One of the advantages of being a retiree is daytime television.
“Oh but” I hear you say “you could always record it.”
Most of it you wouldn’t want to watch, let alone save to watch.
Occasionally there is a film, one you missed when it came out or an older model, or a documentary repeated at some odd hour, but even series you once enjoyed are now run and rerun on endless loops, producing a cross between stupor and heat rash, numbness and irritation.
How can a series of 30 years’ duration like Midsomer Murders be reduced to the same 12 to 15 episodes played over and over again ?
Why don’t we rerun some of the splendid stuff from the past?
And the advertisements are repetitively about money, insurance, fitted kitchens, gardening, incontinence, money, denture adhesives, vaginal itch, valueless food and pets, borrowing money, selling gold and depilation.
On daytime TV there is a whole school of women with long dehydrated coloured hair telling you how wonderful it looks when a fool with half an eye can tell you it looks like hell.
I have sat incredulous while assured that if I sprayed myself with the ersatz edition of cat’s pee (I apologise to the feline thus maligned) I would drop pans, skid across the tar macadam on an elbow, crash cars and climb out of the wreckage raving to fall into pouting lust with the nearest pair of knickers, garments clearly designed to be removed by someone far stronger than I.
I think not.
And I have grown heartily sick of drippy women climaxing over cream cakes, confectionery and various forms of chocolate.
Like Elizabeth I in Michael Hirst’s admirably scripted film, I have become a virgin.
Celibacy came late and unsought but fortunately memory serves.
Sex was a darned sight more enjoyable than chocolate and I like chocolate.
The advertisers will tell you – well in the cherished era of Mad Men they would – that, if you remember the advertisement, no matter how annoying it is, that shows it’s successful.
Then these ads are successful.
They lodge in the head like visual jingles.
But even the good ones – like Colman’s boogying bull – wear out their welcome because of the number of times they are repeated before our glazed gaze…
And now we have the masculine version of the girls with the sweeties in the form of a young man with a steak. (Interesting how the female is always in multiple, suggesting perhaps that one man is worth five women – in what sense I wonder?)
Back to the beefcake: an attractive man kneels to camera to propose in all the conventional phrases but his object is to get the unseen target of his appeal to cook him a buttered steak slice, fully organic, without additives – clearly this is anti-Viagra.,
We haven’t advanced very far have we?
Gravy is for families, sweet things for women and a real man needs red meat. I hear we are in Post Irony but I do miss the giggle.
To which the Aldi ads are an exception, especially the one in which a weary woman shows you two brands of tea – one dearer than the other – commenting “My husband doesn’t like this brand. He likes this brand.
I don’t like tea (pause) I like gin.”
The smell of gin makes me heave but leave it to daytime: it will drive you to drink.