Saturday, April 08, 2006

Colonel Moseley's Least Favourite Things

What ho! Yesterday I was enjoying a Mr Kipling bakewell slice after Countdown and idly thumbing through a few back editions of Birmingham 13. Although I had been trying hard to eschew cynicism and giving constructive advice on topics ranging from weddings to problems at work, I noted that the by-line of my column had descended from an encouraging “Moseley Musings” to “Moseley Moaner” and even “Blah, Blah, Blah”. As Kenneth Williams once said “Charming!” – or was it “Ooooh, matron”?

Anyway, I drew this to the attention of the Mem who advised that I should write something in keeping with my feisty by-line. Although I couldn’t stretch to the vituperation of Julie Birchell, I must admit I rather fancied myself as the iconoclastic Will Self of Oxford Road, so here are my current ten least favourite things:

Smoking: I’m in favour of personal freedom, so do what you please unless it harms somebody else or frightens the horses. For the life of me, however, I can’t see why anyone should be forced to breathe in someone else’s smoke against their will.
Metro-sexuals: I first noticed this when the Mem kept going on about that wonderful David Beckham and AA Gill and remarking on their immaculate grooming and “lovely skin”. For some reason, it seems that ladies of a certain age are impressed and attracted by the sight of straight chaps in a sarong with a working knowledge of moisturisers or able to wax wittily about molecular gastronomy at the Fat Duck at Bray. It’s all very unsettling.
The Deputy Prime Minister: I don’t want to comment about easy targets like the Blairs, so what about this man? Leaving inarticulacy and fisticuffs aside, can anyone tell me what The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has achieved or any good stemming from policies on regional assemblies in England or building on the green belt?
Supporting Birmingham City: if you are a genuine football fan, once you have a team, it’s yours for life. However hard you try, Saturday nights are made better or worse by that day’s result. In the case of the Blues, it’s always been tricky, but so far this season it’s been misery with no remission. Can anything be done about that gypsy curse?
Smug cyclists: some cyclists do it for environmental reasons, some for fitness… but some because it’s really cheap.
Winterbreak - political correctness gone mad: I believe that a wider knowledge of diverse cultures and beliefs will increase understanding and prospects of peace. Multi-culturalism, however, doesn’t require the renaming or deletion from the public calendar of festivals, such as Christmas. All faiths should be celebrated authentically with offence to no-one.
Middle-aged trendies : men past 45 should avoid brightly coloured waistcoats, cheeky-chappie bow ties, small ethnic woollen hats, novelty socks, ties and tee shirts and all Lycra, especially cycling shorts.
Wrapping – not Eminem, packaging: I don’t think it’s just advancing years, but should it really be so hard to open a milk carton, vacuum-packed 13 amp plug or container of soup?
Manic mothers: assertiveness on the school run in very large 4 x 4's is a worry to lesser mortals : I know it’s tough, but please slow down.
Close votes: in every viewer’s vote on TV, whether it’s Big Brother, Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing on Ice, it’s invariably “too close to call”. We all know it’s actually about maximising income, so come off it, Davina, Brucie or whoever….

I’m afraid whiskers on kittens didn’t make the list, but then I’m not exactly Julie Andrews. Pip, pip!

*this piece also appeared in Birmingham 13

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