2) There was some good-natured slashy humour on Coronation Street on Wednesday. I approved. Coronation Street is one of the UK's longest-running TV soap operas at over 40 years of age and has long been at least one of the two most popular. It is set in the fictional suburb of Weatherfield in the non-fictional city of Manchester. Its style is frequently more gently humorous than its main rival, the frequently angsty, London-based Eastenders. Specifically, the scene in question concerned bombastic comedy butcher/pub-landlord Fred Elliott. His son, Ashley, a butcher set to inherit the family business, recently had his vampy hairdresser wife murdered and is still grieving and struggling to cope in the situation. Family friend Norman "Curly" Watts (intellectual, but has had a string of mundane jobs; married to a female police officer) offered to bring some beers around for a lads' night in.
Unlucky-in-love Fred was preparing for a date with new amour Petunia Peach (or somesuch...) who called to collect Fred for their date. Petunia disparaged Fred's house and cast aspersions upon the relationship between Ashley and Norman who she found drinking together. Fred tried to protest that she misunderstood, but she would not desist. Entertainingly, both Fred and Petunia share the same verbal tic as Foghorn Leghorn, being prone to saying a sentence, appending "ah say" and then summarising the sentence they have just spoken. Petunia sweeps out with Fred in tow to reveal Norman and Ashley in fits of laughter about the misunderstanding, completely unembarrassed. A nice touch. M'learned colleagues suggest the usual pairing in this barely-trodden fandom to be Nick/Ashley, but I'd be interested to see some alternate-timeline Percy/Norris gerontological work. Purely for my own appallment, you understand.
3) I was pleased to see a far stronger shift towards coalition politics in the recent Scottish Assembly elections with a number of smaller parties picking up stray seats on the regional top-up lists. There must be few finer callings in life than being your party's only member in a government and proudly bearing your entire party's weight on your shoulders. Very entertaining to see a member of the Scottish Socialist Party playing silly buggers when swearing the oath and Presiding Officer Sir David Steel's mild-mannered reaction. Now such political protest misbehaviour has a long tradition; addedentry points to wrestler-politican The Great Sasuke (pronounced more like Susky, to rhyme with husky) following in the Antonio Inoki tradition, except without fighting Muhammad Ali (yes, really). Now did Sir David Steel, knowing that only the next day he would be replaced in his job, choose to give a glorious example of speakerly authority by smacking Colin Fox upside the head with a steel chair™? No, he did not. Damn Liberal.
4) As is at least frequent, the BBC's best comedy writers seem to be those writing for the sports news web site. Some gloriously laboured puns to be had in "The Blair Pitch Project" and "Sheep National fleeces bookies".
5) Odd dream last night in which I received a copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I didn't actually read it, principally because I was most put off by the fact that there was no secret made of the fact that it wasn't actually written by JKR. The writer's name wasn't anyone famous and wasn't even anyone whose name I knew from fanfic. (Of course, many fanfic authors' real names are secret, but if yours has three syllables and ends in STONE, for that's all I can remember, then bounce and claim now.) The mildly cool thing was that the author's name was printed in special inks on the side of the pages which you could only see by looking at the thickness of the book. All the same, it meant that I didn't want to read OotP so much. Bloody dream.
Oh, and there was a not-so-pleasant dream the other night about I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! too, but it did have Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton therein which was partial compensation.
6) Sunderland AFC are now absolutely certain to be relegated tomorrow, finishing bottom of the league with fourteen (? I lose track) losses in a row and fewer points than any other team in the ten years of the Premiership. On the other hand, our reserve (second) team have won the Northern section of the FA Premier Reserve League and our under-19 team have won six in a row, both of which are at least theoretically good signs for the future.
Promotion back to the Premiership next year will come by either (a) finishing in the top two or (b) getting the third spot through the play-offs. There will be a new play-off system next year, whereby the next six teams (not four as previously) all have a shot at this place; it's effectively a seeded eight-team single-elimination knockout contest where the top two seeds get byes through the first round. On top of that, the matches won't be played over two legs as before, but instead will be played as single games with the higher-ranked team having home advantage. Sounds like an improvement to me, however much the BBC mock.
7) URL burst:
- Doncaster Rovers owner flashes wad, substitutes self on in the last game of the season, doesn't get a kick. Very bush league.
- Another cool use for GPS technology: pedometers that actually work. Nifty. Thanks, DJB.
- LiveJournal Top 40 still going. cassieclaire threepeats at top, amuzulo benefits from libraries fall to rise to 7th. Yay Chuck!
- The Chart of the Flops! Lots of lyrics from classic comedy songs, though alas those of Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage are missing. What?
- His Dark Material fans: Jordan College alive and well, experimental theologians searching for Dust 15 miles East of here. Je ne merde vous pas.
- 1970s alternate-history British political gen fanfic? (Quite.) What if Gordon Banks had played? is now completed. Recommended if the genre appeals. (From sbisson months back.)