Janey's Blogs - June 2011
Sunday the 12th of June 2011
(originally written for and published in the Scotsman newspaper)
I am bringing the house down
WHY is it that when one appliance in my home packs in, the rest of the house joins in? Just before I flew to London last week, my entire home in Glasgow went into meltdown and began a systematic assault on me.
The dial that controls my washing machine decided it had been twisted enough in its lifespan and fell off in pieces. On hearing this tragic news, the electrical element in my storage heater threw a hissy fit, blew a fuse and refused to heat the living-room.
I ran to the wardrobe to pull out a cardigan and the mirror doors jammed in a sock that lay itself on the runners like a crumpled soul, so then the door came off and clattered on top of me.
This horrifying news about the suicidal sock got spread to the bathroom by means that I am not entirely sure of, and the toilet pan seat slammed itself down in anger and broke in half.
The shower head (which hates to be left out of any drama) decided to pack up and started spraying water in all directions like a deformed penis. The last toilet roll got soaked in the process and dripped sadly on to the carpet.
The roller blind in the bathroom came out in sympathy and fell off the window and hit my glass jar that sat sleepily on the ledge. The glass jar didn't take the assault well and broke into six pieces.
The hallway must have felt very bereft, as it had housed the glass jar in the past, so its grief made the clothes rail in the hall-entry pop a few pegs and all the coats got jammed behind the cupboard door. The noise resonated throughout the flat, and the coats looked like dead people in heap.
At that point, the lock on the outside door made a terrifying noise as a key was inserted into its hole. The lock cried "rape" – it broke and jammed half a key inside its dark belly, refusing to give it up.
If this wasn't enough, a scented candle on my window ledge hissed oddly, let the wind pick it up and tossed it out of my top-floor bedroom window, taking a tub of talcum with it, and smashed dangerously on to the car park beneath, scaring the wee boys who smoke out the back court.
The mixture of melted splattered blue wax and white talcum looked intriguingly artistic. Fifty more yards into the West End and that would have been a community art installation and a European grant would have secured the site. Despite its potential as a future Turner Prize winner, I had to go down and clean it up.
The broom took one look at the situation and promptly lost its head. The broom can be temperamental and has been known to be incredibly idle in the past. It houses a family of spiders and takes pride in not disturbing them.
The fridge in the kitchen (which has always been a known self-harmer) managed to break its plastic door shelf and blew a light, just for attention.
The oven ignored the cry to arms and stoically radiated heat from its fan, but then got too excited, overdid itself and blew the thermostat. We had to eat cold lasagne, because the microwave is working on a defrost-only basis since I ignored the constipated noise it was making at Christmas. It has been trying hard to get some attention, but I declared it cheap and stupidly said aloud one day: "We can buy another one for thirty quid."
On hearing this, the microwave gave up trying to please me. It felt cheapened and dirty.
On realising there was a domestic appliance revolt on my hands, I quickly ran to the sink and shoved bleach down the plughole, as it is usually the prime dissident in the ranks. I caught it just in time, as it was slowly attempting to choke itself on rice crispies and red kidney beans, but I force-fed it hot water through a funnel and it relented. For now. But I know that it's planning a second assault and is patiently waiting on thick porridge oats coming down to help it out.
The rest of the flat stayed quiet. I was too scared to open a door in case it slammed back and jammed my fingers.
Friday the 24th of June 2011
There comes a time when you realise you are old and that time comes when you moan about pop stars who get their vag out for a song on the telly. OK, maybe getting their VAG out was a bit of a stretch and we are in the throes of a sexual revolution regards the UK trying to stop the sexualisation of kids, but some pop songs are very dirty aren't they? When I was young that sort of imagery was porn; watching young people grind their crotches together and consistently flashing their pubes through sheer underwear... was shocking. Now it's normal.
I am not a prude - I once had a dirty snog up an alley and almost frightened a family of stray cats - and I do hate any kind of censorship as freedom of speech is at the very heart of what being a comedian is, but should Nicole Scherzinger really have been on Britain's Got Talent singing in some odd patois accent "I like it when me man go down down," and point at her vag as she thrusts it full force at screen? My eight year old niece was trying to gyrate like her as this was going on, much to the horror of her mum who switched over quickly and they all missed the end of Britain's Got Talent final.
I know Madonna way back in the day got her nips out and snogged a black Jesus and upset lots of Middle American people and I was there when Frankie went to Hollywood and told us when to 'come'. It all seems somehow tame when you have Rhianna in an S&M outfit with SLUT on the butt as she sings about being fucked and punched on a music channel during daytime.
My real issue lies with adult women (well... mothers to be precise) who buy their wee seven year old daughters a padded bra and some pink thongs to wear to a 'girlie party'. I am hoping it's mothers who buy this shit, because if it is fathers... then that's odd. Anyway, what woman thinks it's OK to make their tiny child look 'dirty sexy?'
Ashley still bemoans the fact I made her wear a 'cotton rich frock covered in fruits of the forest berries printed all over it with a white Peter Pan Collar and knee length frilled hem' to her 12 year old disco at Laurel Park School and she has never forgotten the denim dungaree outfit with white cotton shirt set that made her an object of fun at summer camp.
I didn't want her wearing a bra until she positively HAD TO and, as for sexualised clothing, her dad almost wept when he deposited her at the disco door in the fruits of the forest dress when he saw some of her class mates in midriff lycra and high heeled boots over a tiny mini skirt.
He wanted to vomit as the wee girls shook their bums and flirted with bigger boys outside the venue. Ashley wanted to cry knowing she looked like Little House on the Prairie girl in her flat shoes and berry red hair clips. Nobody wins the fight of the pre teen girl, but it's up to parents to use good common sense. I believe traumatising them in horrid red berry cotton prints usually stops them getting a peacock sense of sexual behaviour and prevents early 'boyfriend syndrome'... it works! Ask Ashley. Nobody can preen and be flirty in a knee length frock covered in raspberries.
On a serious note, we don't want to believe that how you dress incites sexual assault and it really doesn't - despite some small minded wankers who insist that it does. But it's not about that, it's about letting girls grow up and the rate they need to. I know there are some twelve year old girls who can get away with a more mature sense of fashion but that still doesn't include a padded bra and some diamante thongs on show with a latex mini dress. Mums and dads need to show a bit more savvy when dressing their kids, I can't speak about boys' clothing as I have never dressed a son and am sure they have their own issues, but really a padded plunge cleavage bra for a seven year old girl? I don't think so.
So, pop stars need to rethink their masturbatory habits on tea time telly and parents need to be more responsible when wondering if their pre-teen daughters need a boob lift bra.