Monday 22 September 2008

Now over to Amy Winehouse, who thinks Sir Alex should play Wayne Rooney less deep!

Even though we’re getting all autumnal, my poor old noodle-bonce is still troubled by horrific and deeply disturbing images that infected me one midsummer’s evening.
Channel-surfing I was, as is my testicular right, when I came upon dear old Amy Winehouse singing at Glastonbury Festival.
As we all know, the tabloids have gone into a feeding frenzy over the extraordinary singer’s generally decadent lifestyle, but when I first heard her album, ‘Back to Black’, I was blown away by her talent, style and loved the music she made.
So I let my finger slip from the Channel Up button, and sat back to watch her set.
Oh dear.
The wee lass was completely off her tits, and although the overall effect was melodic and pleasant, it was painful to watch her trying to dribble out the lyrics:
“Sheeez sooorrrrrrhadda balloooobby bubdeesha essha eesha hayyyyy!”
Nevertheless, the crowd loved it, and then Amy went crazy, jumping falling down off the stage to handclasp the crushed sweaty fans leaning over the first rows of the barrier.
“Kushha bubba dededed-deerryyyyeeeeeeeee!”
“Yeh Amy! Over here Amy! I love you, Amy!”
Despite the spaghetti of security men running around her in circles, one of the crowd threw something at her, to which she responded by throwing what looked like a pretty useful left hook in somebody’s face.
Pained to watch such a great talent disappearing down the twinned plug holes of instant gratification and addiction, slightly offended by her dribbling masquerading as singing, I returned to my channel surfing, hoping to find safer waters.
Instead I dropped the remote control, as my jaw fell and stayed open in shock. There was Eamon Dunphy, standing on a stage, singing ‘Stardust’ to Miriam O’Callaghan on her rather dodgy chat show.
As a football pundit and journalist, Dunpho is everything he should be: outspoken annoying, controversial for the sake of it and enormously entertaining. I rarely agree with what he says, but by god, he makes you listen and laugh and better still, he winds up Liam Brady, forcing the pompous droning Gooner to show some signs of life, which is no mean feat.
But here, on my telebox, all hell was appearing before me. Oh, please mumma, help me. This was Car Crash TV at its worst. From being confronted by a tripped-out screwed up young star, I’ve now been ram-raided by a sad old man who should know better.
The only pitch Dunpho has ever known was the one at Milwall.
Thank god, he’s finally stopped, and is soaking up the applause like it’s his first drink of the day, which plainly it is not. God forbid I libel the man, but looking at his stretched smile, I’d venture that Dunpho’s first sup of the day came a very long time ago, quite possibly before the sun rose after the night before yesterday, if you’re with me.
But lo, what new horror is this? Why oh why has Eamon passed the microphone to Johnny Giles? Oh sweet Jesus, is this car crash going to turn into a multiple pile-up?
With Dunpho swaying like an over-excited five year-old on the sofa opposite him, and Miriam trying to look like the show is going so well, (please Mister RTE Producer man, I can do this, honest I can! Please don’t send me back to responsible straight journalism, please! Please!) Johnny Giles says he’ll sing two verses of Nat King Cole’s ‘The very heart of you’.
Wish I wasn’t alone in the house. I’m scared, but equally gripped.
Yet such is life, so strange and wondrous a thing, it turns out that Gilesy can actually hold a tune.
Eschewing the stage and the chance to hog a moment under the spotlight that Dunpho could not resist, the ex-Leeds United man sat relaxed and sang well, wobbling a little but overall holding it all together better than either Amy and Eamon.
Who knew?
If Johhny Giles can sing so well, seems to me that, instead of hounding Ms. Winehouse for details of her druggy and drinkie lifestyle, the British tabloids would do better to ask her if Robbie Keane was right to move to Liverpool, or if she thinks Big Phil can cut the mustard over the long haul of the Premiership season.
Our household loves to shop at Marks and Sparks whenever it can afford to. You like to believe that their ingredients will be good, their sources trustworthy and their products chemical free.
But last night I took a look at some of its labelling and was left mightily unimpressed.
This isn’t any lemon mousse. This is a Marks and Spencer’s ‘Count On Us’ lemon mousse. You can count on it because each wee 70 gram pot has only 80 calories, and is less than 3% fat.
‘Dieting never tasted so good!’ says the smily wording on the lid, and why might that be? Could it possibly be something to do with the fact that 18.9% of the tasty treat is made up of sugar?
You’re right. Dieting was never like that, ever.
Meanwhile, there’s a rain forest of information on my ethical-sounding M&S ‘Fair-trade Lightly Roasted and Salted Cashews.’
“Guarantees a better deal for Third World producers” declares the Fair-trade logo on the packet. Sounds great. More, there are no artificial colours, flavours or MSG, and no hydrogenated oils. Oh, and it’s suitable for vegetarians.
Now though we go through the Chicane of Absurdity, in which we are informed that this bag of nuts ‘may contain traces of nuts....’; and out the other side into a mad bad place, where further inspection of the overloaded over-worded over-labelled packet reveals that it was prepared in a factory where sesame seeds are used (useful to the three people who have sesame allergies); that small children might choke on nuts (depending on how you shove them down their throats); that the package itself is ‘currently non-recyclable, which is completely unbelievable, utterly reprehensible and somewhat nullifies the fair-trade benefits; and finally, that this well-meaning healthy-sounding profit sharing lethal-dose-bearing packet of nuts came to Galway having been produced in India, then for some reason packed in Italy, then transported to Chester, in England, and then finally, brought to Galway.
Even as they dare to suggest that these cashews might benefit the world, they work on them in 4 different countries You tell me what’s nuts?

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