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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Naughty Lions

I've been watching a programme called Lion Man recently. It's about a bloke called Craig Busch who has opened a big cat sanctuary in New Zealand. He has amazing relationships with his cats, who obviously love him and miss him when he's away.

He's particularly interested in breeding white lions and white Royal Bengal tigers, and four white lion cubs are being raised with three white tiger cubs. Here is a bit of film taken when he and one of his regular builders were doing improvements to an enclosure.

By the way, at the zoo on Monday I heard, not for the first time, someone talking about white tigers as being Siberian tigers. I suppose they think of snowy Siberia and snow and make an assumption. But at least that's better than the woman who, looking at a serval, said, "I think that's a meerkat"!

Talking Hands

With such wonderful hands, both Vincent and Bobby should be very expressive using sign language. Of course, just like Chinese, French and German, Bobby speaks it. Badly.

"Are you denying my talents?"
Only your linguistic ones, darling.
Bobby uses his long arms to help him goose the drug dealer.
Bobby gets ready for a game of leapfrog, but even bending over
he's much too big for Eames to reach.
Bobby is so broad in the shoulders that Eames finds herself
elbowed out of her seat in the interrogation room.
Bobby plots his revenge after Eames reports him to the Captain
for taking up too much space.
"If I hide my lips behind my hand, the Vixens won't have anything to lust over."
In an effort to empathise with the deaf community, Bobby covers his eyes.
Er - should be your EARS, Bobby. Bit difficult to read sign language like that.
Bobby is given a talking to for refusing to shrink to a more manageable size.
No, Bobby, Mafia gestures do NOT count as sign language.
The two detectives have a tiff over who gets Eames.

English for Advanced Users

Actually, it's a bit of basic use of Cockney Rhyming Slang.

I thought I'd retell my adventures at the zoo using a few words that used to be common currency in London, but are sadly falling into disuse.

"On Monday, as it was really brass monkeys, my boat got really red. I went to have a butchers at the titfers. I fancied a pint down at the rub-a-dub but I settled for a cup of Rosie."

Need a hand translating?

boat = boat race = face
butchers = butcher's hook = look
titfer = tit-for-tat = hat
rub-a-dub = rub-a-dub-dub = pub
Rosie = Rosie Lee = tea

All clear? Good!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bobby is not...

...his Brother's Keeper. Though he might like to be. Better for Frank if he were.

"Who put this damn logo on my back?"
"Was it you? This is getting beyond a joke."
"Now it's on my shoulder. I give up."
"That's weird. It can float by itself in the air."
"Ha, ha! Now it's got my brother."
"If you want it on there, you'll have to stretch it to this size."
"I'm happy with it as a badge on my breast pocket, doctor.
Please don't make me have it tattooed - you know where. Ouch!"
Three provocative poses.

See, they got it on there in the end, they just had to do it from a distance to make the two fit together.

Monday, December 29, 2008

English Lesson

That's English from England, as opposed to any other variant spoken around the world.

Firstly, "Quiff".
This is probably an age thing. I'm sure that bit of hair sticking out in front on male teddy boys/rock-and-rollers in the 1950s and early 1960s was well known on both sides of the Atlantic.

Then, "Brass Monkeys".
This is an abbreviation of "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey", referring to very cold weather.

Finally, "Knackered".
1. Broken, worn out - eg. My car is 10 years old and it's knackered.
2. Exhausted - eg. I've been on my feet all day and I'm knackered.

The "quiff" is on account of Fenwayspal (innocent young thing) asking what a quiff is.

The rest is to describe my day. I went to the Zoo. It was very sunny, but it was brass monkeys, and I had to buy a hat and gloves before I froze. (This is the "me" who wears teeshirts and no coat outdoors almost all the time.) Now I'm absolutely knackered.

Meanwhile, we have reached Albatross.

"I scrabble through the dirt, and Eames just swans off. "
"Er, no I wash not dwinking lass night."
Bobby whistles to cover up the sound of his peeing up a tree.
"No, Eames, your bum doesn't look big in that, honestly (hee,hee,hee)."
Bobby makes eyes at the lady judge in the hope of convicting SWMNBN next time round.

Alex and Bobby watch in disbelief as the Vixens invade the set.
Eames wins the "pull a silly face" contest.
Bobby keeps trying, but just looks kissable.
"Whose idea was the Van Der Graaf generator?
I'll never get my hair to lie flat again."
Bobby treads in something even he finds unpleasant.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back to 1971

Once before I posted some Morecambe and Wise - the show in which The Beatles appeared.

The other night their 1971 Christmas show was shown.

Just to be clear for non-British readers, Morecambe and Wise were a brilliant comedy duo, whose Christmas shows were consistently the most-viewed broadcasts of the festive season. Big stars queued up to be invited on their shows.

In this clip, the eminent classical musician Andre Previn (at the time probably Mr Mia Farrow) conductor of one of the top London orchestras, is publicly humiliated by the comics.

Happy Privilege Day, Jazzy

Tomorrow is Jazzy's birthday, and while I was selecting pictures from Privilege to post, I noticed that Bobby was taking far too much notice of her in many of them.

"Which do you think she'd like best, a gift or flowers?"
"I left her gift over there. Who's moved it?"
"I was going to get down on one knee to propose, but..."
"So which one of you is Jazzy, exactly?"
"You gave Jazzy the gift I bought! You're a dead man!"
"Don't look so proud of him, you're next."
"This pose is just for you."
Hands up those who want to help Jazzy unwrap the Python - er, I mean, her gift?
"Well, if Jazzy won't hug me to keep me warm, I'll do it myself."
"I want to hold your hand."
"Here's the birthday girl! Hooray! Applause!"
"Did I overdo it? Are you embarrassed?!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

I have been a feminist for over 40 years. Women as well as men have used the term in a derogatory manner throughout this time.

When I was a student I was constantly doing battle with male students, both left and right wing, not to be trivialised by having doors opened for me as if I were a poor weak little thing. You have no idea of the tricks they would play to get one over on me.

Sadly, the male of the species has used women's fight for independence to excuse bad manners - and indeed, some women have used rudeness and ungraciousness to refuse simple courtesies. Now people with walking sticks find themselves having doors left to crash into them, and those for whom doors are opened waltz through without making an acknowledgment, let alone giving thanks.

So, in my more mature years, I regard the opening of doors for others (ANY others) as mere good manners. But I have not lost sight of the supposed inferiority of the female that led to the patronisation of women in the first place.

I am glad to see that the problem has been the subject of thoughtful consideration for some time, as this passage from the book named in the title shows.

"I lament that women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions, which men think it manly to pay the sex, when, in fact, they are insultingly supporting their own superiority... S0 ludicrous, in fact, do these ceremonies appear to me, that I scarcely am able to govern my muscles, when I see a man start with eager, and serious solicitude, to... shut a door, when the lady could have done it herself, had she only moved a pace or two."

And the author of this wisdom? Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97). Two hundred years ago she wrote her lengthy and erudite thesis on how women (and slaves, and the poor) responded to their treatment, and society's views of them, by conforming rather than by challenging. We don't appear to have caught up with her yet.

Mary Wollstonecraft

In case the name sounds familiar and you can't place it, she married William Godwin, and produced a daughter, Mary Godwin, later Mary Shelley - wife of the poet and author of Frankenstein.
No shrinking violet there.

Love and War

Bobby loves his mother, and in this episode, I can't help feeling he's at war with himself as much as with the Captain.

I love that little quiff!
"Doesn't anyone take my acting seriously round here?"
Of course we do sweetheart. But it can't distract us from our lust.
For example...
"Waaahhhh! My mother's dying, and all you want me to do is act sexy."
You don't have to act that, darling. It comes naturally.
"Well here's what you can do with all this fanmail."
"OK, I give up. I'm gorgeous, and there's nothing I can do about it."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Harold Pinter

The Nobel Prize-winning playwright dies on Christmas day of cancer, aged 78. He is famous for such plays as The Caretaker and The Birthday Party.

He sort of passed me by. I never went to see any of his plays. His anti-war, left-wing politics should have appealed to me, but never really registered. I suppose it was his marriage to Lady Antonia Fraser, the historical novelist, that made the most impression. I was once at the Royal Opera House when my companion told me the couple was seated a few rows behind us. I didn't even turn round to look.

In 1973-4 I worked for a while for the Greater London Council's Housing Department. Pinter had recently moved out of his council-owned flat. My new boss had received a request from a collector for - the front door! Yes, our very own madman, Spike Milligan (the greatest comic who ever lived) had a collection of doors. And he wanted to add Pinter's to it.

To my shame, that is the most - aside from his marriage - that I remember about him. And it isn't even his story.

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