I consider myself to be pretty much plugged into the zeitgeist. I am down with the kids. I am a hep and happening cat. I know what’s cool. I am even getting a pretty good idea about how Twitter works, especially now that I have found the # key. Look, there it is.
But there are some things – many things, if I’m honest – that I find completely and utterly inexplicable. For example, Barbra Streisand.
Barbra Streisand is a very beautiful and talented woman. Today I saw the cover of her new album. And she looked completely utterly bizarre. Now why has she spent what is clearly a massive amount of money so that she can stop looking like a very beautiful woman but instead look like a Siamese cat wearing a wig?
Plastic surgery – I just don’t get the point of it. I understand that people might not be altogether thrilled about looking older. My personal solution to this is to 1. stand further away from people (a minimum of six feet should do it) and 2. distract people from the state of my face with a constant stream of mindless optimistic chat like a female George Formby (but more annoying).
But plastic surgery doesn’t make you look younger, as far as I can see. A facelift makes you look WEIRD and a bit pained, like someone is pulling your hair from behind, quite hard. Having stuff put in your lips doesn’t make you look sexy, it makes you look like you’re kissing a window. Or like a wasp has stung you on the lips. (I know this because this happened to GothicDaughter today on the beach, and suddenly she was a dead ringer for Leslie Ash.) And as for those cheek implant things that Madonna sports these days, it looks to me like she’s keeping a couple of macaroons up there in case she gets peckish later, like some publicity-hungry hamster. And I’m pretty sure that’s not the look she’s going for.
And don’t get me started on Russell Brand’s forehead.
But that’s not the only thing I find inexplicable. For example, why does iTunes think ABBA belongs in every single genre of music including ADULT ALTERNATIVE? Alternative to WHAT exactly? And why, if we can put a man on the moon (or at least do a damn fine job of faking it in a quarry in Arizona), can’t we make a toaster toasts on both sides equally without burning it?*
Oh and sitting on the beach today I thought of another: tattoos on your feet. OWOWOWOWOWOW. Why? Why do this? The only reason I can imagine is to give a warning to any potential kidnappers, to demonstrate that you are immune to torture. No amount of pain is going to make you crack, so don’t even bother.
Also, arachnophobia. I know this is all terrifically normal and I try not to snort too much about it, and adopt an appropriately sympathetic expression. But it’s bonkers, yes? One of my friends, an otherwise seemingly-normal person, phoned me up about ten pm one evening. He told me this sad tale. As he was hurriedly closing his bedroom curtains to hide a spider on the window-sill, another spider had LEAPT on him from the folds of the curtains. He described this incident as ‘the spiders ganging up on him’ and required me to drive an hour down the motorway to clear the room of them, so that he could go to sleep. I will draw a veil over whether I did so** but I did take the time to ask, WHY why would you be scared of something so very very small? I mean if the thing is bothering you so much, just whack it with a newspaper, right? Snakes, scorpions, death, Peter Stringfellow – yes, all of these are legitimately scary. But spiders? The best explanation that he could come up with was ‘they move really fast’, which is surely only a valid explanation if you were running a race against them (the loser of which race must DIE or something), rather than sharing a bedroom with them.
Actually, hold on, there is one more: Why do you always get a toothache the day before going on holiday? Is it a conspiracy? Do my teeth hate me, like the rest of my body? More of this tomorrow, when I get back from the emergency dentist.
Now that really IS something to be scared about.
*I know, you’re going to tell me that I have to buy some swanky model for £100 or something. And I say to you NO, not when I have a grill.
** I didn’t. I told him to get a grip. I am from the school of Tough Love.