Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Will somebody help Dougie the Dog grow up?

MRS BEELZEBUB cannot sing. And she knows she cannot sing.

That didn’t stop her punching me in the ribs when I reminded her of this affliction at a recent funeral, but no matter. The point is that she would rather give up shoe shopping before she would ever enter herself for a TV “talent” show like the X Factor. And Hell would promptly freeze over.

(I know Peter Mandelson is reckoned to be … ahem … a bit light on his feet, but if these botched trade quotas start hitting supplies of imported footwear, he better start running, fast.)

So what makes 75,000 supposedly rational people apply for auditions for this programme? Especially when it’s patently obvious that for 74,990 of them, it’s going to be a complete and utter waste of time?

Why would you rise at the crack of dawn, slap on the make up and the Sunday suit, queue all day in some soulless hotel lobby, only to be cut off before you’ve got four bars into I Will Survive and then be gratuitously insulted by some middle-aged poseurs for the delectation on the watching millions? Why?

The answer lies in the no blame/all fame culture that infests our society. Just as no-one is allowed to fail a single exam (to the point that even six-fingered kids from Bolton are collecting half a dozen A grades), just as no-one is allowed to miss out on university (even though they’d be far better academically suited as rat catchers or newspaper accountants), just as no-one wants to do a proper job anymore unless it involves immediate tabloid adulation and a million quid for nowt (and that takes in Page 3 models, Big Brother contestants and most footballers), everyone now thinks that they have an inalienable right to be famous.

It matters not that they have no discernable talent. It matters not that they can’t kick a ball or sing a note. Somewhere in their distorted psyche (for which we are all responsible) is the belief that all that stands between them and a glittering television career is a funny looking bloke with trousers up to his armpits.

So up they step for public humiliation and, having never before experienced the concept of “failure”, don’t they react badly when they actually “fail”? I’ve never seen such a bunch of spineless tossers, dissolving into a tissue at the very thought that they might not be pitch perfect, even when it’s patently obvious that they produce the kind of blood-chilling noise you’d expect to hear coming from Elton John’s honeymoon suite.

One such no-mark, a plump single mum, had brought her feral family to support her (they’d probably never seen carpet before) but to no avail. Dressed up in her finest New Look and with an extra coat of polish on her tattoos, she was so appallingly bad that even the potato-headed Louis Walsh couldn’t find a redeeming feature.

When she was informed of this fact and ushered out of the audition, there then developed a shouting match featuring the council-faced grandmother of the brood.

“You’ve ruined my daughter’s life,” screamed the raddled old harridan.

No, love, you have. By producing an offspring so bereft of ambition or imagination that a two-minute slot on trash TV is all that she has to aspire to, you’ve created that weeping, self-obsessed monster in the blue polyester boob tube and the fetching spangly thong. Think on.

NOT CONTENT with sending their licensed muggers out to harass us on the streets, our national charities have now discovered just how cheap advertising on satellite television is. (A fiver a slot seems to be the going rate.)

Hence, we are bombarded with constant appeals for money to help sick kids, thick kids, old people and animals. I’ve been watching one such advert, for the PDSA, for over a month now.

Send money, it implores, to “give Poppet the cat the treatment she needs” or to “give Dougie the dog the chance to grow up.” Well excuse me, but what caring charity keeps sick animals hanging around a television studio day after day just to tug at the heartstrings (and purse-strings) of old women who smell of wee?

Any decent organization would have taken them to the vets for treatment weeks ago.

SUCH WAS the fierce competition in the inaugural Scrote of the Year contest, where dissolute families battle to claim the most in benefits by virtue of having children like shelling peas, that I had to close it down after three months in fear of bankruptcy.

The number of prizes required (hampers of microwave pizzas, Findus Crispy Pancakes, packets of Lambert and Butler King Size and Turkey Twizzler-flavoured Pot Noodles) were spiralling out of control as it became apparent that half the country appeared to be on board this particular gravy train.

But we can still cast an eye over those making a notable challenge when it comes to robbing the taxpayer blind, and there’s an interesting and lucrative sideline I’ve noticed as well.

Enter stage left the Ramond family of Newcastle upon Tyne. By scrote standards they have a relatively modest nine children and pull in less than £40,000 a year in benefits and handouts. (The fact that the ordinary working man would have to earn a salary of over £65,000 to achieve this income is neither here nor there.)

Despite this Nanny State largesse, it appears that the Ramonds can’t even pay the pitiful rent of £12.50 a week on their housing association home and, because they’re already blacklisted by the council for defaulting on rent arrears at their last home, fear being turned out onto the streets. It won’t happen of course. The legions of leather-elbowed, lentil-eating Lefties will make sure it doesn’t.

The father of the family - Ray Ramond, aged 39 – claims he cannot work because of depression. You might be depressed too with nine children milling around your feet. The mother, 36-year-old Tracey, (and here comes the rub) is paid £123 a week as a full-time carer for daughter Stacey, 12, who suffers from something called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

There are two factors to consider here. Firstly, does ADHD even exist, and if it does why did we never hear of it until 10 years ago? Isn’t it just being naughty or a bit thick? Secondly, have you noticed how every scrote household manages to have at least one “sick” child, thereby attracting the additional bunce of the carer’s allowance? (Many of these revenue-earning kids have “asthma”, usually not unrelated to their parents prodigious consumption of cigarettes.)

The Ramonds appear to have hedged their bets in this area. As well as “special” Stacey, Nicky (10) also has ADHD, Tia (three) is partially blind and Leigh (four) has only one kidney. (Despite the temptation, I’m not going to start talking about genetics here.) The other Ramond children, for your delectation, are called Susan, Courtney, Cherlynne, Chantelle and, inevitably, Chardonnay.

Now you may call me hard and uncaring. You can call me a heartless middle-class snob. You may view the Ramonds as a close-knit family unit doing their best to prosper in the face of insurmountable odds.

On the other hand, you might just think they’re the biggest set of scroungers since the Big Issue mobilised beggars. You decide.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone who hadn’t worked out by part two that it was the woman in the mortuary who killed all those people in Messiah 4, of anyone expecting The Guardian and the BBC to set up a relief fund for all those poor flooded Americans, or of anyone who can understand how an increase in the numbers of children drinking can possibly be linked to the new 24-hour licences that haven’t even started yet. I mean, how many 11-year-olds have you seen propping the bar up in your local while smoking a pipe and ordering a pint of mild?


Post a Comment

<< Home