Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I am hungover. Its not fun. Its possibly the opposite of fun. Which I remember once being described by Corey on Boy Meets World - a hugely underrated show in my humble opinion and yes, I still fancy Danielle Fisher even though she's clearly bonkers now - as being 'wood'. I don't think this is true. I'm fairly sure people have used wood for fun before. Or at least indirectly ie you know using paper to er, make fun things or erm, a lump of wood to er sit on in a fun way. Hmm. Maybe they were right. Either way, this hangover is whatever that definition is - maybe it's coal? I mean how much fun is coal? Surely its less fun than wood? Or concrete? That's pretty dull - and I don't like it. Not a bit. But that's not what today's blog is about. No. See this paragraph as the Alfred Hitchcock deceiving beginning before you launch into the main crux of plot. Its also a bit to do with the wayward way in which my hungover brain is working, so bear with me. If you didn't growl like a bear then you can't be my friend. FACT. Right so, proper blog bit now:

I bloody love people. Not in a 'well why don't you just go and marry them then' way. Or a 'why don't you just sexytime people then huh bloody People Lovey McLoverson?' More in a constant fascination about how their lives and minds work and a never ending curiosity to learn about them. Well, most people anyway. Oddly, this fascination normally ends with drivers. Not just any drivers but the people that are specifically sent to pick you up when you do telly stuff. That's right telly stuff. Look at me all Johnny Big Britches. All the drivers I've had for the warm up work I've been doing this last week have operated on a 'he clearly doesn't want to talk to us, we won't talk to him' and we've acknowledged that chances are we'll have as much in common as someone with emotions and George Osbourne. So then 45 minutes of silent driving occurs, I sit and think about things generally enjoying life and playing on my phone till we get there and I politely say thanks and run away. Yesterday morning's driver tried to foil this plan in his desperate need for chat by throwing a few curve balls at me. He started by talking about football, but I was too quick and bluntly told him I really don't like football, causing all chat to cease immediately, while he cackled at shit jokes on TalkSport. I thought we were done, but unfortunately he was cut up by a man in a car on his mobile phone and this prompted a spew of insults followed by a very boring run down of this man's road safety ideals. I offered little back with some oh's and 'yes people are terrible aren't they?' hoping he would stop but he took a swift segueway into chat about bad times to drive during the day and it felt like we were on a rollercoaster ride into boredom town. Or Woodsville if you like. And I do. Luckily we were only 15 minutes away from the studio and with sheer determination I got through the yawns before leaping out of the car with superb speed.

I was dreading similar chat on the way home, and had prepping in my head all the ways to deflect driving talk. Perhaps shouting 'GOD CARS ARE SO FUCKING BORING' or something like that might work. But as I approached the car a tiny old white haired Italian man wearing racing gloves appeared. He bounded over to the car with more energy than a man of that age should have and instantly started asking me about my name. I felt it necessary to ask him where he was from due to his accent and within minutes was being told his tales of growing up in the mountains near Venice and being in the Italian 1956 Winter Olympics slalom team. I sat enthralled by all the stories of the training and determination but the sad defeat at landing only 23rd place and the immediate end of his professional skiing career. With a few simple conversational prompts from myself I learnt all about his romance with, as he wonderfully referred to her, 'a beautiful English rose', his catering industry that collapsed due to Italian family issues that all sounded quite Godfatherish, and the remarkable story of the day he got caught up in pillow fight between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton at the Dorchester. Now, after all of this, he's a driver while his English rose is sadly homebound due to hip problems. I didn't want to upset him but I was amazed at how a man who's had such excitement in his life can now be happy with his far more restricted life. His response was merely that he loves his wife, has amazing kids and grandchildren and can drive round the West End better than anyone else because that's his 'turf'. Amazing. I hopped out of the car never having known this man's name but feeling privy to a whole lifestory I might never have known if I'd just stacked up 'I HATE FOOTBALL' in my head and checked Twitter every two minutes.

This isn't to say that's not what I'll do next time. What will happen is that it'll happen once, and I'll start a conversation before finding myself embroiled in dull chat about getting tyres changed or why it is that people don't say thanks when they cross the road and I'll start thinking I'd be having more fun in a wood factory. So what am I saying with this blog? Be more open to people as you never know what might happen? Or that there is an exception to every rule including the one that all drivers are fucking dull? Or maybe that old Italian men are really good at lying as I've checked wikipedia and 23rd place in the 1956 slalom is a Polish man. Hmm. Maybe its just that I should have Nurofen in the house for times exactly like this, when my head feels not dissimilar to wood.

No comments:

Post a Comment