I spent part of the week in a residing in a hotel while the builders where giving Chez Whiner a once over. Nothing fancy, I just fancied another downstairs toilet. After all the one Ive currently got is almost fifty feet from the living room and quite frankly who can be arsed to trek that far with a full bladder? Anyway I checked into a most excellent little country retreat and signed in under my usual nom de plume, "Mr C Morris". Imagine my surprise therefore when less then twenty-four hours later the place was burned to the ground by a group of protestors calling themselves the "Real NSPCC". Most odd behaviour. I blame the country air. It does strange things to the mind. Anyway enough talk. Is the New Zealand lamb half decent? Ill have that then. Oh and half a bottle of Petrus '92. Toodle pip. Idle hands and all that.
As I cleaned the last traces of soot from my nostrils this morning I was struck by the notion that there are things in life that one just doesnt expect to happen. I, for example, never expected to be lifted from the fifth storey window of a four star hotel by a couple of burly firemen while the Towering Inferno blazed around my ears. Neither did I ever expect that Sean Connery would ever consider appearing in an advert for Skoda cars. But considering it he most assuredly is. It seems that they want him to wander around the Scottish countryside in a kilt while extolling the virtues of the Skoda Oktavia. Unfortunately were never likely to clap eyes on it because its being made for the Spanish market. What next? Tom Cruise waxing lyrical about Nescafes "smoother, richer blend"? In my day film stars acted like film stars and didnt tarnish their image with this sort of nonsense. You never saw the likes of Richard Burton praising the full, round flavour of whisky and believe me he was enough of an expert in the stuff.
I know that I regularly bend your ear about Australia. Its just that everybody seems to go on about how great a country it is. All the time. Of course most of those people havent ever actually visited the God-forsaken hellhole that is the Australasian continent. The food is awful. The beer is worse. Most of the women look like men and most of the men look like Piltdown Man. As you can imagine Ive not been best pleased about the constant stream of big budget films straining at the leash to film there. Thats mostly been due to the government handing out large tax breaks to people investing in films shot in the Land of Oz. Well this week the investors in Moulin Rouge got a nasty fright when the Australian Tax Office refused their application for tax relief. Serves the buggers right. Mind you I can talk, my former stockbroker was forever investing in the wrong things at the wrong time. I mean who invests in a sheep dip manufacturer when the things are being slaughtered by the truckload? I should have known I was in for trouble when he sold my Interflora shares just before the death of Princess Diana.
Oh at last! What did you have to do? Fly the woolly bugger in? You dont have a brother who works for the fire service do you? They took bloody ages to pluck me from that burning hotel too.
As you know my good chap, adverts annoy me intensely. It seems that you cant walk down the street these day without being bombarded with people trying to sell you things. But what really annoys me is when films quite blatantly have adverts sneaked into them by advertisers who think that we wouldnt notice. For example, Castaway which was basically a two-hour advert for Fed-Ex. I wonder if Tom Hanks has the same agent as Sean Connery? Anyway this subliminal form of advertising is known as product placement in the trade and it is big business in America. Well now we are going to have it inflicted on us as well. A company which specialises in product placement is setting up shop in London. God helps us. Do we have to do everything that America does? Anyway if you go to see Bridget Jones 2 and wonder if the scene with Hugh Grant tucking into a Big Mac and Fries was entirely essential to the plot at least you know why its there.
Mind you at least McDonalds are quick. Yes, garcon your ears bloody well should be burning!"