Idle Eye 107 : The UE65HU8500 65

Just been on the internet to see how much you can pay for a telly if you happen to be a rock star or a footballer or Russian. Like you do. Turns out that a quick trip over to Simply Electricals (serious about electricals) will get you a spanking 4K Curved Ultra Smart one for a mere £99,999.00 (includes delivery and four pairs of 3D glasses). That’s a quid shy of one hundred thousand for those of you who, like me, are taken in by those cunning ruses so often employed at Poundland and the HMRC. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND BIG JUANS!!! I’ll let that sink in for a bit.

Call me old-fashioned, but being curious as to just how smart the wretched thing would have to be for that much dosh, I delved a little deeper into the site only to discover that the UE65HU8500 65 is cloaked in the same kind of secrecy normally afforded only to Catholic priests and BBC news presenters. And for the kind of service that comes as standard with these guys, I would have to fill out an online form or call them on an 0844 number, no doubt giving them the codes to my WiFi sniper alert system and green light access to the remaining members of the Spice Girls still up for a party. Regrettably, I failed to deliver on both counts and consequently the mysteries of the absurdly wealthy shall remain as such.

But hold on there. My Google search revealed a further option in the topbar, presumably for anyone who isn’t impressed by or earning a living from kicking a bit of leather about or pretending to be Jim Morrison. The very same television can be bought from Currys for the stealaway sum of £4,999.00. This includes only two pairs of 3D glasses and home delivery is extra. But for the not insubstantial saving of £95,000, I think I might even consider getting a couple tailor-made in Paris by Givenchy and picking the bastard up myself, no matter where from. My only fear is that the gargantuan 65 inch width would require significant structural alteration of my front room, and the very thought of yet more builders discussing steels whilst stubbing their fags out on the kitchen tiles is almost too much to bear. I’ll live with the one I got off Dad.

It is fascinating though, no? That people are prepared to spend more moolah than I earn in three years on a bit of kit that will be redundant before the cheque has cleared? But I’m guessing that that’s the point: It demonstrates that money is literally no object and will be impressive only to those who are held sway by it. In medieval times, running about with a massive codpiece and laying claim to swathes of countryside had a similar effect, but almost certainly to a lesser demographic. We’ve come a long way, baby…

Idle Eye 42 : The End of the Affair

So, how y’all coping then? Spent? Deflated? Blaming the Met Office for the traditional wet patch that came just after? Thought so. And to be fair, it is kind of strange right now if you happen to be a Lahndan resident riding out the aftermath of a cultural event that was, against all odds, rather, er… good, actually. Let’s forget about the bill, Boris and the Bonkers song for a bit (and the right royal slagging I gave ‘em a couple of weeks ago), the London 2012 Olympics (can I say that now, LOGOG?) were quite a hoot, no? And despite not having made it to one single event, I managed to bask in the shared vibe a little and, God forbid, I even allowed a tad of sport to beam through the idiot’s lantern indoors: Now that’s progress.

I’m not going to sound off too hard with football comparisons as I’ve done it elsewhere (as has every columnist in the land, it seems), but I do sincerely hope the overpaid muddied oafs learn a few lessons from the last couple of weeks. Excellence, commitment and humility in both defeat and victory, for example. And when it came to the old in-out in-out, apparently rife in the Village, we were spared the potato-faced Neanderthals grovelling publicly to their equally vile WAGS having been caught in flagrante delicto with a couple of headline-hungry models up to their eyeballs in Class A. No, they did it all with style and it felt okay to be patriotic for the first time since God knows when, I don’t recall.

I even managed to coax young Nibs and his good lady out from his warren for the first time in eons for the closing ceremony thing. Not the one in the stadium, mind, that would have been vulgar beyond language and we would have had to watch Brian May and the Spice Girls being shite. No, we caught Blur, the Specials, New Order and the magnificent Bombay Bicycle Club in the throne contender that was Hyde Park, and they delivered. Admittedly, I was six sheets to the wind on corporate lager (£5 a pop) but sometimes you just have to bin your politics and get on with it. And if anyone cares to question the fact that three out of the four fall neatly under DadRock, I would ask you to just try ‘em and see. The Specials in particular: An inspired choice, reflecting all that is good right now (and then) about multicultural Britain and the perfect musical mirror to what was happening further east. I never thought I’d say this but BT, I salute you.

But now the lights are out and curtains closed as the capital wakes to a new dawn of massive forthcoming rail hikes, euro uncertainty and George Osborne. No, the horrors never went away, kids, they just hid for a bit under the rings: Bummer…

 

Idle Eye 1 : The Beginning

So, are we all in then? Sitting comfortably? Good. Now, let’s get on with it..

Several months ago I was staring down the bottom of a glass in a Godforsaken hellhole of a bar in downtown Cairo, broke, homeless and with the useful years of my miserable life long since behind me. ‘How did I get here?’ I appeared to ask, although in reality I was more concerned with shaking out the last piastres from my pockets as it was dangerously close to closing time. A young man walked in and sat down on a stool beside me. He was well dressed, freshly shaven and surprisingly clean. He ordered a Manhattan from the bar and for several minutes he observed me closely. Then, without warning, he patted me gently on the shoulder and offered to buy me anything my heart desired. ‘Anything?’ I asked gingerly. ‘Anything at all’ he replied, smiling.

‘Well blow me’, I thought, ‘that doesn’t happen every day’, but just before I put in for a vintage Bentley, leather seats, walnut dash, wire wheels, complete with Page 3 dazzler gazing adoringly at me from the passenger seat, I stopped to consider. These talismans of success were all very well, but surely in essence they were ephemeral? The fleeting trappings of, say, a footballer or rock star. If I was to turn my life around, I needed something of substance to build on : Something I could look back on in later years and be proud that I had made a courageous decision in the face of temptation. And at that moment, I knew what I wanted.

‘Decided yet?’ asked the young man.

‘I have indeed’ I replied, swelling with self-knowledge.

‘So then, what’s it to be?’

Dropping down from the stool and drawing myself up to my full height, I turned to the benevolent stranger to give him the answer that would change my life forever :

‘Sir, what I would like more than anything else in the world would be to write the weekly blog for West London’s Idle Hour pubs, giving the readers regular updates on events, promotions and gossip in what will become known and anticipated as my own wry take on life but simultaneously informative & entertaining. Thank you for giving me this chance, I shall never forget your kindness and perhaps one day I too will be able to pass such an opportunity on to another..’

‘A fine choice’ he replied. ‘For a moment there I thought you were gonna go for the vintage Bentley, leather seats, walnut dash, wire wheels and the Page 3 bird. Guess I’ll have to shift them elsewhere. Have fun with the writing, my friend’, and without warning he was gone, leaving me the tab for the Manhattan, the bastard.

So, that’s how it started. And that’s how we’ll carry on, you and me. And if, at any time, you’re not too sure where it’s all going, just remember what I gave up. For you, dear reader, for you..