SEMI RETIRED, 57, London
Reflections on David Baddiel Interview Ben Mitchell,
Observer 12 September 2005
I thought I was great at football. Even now I have recurring dreams of what might have been. My wife is kicked frequently as I sleep. “Are you dreaming football again” she says.
I cannot think of a single consumer object that in any way defines my status. I do have every record produced by Robert Wyatt and Loudon Wainwright III (and his offspring) and a copy of Yoko Ono’s “Grapefruit” signed by Yoko and John Lennon.
This should tell you that I am in musical terms, “eclectic” but also, “sad”
Frank Skinner and David Baddiel are two people that everyone seems to have met in public places. I caught David Baddiel staring at me at the London Palladium. Yes, it should have been the other way around since he is the celebrity, and no, I have no idea what attracted him to me in this way. Nor do I want to know.
Frank Skinner stood beside me at the baggage claim at Gatwick airport after a Christmas flight from Florida. Unlike David Baddiel, he had no eyes for me, but only for his baggage, which took for ever to appear.
Frank and I were waiting for our bags and we were both separated from our women. Frank’s girlfriend was up close against the conveyor belt, apparently ready to haul the bags on Frank’s behalf and was thus prepared to protect Frank from the public gaze. Meanwhile, Mrs Monk found herself one of the 6 seats allowed in the baggage hall occupied by the marauding crowd.
PORNOGRAPHY aka MASTURBATION
David Baddiel’s perennial confessional is predated by the musical “Hair” which of course declared with great panache that, “masturbation can be fun” So why would anyone else get themselves forever associated with this messy business?
Who would describe David Baddiel as a “comedian”? I have him listed as an “engaging mind” not like Frank Spinner but in the genre occupied by say, Stephen Fry. Perhaps he would agree.
I get reflected fame by escorting Mrs Monk around town. She is always favourably received by new adults that have grown out of their teenage angst, which festered at the time of their life when they were able to make Mrs Monk miserable. She was their teacher. Now I hear them tell her outside Sainsbury’s, “You were the best teacher, Miss”
She never fails to report to me soon thereafter that, “They were hell”
I also get recognised by Cat Flap Charlie, who begs for food at all times whether hungry or not, and rubs his wet nose against my face at any time of day or night.
I was born to elderly parents and my father died when I was twelve. I was unaware of our impoverished status during my formative years since I knew of nobody that had any money, or indeed a book shelf. I remember surprising my mother by turning down handouts by some visitors from other parts, who quite genuinely felt sympathy for our impoverished status. My Mother was burdened with feeding me, so it was particularly insensitive of me not to accept such gifts, since this certainly would have added to my Mother’s burden.
In due course I became employed and began to commute to London in an ill fitted suit and tie, and my world was changed forever by the city of London. Subsequently I abandoned the suits and became a weekend hippy, and developed some hedonistic tendencies.
I have not developed any particular talent for anything other than what I am paid to do, and would rather not be doing. I have always struggled to develop other more potentially gratifying occupations as an amateur, free of economic restraints and ultimately free of any successful outcome. Thus I recently discovered the unfettered delights of blogging.
Mrs Monk is the only person alive that has strained my belly with laughter and has thus paradoxically caused me physical pain.
I have recently been accused of growing a beard to disguise a double chin, but I have had a beard since the 60s when I was lean and handsome. And so free of vanity it seems, that at that time when I wished to attract the opposite sex, I foolishly disguised my best features.
I don't like the idea of being categorised by other people because such limited feedback is usually negative. I refer of course to passing aggressive BMW drivers, and other sub-humans. I have very little favourable feedback to report since Britain became inhabited by, and run by, Thatcher’s children.
HAMMOCKS aka INSECURITY
Self employment continues to be something of a hammock.
I have written a screenplay and three people have said they have read it and have said they enjoyed it. I think they are lying, not about enjoying it, but about reading it.
I used to paint and draw at life classes and have not done so for years. There is no better way to spend an evening.
I am certainly depressed about the world we occupy but mercifully free of any clinically defined symptoms. Perhaps the Black Dog may well pay a visit some day, and if I were not fully occupied by the demands of this web site, and Mrs Monk, who constantly entertains me, or otherwise demands that I entertain her.
I am a council house boy from Feltham, West London and I certainly did not go to Cambridge. My very first girlfriend, with whom I did not even get to first base, was from Blackpool, Lancashire. One summer, I met her mother on her door step, but was not invited in beyond the threshold. Later, the girlfriend told me that I had impressed her mother very much because I was so posh. No subsequent girlfriend including the current Mrs Monk has ever accused me of that.