Sunday, December 10, 2006

Amateur Time

As the festive season approaches at 160 Km/H (a hundred miles an hour in old money) we are faced with what an old friend of mine refers to as 'amateur time'. What on earth does he mean?

Well, its not the ticking off of passing seconds by someone who isnt paid to do so. Have no fear, Old father time is alve and well, and looking forward to the 31st December when he gets to go to parties and watch, as Big Ben strikes midnight, the assembled people search for the least physically unattractive person to kiss and shout 'happy new year' to, before turning into a newborn baby. Father Time, that is, not the kisser.

Nor is it the most dreadful Japanese import of modern times, Karaoke, where people who have deluded themselves into thinking they can sing stand up in front of their mates and murder songs like 'The Locomotion' (which should be murdered) and 'Wish You Were Here' (which should not be). Why is it that most people who do this cant carry a tune in a bucket?

Sliding down the scale of tastelessness for which I am so rightly known, the last thing it isnt. Its not those few pages to be found in 'gentlemens magazines' so often named after Ford cars (until they came out with the Mondeo which, if it were a magazine, sounds like it would be target at men who dont like girls). I'm referring to the pages where the 'mistress of the house' tries to live up to her title by allowing her hubby to send in a few pictures of her removing, piece by flimsy piece, her best dominatrix outfit in a seedy hotel bedroom in Walsall.

No, we were closest with Karaoke, its about pubs... At this time of year, folks who have stayed in all year watching soap operas and knitting their own hamsters decide to go out for a drink. Of course they deserve it, but these are the same people who have a bet on the horses only when the 'Grand National' is running. For my American readers, the Grand National is a bit like the Kentucky Derby, but without the fried chickens. Thus, the pubs dig out the bottles of sweet vermouth which havent seen the light of day since last year, and hang up a few sprigs of tired looking mistletoe. Conversations take place debating whether 'Cinzano' should be pronounced to rhyme with 'chin' or 'sin', and harrassed looking husbands in oversized, chunky-knit, olive green cardigans with big brown buttons find their senses overwhelmed by the beauty of the pneumatic young lady behind the bar and intoxicated by the merest sniff of her beer-splashed apron.

My curmudgeonly colleague claims that, as a seasoned and regular consumer of the fermented malt beverage, his enjoyment of the drinking establishment is adversely affected by these migratory visitors with their soundtrack of Slade, Wizzard, John Lennon and Yoko Ono and the Wombles. Personally, I think the miserable git should be forced to sit at the top of the christmas tree until his attitude improves.

Another Dubonnet and lemonade please, Sandra, and could I have another cherry please love, 'cos this one's gone a bit limp?

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