Thursday, 23 August 2007

Academic Life

The exams are over, the results are in, and so the thoughts of the scholars at Dr Lyre's Select School for Young Gentleman turn to their future life at University.

As the Chairman of the Board of Governors I was invited along to Speech Day to pass on a few words of wisdom.

I recounted a few of my own memories of life in those hallowed halls of learning of my own student days. The intimate quadrangles, the cloistered beauty, punting on hot summer days and all those people reading this and that, eager to open their minds to the great joys of learning. They were, indeed, idyllic days...apart from the unfortunate incident when I ....

Suddenly, a scruffy boy at the back interrupted with a yell...."Shut up you establishment toady...Beaver says University should be the best party you have ever been to times a thousand, and you should try and do as little work as possible!"

I must admit I turned puce. I was even more shocked when Dr Lyre started applauding and shouted "Bravo, and well done Snivel Minor, you have learnt your lessons well!"

I asked Dr.Lyre if we could adjourn to his study to discuss this aberrant behaviour and his reaction to it.

Apparently the citizens of Badgertown are fed up with Public Schoolboys taking all the places at Badgertown University and then getting all the plum jobs in Law, Government and the Media.

So, in order to help them hide their posh backgrounds Dr Lyre has been sending them on a training course with Beaver Hateman so that they can learn how to behave like "Oiks". "It has been a great success" he claimed. "He's taught them to drop their T's and H's, he's given them jobs stacking shelves so that they can claim they have really had to work - rather than rely on Mater and Pater, and he has even given hair and fashion advice so that they don't all look like Hugh Grant."

I am furious at this deception. Did it not occur to the good Doctor that Mister Hateman could also use this as an opportunity to fill impressionable minds with propaganda and ideas of dubious morality???

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

The Why? Factor

Once again I have been asked to act as a judge on the new series of the famous television programme "The Why? Factor"

Critic's can be a bit snooty about it - claiming the arguments between myself and, fellow judge, Wizard Blenkinsop are manufactured. But the audience are always agog with excitement - there is such a lot at stake for the contestants. First prize is a year's contract to work alongside Will Shudder in my Library and, of course, all the celebrity status that comes with the job.

On the remote chance that you have not watched the programme, I will explain the rules. Each contestant has a minute to impress the judges by putting forward a question and answering it in an entertaining manner. The first programme got off to a good start with a dwarf who posed the question "Why does water go down a plughole the wrong way in Australia?". He then gave a very exciting demonstration of the Coriolis Force using only mime. I felt I had to point out that scientists still argue about whether the effect can be seen in your sink of bathtub, but we decided to put him through to the next round.

But, of course, there is always some eager beaver who tries to pull off too big a subject for a Saturday evening audience. This particular beaver decided to tackle the question "Why are we here?".....well he had barely managed to get past "The origin and destiny of beavers is one of the greatest philosophical problems that has occupied the finest minds of all races throughout all ages.." when we had to stop him. Even Stephen Hawking would have trouble covering that one in a minute.

Badfort TV always schedule "Red Idol' against "The Why? Factor". Typical.
"Red Idol" is about the search, each year, for the most ardent anarchist in Badfort. The prize is to lead the May Day parade. I must admit I cannot resist recording it, as it is often quite amusing. I particularly enjoy Beaver Hateman's put downs of the contestants. Sooner or later he always upbraids them for lack of revolutionary zeal.
I always fast forward through the section where they have to invent and perform a song decrying my totalitarian rule - it's not funny, it's just hurtful.

As in previous years many wannabee's had come dressed as Che Guevara. I must admit, though, I did admire the one who had taken it one step further and came riding into the studio on a goat.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Who could play me?

Well, I must say the Old Monkey is right. News travels fast on this interweb thingy.
Since my last blog I have been inundated with requests to seriously consider allowing a film of my life.

A Mister Hugh Grant's agent has called a number of times extolling the qualities of his client in the role of myself. I must say he certainly has my boyish good looks. I have also been contacted by the agent of a Mister Stephen Fry. No offence to Mister Fry but he would need to lose a little weight to match my svelte figure.

I have also had agents putting forward their clients for other roles.
A Mister Gervais feels that he would be perfect as Beaver Hateman. He has even taken the trouble to dress as him in the photo he has e-mailed. I think that there is quite a likeness, however, I feel he will need a little prosthetic work to completely capture the ugliness of my nemesis.

The agent of a Mister Mayall is sure that his client captures the very essence of Hitmouse and I would have to say that in this picture he does indeed have an uncanny likeness to the reprobates sneering expression.

My only concern with these actors is whether there abilities are up to the job. The Old Monkey informs me that their skills are mostly limited to those of the comedic kind. Mister Gervais's agent tells me that he is very keen to move into dramatic roles, apparently he is always being asked to dance in a silly way that is rather demeaning and longs to show his hidden depths.

Could actors of this ilk really cope with a story of drama and pathos, such as mine ?
Would the audience have the wrong expectations and imagine that there would be a comedic element?

If only David Lean was still alive - for it would need a director of that calibre.

Dear readers, let me know your views - for you would be the audience for this epic.
Any other casting suggestions will be gratefully received.