Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Wrong Trousers

I was thinking yesterday about all the things that really annoy me and are absolute pants. It helped pass the time on the long bus ride home from a pointless meeting. Those probably annoy me most of anything apart from Celebrity Scissorhands replacing the Spooks preview on BBC3. I would have preferred to take a taxi but taxi driver conversations are soggy Pampers. At least on the bus nobody talks to you directly although they obviously talk about you, sometimes as if you weren’t there. ‘Stop it Tomika, youse annoyin’ vat loidy innit?’ Buses are a constant source of consternation. The upper deck is the preferred place to be but it can give you quite a start when you hit low branches full of conkers. Sometimes the council comes along and cuts a bus shaped hole in the trees and that’s absolute grey nylon slacks. The only time I have ever been in a motoring accident in London was on a 253 bus.

An infuriating thing about taxis is that the door button keeps going up and down, making a completely unnecessary noise. The door button goes up and down to stop you from jumping out of the cab whenever it stops at traffic lights, which is 413 times on the average journey across London. If you are paying £30 for a ride, the least you should be able to expect is quiet enjoyment as the only reason you are taking a cab in the first place is because you are too tired to walk or take a bus. It is probably the middle of the night and you are most likely returning from holiday with a huge bag. You are unlikely to be jumping out mid-journey because the only reason you have taken a cab is to get home. I fail to see how the mechanism could stop potential fare dodgers anyway. They would not be carrying heavy baggage - that would just slow them down. Since the cab has to stop eventually and let you out – would this not be the ideal time to run away? You wouldn’t pick your own home obviously as a destination. That would be silly. It just smacks of not being properly thought through.

Another pet incendiary is celebrities who don’t expect to abide by any laws, anywhere, at any time. Sir Paul ‘The Pillock’ McCartney is a case in point. The Telegraph reported today on his long running battle with his local council, Rother in East Sussex. It seems The Pillock built a £1m 2 bedroom log cabin and pavilion (pause to celebrate the audacity of his clever builder), without planning permission. Obviously celebrated knights of the realm should not have to bother with the everyday administration that devours the prime quality hours of the rest of us drones. When questioned by officials, The Pillock’s minions shoved in a retrospective planning application which, according to The Telegraph, was refused because,

‘they [the buildings] had been built without consent in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The buildings, they ruled, "harm the intrinsic landscape quality and character" of the High Weald.’

The council ordered the buildings torn down but The Pillock appealed because,

‘the 205 square metre cabin was essential for the "privacy, seclusion and security" of his family.’

Since being informed by a spokesperson for the harp seals of the North Pole recently that they were no longer welcome anywhere in the Arctic Circle because their vast entourage was contributing to global warming and leading people with large clubs straight to the seals, the McCartneys clearly have nowhere else to go.

Unlike the polar icecap, the upstanding burghers of Rother were disinclined to melt and ordered the Pillock to tear down his ‘beloved’ log cabin which he is believed to have visited approximately once. But the Pillock didn’t get his reputation by giving up an untenable position just like that. Nooooo. In a brilliant strategic sleight of hand, he offered a deal according to The Telegraph,

‘if he could keep the lodge and pavilion, he would undertake to knock down an old farmhouse called ''Beanacres" on the estate and two agricultural barns. To sweeten the pot, a new landscape and habitat management plan for the 933-acre estate was submitted. This promised moves to increase bio-diversity and organic farming activities.’

This is a bit like me stealing a television from Comet and, on being caught, offer to give them back a DVD player which I had bought from Currys*. Incredibly, planners were going to agree to this deal but councillors hesitated and insisted on making a ‘site visit’. Oh yeah, and they’ll be dining out on which story exactly for the next ten years pray?

As councillors clawed their way through this ethical minefield over a lovely soy cream tea, they concluded that everyone’s best interests would be served by taking no decision at all. Quickly whipping out their BlackBerrys, they informed the Pillock of their availability for the next ‘site visit’. Everyone seemed happy with the outcome and the councillors retreated unsure of whether they were Arthur or Martha My Dear.

There's been so much horse-trading on this it's difficult to remember what it was all about originally’, a council source told The Telegraph.

Now that is a dirty old man’s button-ups.

* Dear Comet - it wasn’t me nicked the tele. I think it was that Dave Hill geezer.

Cartoon from


Hairdresser said...

I just came across your blog by accident. Its the funniest thing I have read in ages. I'll be back. Paul McCartney is a prat. I always prefered George Harrison RIP.

That's so pants said...

Hi hairdresser. Going anywhere nice this winter? Welcome. Oh and I cut my fringe yesterday, for a meeting. It was getting in my eyes. Do you know Claudia? You won't say anything will you? I like you. Welcome

Groucho said...

I'm leaving because the weather is so good. I had London when it's not raining.

Ben said...

You don't like pants. OK!

That's so pants said...

Groucho - surely you mean you 'hate' London when it's not raining. I presume you'll be staying now. Let me know if you need a doctor. I'll ring the nearest golf course.

Ben - you are a very naughty boy.

Groucho said...

Absolutely right my trousered friend. Either I'm dead or my watch has stopped.