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Mrs. Monk's Would-be Diary, should have been written by Mrs. Monk, since she is the "Writer" in the family.
However, since she is a writer only in the conceptual sense, I have undertaken to fill these pages on her behalf.
If not by her, these pages will certainly be about her, and other important matters of the day

Leslie Monk, the long suffering.
 

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C H R O N I C L E

Mrs Monk’s

Would-Be Diary

David Baddiel

COMEDIAN, 41, London

Interview Ben Mitchell,

Observer 17 July 2005

FOOTBALL

I thought I was great at football. For a long time I thought I could have been a professional if I'd wanted to. What a lot of people point out is that I did want to.

STATUS

The first proper car I had was an old Nissan Micra. When I had a bit of money I bought the new Nissan Micra. This is shallow, but... I was driving it and a bloke at the traffic lights washed the windows. I gave him some money and he said, 'Fucking hell, it's you. I thought you'd be driving a flasher car than this. The next day I went out and bought a Mazda MX-5.

FRIENDS

Frank Skinner was a terrible flatmate in some respects. He never cooked and the cleaning lady refused to go into his room. But he was brilliant because he was very, very funny. You could just sit around at home and have a laugh without having to rely on the social arrangements.

PORNOGRAPHY aka MASTURBATION

I still watch pornography but I'm very, very bored of it now. I will watch it in a sense that I have to feed a habit like a junkie who hates the heroin that he's pouring into his body. I'm just going through the motions, and what tired and weary motions they are.

CAREER

An academic is what I would have been if I hadn't been successful as a comedian. I've never had a proper job.

FAME

People used to shout 'That's you, that is' at me. When Chelsea lost in the FA Cup final in 1994 all the Man United fans were shouting, 'That's fantasy football for you.' Now, if I do anything at all, like trip up in the street or walk into a lamppost, people will shout: 'I bet that was unplanned!' It moves with the times.

BAGGAGE

My son is called Ezra. My mum was very pleased about that because she thought we'd given him an Old Testament name. The Tourette's part of me had to add straightaway, 'Well, he's named after Ezra Pound, the virulent anti-Semite.' He isn't really. My daughter's called Dolly. After Dolly Parton.

FOCUS

People sometimes go on about me doing a lot of stuff. It's not like I do this and I'm also a bricklayer.

COMEDY

My brother played me Derek and Clive when I was 13. It was so liberating. That was the first time I'd ever properly laughed.

VANITY

I've talked about growing a beard to reduce the double chin. It gets made out that I'm incredibly vain, but I'm not. If I was properly vain I'd have plastic surgery and liposuction... or do some proper exercise.

IMAGE

My public image is still, I think, that I'm laddish. I do like football and throughout my career I've been interested in exploring what it means to be a heterosexual and to be obsessed with women. I actually don't think that's laddish at all, because it's always quite pained and melancholy and difficult.

HAMMOCKS aka INSECURITY

I have about six hammocks. They're quite hard to put up though.

VALUE

I'm pleased with a lot of the reviews I've got as a novelist. If you read a novel properly, it's then quite hard to trash it just because you don't like the person on TV.

BODY

I like massage a lot. Not dodgy massage. I've always thought, 'Oh, is this the one who's going to say, "Is there anything else I can offer you sir?'" A happy ending. Some masseurs are further up your leg than others, but it's never happened to me.

SOUL  

Depression is part of the reason that I don't do much live work any more. The thing about depression that people don't understand is that it's mainly physical, like having very bad flu all the time. It's still with me, but not as bad as it was. Kids have helped, I think. Partly because they're a joy, partly because they leave you with less time for self-absorption.

LEGACY

Someone like Stephen Fry is a national treasure because he ticks the right boxes. He went to Cambridge and he's posh, so that's fine. The idea that you went to Cambridge and you might not be straightforwardly posh is troubling at some level, so therefore must be a lie. I hardly met any posh people at Cambridge.

REGRET

My life is continually affected by regret, as is any thinking person's.

Interview Ben Mitchell Photograph Andy Hall

David Baddiel's radio show Heresy is on Radio 4 on Wednesday nights

 

 

Leslie Monk

SEMI RETIRED, 57, London

Reflections on David Baddiel Interview Ben Mitchell,

Observer 12 September 2005

FOOTBALL

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.

STATUS

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”

FRIENDS

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?

CAREER

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.

FAME

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.

BAGGAGE

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.

FOCUS

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.

COMEDY

Mrs Monk is the only person alive that has strained my belly with laughter and has thus paradoxically caused me physical pain.

VANITY

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.

IMAGE

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.

VALUE

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.

BODY

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.

SOUL

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.

LEGACY

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.

REGRETS

Of course.

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