Saturday, 1 November 2014

Blood of an Englishman

Pull The Other One
Well, at least we can say Jeremy Clarkson has done it all now. If there is anything left for him to trash after his latest African fiasco, it will be hippo-posthumous with a capital H.

Ey-up, Johnnie boy, what ARE you on about?

Well, first of all, he invents Abongoland, one racist stereotype of a failed state if ever there was. Then he peoples its capital, Ezroibii, with modern Arab slave traders & belly dancers of dubious gender. I ask you! He pollutes a flipping great river, the A'bongo, which is another fibble, with crap from Chinese miners. He insults the Krauts by buying a souped-up Mercedes convertible sporting... would you believe... the Legs of Mann for a logo. And when he sets out in the said motor, to cross a 400 mile stretch of desert, he has the whole thing filmed in the Australian outback.

Oh you mean that Jeremy Clarkson? I thought you were talking about the car wash twit on Channel Fork. You mean the chauffeur twit on the Other Side.

And that's where he'll be right now. In his last episode, he roars out of Ezroibii followed by a swarm of surveillance drones. A couple of distressed white totters are chained up in the rear of the motor, their headgear fluttering in the breeze. Throughout the episode, they say not one word on camera. Meanwhile, the Mercs, like the drones, is bristling with mikes & lenses, into which Clarkson moans about the heat, the flies, the stink of camel poo and prices at all the Little Chefs en route. Pretty soon, with the incomplete road system they has got over there, the magnificent Boulevard of King Abdullah Al Malarky peters out into a delta of meaningless tributaries. And thereafter, in a kind of de-mirage, the higgledy piggledy towers of Ezroibii disappear in Clarkson's rear view mirror. This is all c/o CGI, one supposes. After that, our mad dog Englishman has nothing for guidance but the midday sun and a state of the art GPS system.

I am with you, just. Still in the land of Oz, are we?

Quite. Well the GPS packs up after the first bend. Then there's a bit of whirlwind, which has yer man stopping to close the roof. Of course, with all that sand flying about, it soon gets jammed and he has to carry on driving with the roof neither up nor down, half blinded and with a scarf whipped round his bonce. Next off, he ploughs into a cloud of dreaded locust, splatting the windscreen and clogging up the wiper blade. Even a couple of drones are bought down by the insects, making an extended action sequence of excellent family viewing. Apart from the language.

Did you take a copy, then?

Funny you should ask... what the hell d'you think this is? So Clarkson stops to ask some slitty-eyed Berbers – very suspicious looking mob - the road to Mandalay, but they are more interested in pulling his human cargo than putting him on the right track. As a result, he roars off again, leaving a great cloud of dust – through which the galloping of camel hooves and musket shots are heard. If that sounds a bit Lawrence of Arabia, what happens next is ah Eighth bloody Pillar of Wisdom. Out of the shimmering horizon an authentic Disney oasis emerges, complete with palm trees, poolside loungers, hoochie-coochie music and cocktail bar. In less than five minutes, Jeremy has pulled up in the mercs, ordered cool beverages, had them served on board, imbibed, then he's straight off again, swerving to avoid the scrub.

Oh, I don't buy that - “swerving to avoid the scrub”? The real old Jeremy wouldn't swerve to avoid the blooming scrubbers, never mind save the bloody scrub.

Quite right, too. But tragedy, of course, is about to befall our intrepid motoring correspondent. With only the blistering sun for guidance, (“Child's play!" - he cries - "By keeping the overhead sun to my right, I must be heading either North-South or East-West.”) he fails to spot a single proper road. And since there are no petrol stations on any of these tracks, by four o'clock in the afternoon his little two litre Kompressor is running on vapour.

Well that's a load of bollocks for a start. There ain't no such thing as diesel vapour. And, speaking of which, I see we're out out of fags.

It's your round, anyroad. See what they got behind the bar. Well, the Mercs comes to a rest under the only tree to be had for miles. It's one of them whatchamacallit trees.

I know the type you mean. David Attenborough has them in his garden.

I'll come to Sir David's part in the story presently. So Jeremy is still quite cool, basking in the shade of the tree and chatting to the totters (who keep schtum). However, there's a tiger, sorry coupla tigers, also lounging under the tree who are not too keen on sharing it with a Mercs, even one with Jerry Clarkson at the helm.

Oh, I get it. He does the old Tarzan act.

Sort of. Well, when the female gets up and snarls at him, Jeremy's not a bit phased. He just reaches into the glove compartment and pulls out a handy banana, which he throws in her direction. That really flummoxes the old lion, she sort of sniffs at it and then gives him a dirty look.

A dirty look? I thought you said they were tigers?

Tigers? In Africa? Who d'you think I am, William Reece Burroughs? The lioness then leaps at the car. Jeremy, in a sly move, opens the driver door on her side while slipping out on the passenger's. He takes off as fast as his legs will go. Having quite long legs this is not exactly slow. But the lioness is not fooled by the door for long. Pretty soon she has bounded after him, brought him down and pinned him to the desert floor.

I bet some viewers enjoyed that part.

Too right, they did. Doing Mexican waves from the hills of Patagonia to the shores of the Arctic Circle, they were. The tigress, sorry, the big feline... female... holds him down until up strolls her old man. Now the game of cat and mouse really begins. The King of the Jungle lets Clarkson get to his feet, but every time he tries to move off, bounds upon him again. The beast even seems quite friendly, puts one paw round his back and starts licking him.

They love their food.

And this is just a taste of things to come.
manx cat with leg
What did the lad have to say for himself, before the inevitable?

A-hem. At this point I should bring in David Attenborough, whose animals they were.

As pets, like?

Well, he had them mike'd and camera'd up for a documentary he was making. The whole thing was captured from the lions' point of view.

That must have been a bit of a scoop. So what did Clarkson have to say for himself? Any contrite morsels of comfort for his victims?

That's the dreadful thing. Every single word had to be censored. Right up to the moment his neck was broke and legs bitten off, it was facking bleep this, facking bleep that, quite shocking I thought.

I bet there were a few complaints to the Beeb (the BBC) about his language?

Got the Board of Governors out of bed on a Sunday morning.

Strewth, just goes to prove, you can't please all the punters all the time, now can you?

Filched the words right out of my mouth. Your round, I believe?
Clarkson as Puppeteer
TT for now!