“Ocado suggests I might want some Root Retoucher.” ActorLaddie looks up from his laptop. “What do you think?”
If you’ve met ActorLaddie, you’ll know that having his roots redone is fairly low on the To-Do list, as his style guru is Eric Morcambe.
My Junk folder, on the other hand, is brimmed to overflowing – if you’ll forgive the expression – with adverts for Viagra. Someone out there in Google-land has figured that searching for a lot of computer stuff makes me a bloke and, what’s more, one in need of a little help.
I can forgive the Internet for straying off course. The little green men inside are just following their algorithms: if x then y. Someone who once looked up coffee tables must be in want of a coffee table, despite the fact that they have now bought a coffee table and how many coffee tables can anyone use, for goodness sake!
But people; people should engage their brains before making crass generalisations.
Evidence for the prosecution #1. Bro-in-law’s dad, Bert, went for a tetanus jab. He was a feisty cove, Bert, and lived to a good, old age in Tottenham; latterly on the Broadwater Farm Estate, which is not quite as enchantingly rural as it sounds. On a family visit to a theme park, he’d made a point of going on the scariest rides, particularly those with upper age limits he had long since passed. I guess having landed on the Normandy Beaches just after D-Day, he had his own definition of scary.
Anyway, Bert went to the surgery. The nurse looked at the records, then at Bert, and then said airily “these jabs last for ten years, so you’ll probably not need another one.”
Decency forbids me to record Bert’s response to this but I imagine the nurse didn’t make the same mistake ten years’ later.
Evidence for the prosecution #2. There was a protest against proposed closures in our local hospital. Our friend and solicitor James was, by then, confined to a wheelchair. However, he insisted on taking part. As well as his family, there was no shortage of people willing to push the chair as his combination of humanity and intelligence made conversation a pleasure.
There was a massive turnout for the march ending up at the Green around the War Memorial. I happened to be with James as we reached the end. A Stout Lady, of the Organising Sort, bustled up, patted him on the knee and boomed “did you enjoy that, dear?”
James, a gentleman to his core, smiled graciously and thanked her. And as she sailed away, he didn’t even swear. Mind you, I did that for the both of us.
I guess that as a species, our ability to see patterns and generalise was at one stage a pretty useful survival mechanism. Getting to know each sabre-tooth tiger as an individual might have been what did for the dinosaurs. A tendency to make sweeping assumptions is wormed into our DNA.
But we are now down from the trees. Maybe we can’t help what pops into our heads but hey, we invented digital watches and still think they’re a pretty neat idea. So surely we can apply that brainpower to what pops out of our mouths.
There’s a lot of anger in the Parkinson’s Community right now about what has popped out of the mouth of the rapper Kanye West. If you’ve yet to listen to his latest LP, then you might not have caught the offending lyric: “Soon as I pull up and park the Benz / We get this bitch shaking like Parkinson’s.”
Some feel that this is mocking those who are living with Parkinson’s. Others are annoyed at the idea that Parkinson’s is all about tremor. Personally, I’m so angry already about the lack of funding for drug’s trials, I have no rage left for a rapper. It’s not his job to be a beacon of sensitivity. I think Mr West’s new baby daughter is much more entitled to get angry: having just been lumbered with the first name, North. ActorLaddie says he hopes that the naming of future children takes a different direction.
But then I haven’t yet met with anything but compassion in respect to my Parkinson’s. I’d feel differently if I were, for example, Mark Worsfold who stopped to watch the Olympic road race go past last year and was arrested for looking as if he wasn’t enjoying himself. His Parkinson’s gives him a facial rigidity which makes smiling difficult as he repeatedly told the Police over the two hours that they held him in custody without his meds.
I’d feel differently if I were, for example, Ruth Martin who was standing in the queue at the chemist when the man behind her said loudly to his wife ‘just stand back a bit love, the woman in front has been drinking’. Sadly not an isolated incident, as a recent PUK survey has shown.
And if I ever should be in need of a wheelchair, anyone patting my knee be warned: James may have been a gentleman but this bitch ain’t no lady. Yo.
@elegantfowl tackles Kanye West in his latest blog here.
Mark Worsfold’s story is told here.
Ruth Martin tells here story here.
And if you’re a UK resident, have you signed the e-petition asking for increased Government funding for Parkinson’s research? There’s a link to the petition here.