Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wednesday Warblings

John Motson popped up as a pundit on BBC News yesterday. In an attempt at self-parody he said something along the lines of 'Hurricane Gustav is blowing through the world of English football.'
But I mention this in the context of the current criticisms of the fact that older men are commonplace on TV as presenters and newsreaders but never older women. Unless there's a change of attitude, it's unlikely we'll ever see a wizened old Gabby Logan appearing as a sports pundit.
It's also unlikely that Gabby Logan would appear on our screens today if she were the female equivalent of Adrian Chiles in the looks department. (I know that some women have the hots for Adrian but that doesn't alter the fact that even if all the studio lights went out, you'd never mistake him for Tom Cruise).
I don't always march in step with the Sisterhood, but this is one inequality that's been ignored for too long. The number of unseen women in senior executive positions in the BBC in no way counterbalances the almost total absence of interesting, talented, older women from our screens.


Why do so many people - many of them BBC reporters - say 'under-estimate' when they mean 'over-estimate'?
I've heard this several times in the past two days alone.
This morning the BBC's Technology Correspondent said "you can't under-estimate the inertia of computer users."
Yes you can. That was his point.

I'm not sure whether the confusion is between 'under-estimate' and 'over-estimate' or between the verbs 'can't' and 'shouldn't'.
'You shouldn't under-estimate.....' or 'You can't over-estimate....' are both fine. The other way round is nonsense.


I have so far failed to exploit my recent hospital stay in this blog because I prefer to wipe it from my memory. Also, I would lay myself open to the charge that I was exaggerating the trauma of the experience given that, unlike many people, I was not in any pain nor 'fighting for my life'. Actually, when that is the case you probably don't notice the petty unpleasantnesses of hospital life so much.
But a number of things were eligible for inclusion in the Talbot Rothwell Memorial Column, despite the fact that doctors and nurses have evidently now been trained not to use the term 'prick' in relation to injections.

Never before had someone said to me "I'd like to feel the pulse in your groin" before sliding their hand down my underpants. Should this ever happen to you, I suggest you follow my example and refrain from saying "I bet you say that to all the boys."
Quite a few male nurses are straight and, if it's a junior doctor whose hands are heading south, some of them are already striving to affect the God-like demeanour of a consultant and are too far up themselves to be up for a bit of saucy badinage.

It was my first totally sleepless night since I stopped clubbing. Mercifully, I had both my reading glasses and that day's Guardian with me. I read the entire Guardian at least three times, including the sports supplement and the world weather reports.

At three in the morning, a young male nurse arrived at my bedside and said "Can I fiddle with your connections?"
This was also a new one for me but I said "Do what you like. It will help pass the time."
So he sat there moving the electrodes around on my chest. I don't think this had any medical purpose. He was simply as bored as I was. But removing the strips of sticky tape from a hairy chest is like a slow and painful waxing. He kept saying "Good man!" and I kept saying "Argh!" People must have wondered what we were doing behind the curtains. There are those who would have paid good money for the experience but since my fantasies have never involved male nurses nor the slow deracination of my chest hair, I'm not one of them.

Because some older people dislike over-familiarity, nurses now establish at the outset what form of address they should use. I opted for them using my Christian name. This proved to have been a pointless exercise since my designated nurse unfailingly called me "Sweet Pea".
I like Sweet Peas and usually grow some from seed each year but as a pet name it had more than a soupcon of campness about it. But I don't think this was intentional because when she stuck a needle in my stomach she exclaimed "You're very manly! You didn't even flinch!"
Yeah, right, I thought. You should have seen me last night when young blondie was ripping out enough chest hair to stuff a set of pink scatter cushions for his sofa bed.

Am I the first case of hospital-acquired alopecia of the chest?
"Count your blessings", I hear you say.
Well, yes. But only because my shirtless clubbing days are over.


At 10:03 AM, Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

Please clarify whether "shirtless clubbing" refers to attendance at places of entertainment during the hours of darkness, or some sort of leisure activity that may result in a return to hospital. I ask this in a caring and non-judgemental way.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Geoff said...

Is Hurricane Gustav a winger?

I wonder if Sue Barker will continue into her dotage like Motson?

And will we see Clare Balding?

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

vicus: rest assured it's the former although that could also put you in hospital if you have a dicky heart.

geoff: I think Hurricane Gustav was more of a striker.

And I think Motson was already in his dotage when he was still in short trousers.


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