I need to admit it; I have an unusual interest. It’s nothing too creepy, I like to look at and admire things that are just a little bit wrong or not terribly good. Simple things like enjoying the images of a carefree Carl Vorderman emerging from the ITV studios in a bodycon dress that’s just a teeny bit too tight or the way Paul Scholes tackled. Possibly the greatest midfielder England has ever produced with the ball at his feet, but a complete lummox when it came to trying to take the ball from the feet of others. If he could have tackled like Booby Moore he would be regarded as better than Pele. Unfortunately his tackling prowess was closer to Brian Moore’s. But to watch him scythe down an opponent a good two minutes after the guy had passed the ball to a team-mate was a source of sheer joy to me. He turned contact clumsiness into an art form and he’d cap it with a show of utter disbelief whenever he was pulled up by some short-sighted referee and shown a very rare yellow card. Ah priceless.
But this isn’t a footie posting as I’ve got lots of different examples of this little joy-taking and if you were honest I’m sure you might admit to some too. For example I love scanning the front covers of celebs mags like Closer, Now and Heat especially when they are in the mood for some unflattering beach shots – the cellulite, the extra pounds, rubbish fake tans, unsightly hair and in Peter Stringfellow’s case all of the above and a leopard-skin thong. Shocking but unmissable.
You want some more? Well if I go to the doctor’s or the dentist’s I’ll make a bee-line for the magazines and hunt out the women’s problem pages. The stuff that women write in about is just mind-blowing. In the days before Talksport the station used to be a general chat broadcaster called Talk Radio and Phillip Hodson was the relationship counsellor. His daily mid-morning slot would always be a mind-expanding experience. I’m 100% certain that the audience who wrote in – and it was mostly women – were convinced that nobody else was listening in to their awkward questions to Phillip about whether it was ok to do the unusual things that their latest boyfriends were suggesting they try out. Phillip was always adventurous in his advice.
Some other examples? Well I do enjoy watching tv’s Time Team, the programme that popularised archaeology. The uncovered history is fascinating but not as enthralling as the cast of wacky characters who present the show. I’ve covered them off before (see the posting https://pastapaulie.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/dress-senseor-not/) but the undisputed oddball is Phil Harding who talks with a strong West country accent and he wears this felt Indian Jones fedora to hide his long lank thinning hair. Now he’s a sweaty digger old Phil and I like nothing more than spotting the moment when the sweat on his brow permeates the felt and shows up as a huge stain on the light brown fedora as below. Easy girls…
I think to him it’s a sign of manliness but to me it’s confirmation that he simply has no appreciation of his personal appearance. He needs Gok Wan to get him to lower his trowel and undertake one of those make-overs but he never will of course. And that’s why I like to observe him – he’s full of stubborness, intransigence and an unwillingness to grasp the basic fundamentals of how to attract women. Except I read today that he has a very large female following – just amazing. I wonder if any of them are of the human variety?
As it’s Wimbledon I thought I’d offer one final example of compelling to watch wrongness, involving one of tennis’ great players (though not so winning at this year’s tournament). Did any of you notice, before he got knocked out, Rafa Nadal’s rather unwelcome habit of extricating his shorts from his arse crack after every point?
He doesn’t even pretend to do it discreetly and the cameras don’t seem to try too hard to avoid capturing the really deep excavations old Rafa makes into his crease to rescue his all-white thong. I find myself screaming ‘just pop into El Corte Ingles and get some regular briefs son’. But it’s still ee-yewkily compulsive.
So there you are, another confessional from pp. If you can match these I’d like to hear from you.