's... had a bit of a turn. He's slightly under the weather, Daddy."

"What's wrong with the bastard?" inquires Daddy unsympathetically.

"He's... not feeling well in the old noggin. He's depressed."

"DEPRESSED, he's fucking depressed, just try being me for a bloody day and I'll give you depressed. Depression didn't even exist when I was a boy, we just got on with things, we had a war to fight, foreigners to kill. Depression! He needs someone to go up to that ghetto of his and kick the living daylights out of him. In fact I'm going up to town on Thursday for a shoe fitting, so I might do just that. Depression indeed! Fucking Communists." I don't think my mental health will be a suitable topic for discussion down at Toad Hall.

Victoria did mention that she'd started taking our unborn child to "baby classics", where groups of rich mothers sit around and play classical music to their stomachs as it's supposed to increase their offsprings' IQ. Sadly it's not normally the baby's IQ that needs to be augmented, but the store-happy clothes-horses carrying them. She can't deal with the fact that I'm depressed, but this kind of stupid baby shit makes sense to her. Crazy.

I got a really bad e-mail from the office threatening me with the sack unless I showed up. I told them to contact my doctor and if they contacted me directly again I'd sue their asses off. I haven't heard back since so I presume that I still have a job when I come crashing back down to Planet Stable. If not then I'm going to open a chain of baby psychiatrist clinics. The cash should just roll in.

It's a weird thing, depression; apart from being all-consuming it does change you. I think that I've actually become a nicer person for it. It seems to force you to take a long look at yourself and I think that I might have been a bit of an ass in the last couple of years. This book I'm reading says that depression makes you take your masks off. I'm not sure that they'll go back on when I'm better. Is anyone reading this... HELLO!!! God, I need someone to talk to. I rang a sex line just to try and have a conversation but she was a little limited. She actually sounded quite like my ex-cleaner, so maybe she's got a new job?

I've just reread this column and realised that I sound like a frickin' hippy. OK - I'm going to try and cheer up. I've been looking at famous people who are or were depressed and it reads like a geniuses' Who's Who. There's Stephen Fry, Winston Churchill, Lady Di I think must have had a touch, and someone called Marcus Trescothick who plays cricket has just recovered from a "stress-related illness", but I don't know anything about him.

Basically it doesn't happen to under-achievers, so if I'm going to put a positive spin on it, getting depressed is almost like a mile marker telling you that you're doing good. I just wish that they gave you a medal or something, but life's a bit tougher than that.

Lying in bed all day lets me watch the wonder that is UK daytime TV. Most of it is so bad that they should just replace it with a picture of a man baring his ass in a big empty field, as it would be of more value to society. However, I have discovered one gem - it's called The Wright Stuff and it's presented by this dude called Matthew Wright who is seriously on the pulse. I normally hate these kind of daily news review shows but this guy has got class and keeps the whole thing moving and interesting and he wears real sharp suits. They mix up guests so you get a rugby player and a minor pop star and a gardener reading funny stories out of the papers and people call in to do their thing as well. I've called in every day but haven't got on yet. Here's a Cooper tip: this guy is headed for the big time, watch this space - and no, we're not related. OK, cool, I managed to end this on a high, sort of. Thanks for all your e-mails of support and don't worry, Cooperman's going to be back on top form soon. Cooper out.

scoopercooper@gmail.com; www.myspace.com/scoopercooper

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