"He's back, he's the man behind the mask..." as Alice Cooper sang on a particularly ghastly film soundtrack song. Popular demand? Well, Cherrypie, at least, and that will do for me.
So where has The Baker been? Well, as commented last week, I was on a course, so be warned, I take no responsibility, although I will take 'ownership', should any management-speak bollocks (fellow Jargonauts who wish to offer examples of bingo-able bullshit feel free to submit for perusal and comment by fellow Krustians, we can have much chucklesome entertainment together, perhaps compare transatlantic notes) creep in here. It was indeed an attempt to indoctrinate, I approached with my usual scepticism, and, perhaps because of unbelievably low expectations, was pleasantly surprised at the quality on offer. Better than the usual fare, and they at least passed what I call the '80% test'. Doh, no, not the '80/20 Pareto' thing, which is not quite as simple as the average 'coach' likes to think, no, this is that mantric drivel that '80% of communication is body language.' Folks, this is bollocks. Body language may be important - I can be notoriously undemonstrative professionally, and have been described as 'a difficult audience' ("I've been talking for 45 minutes, I know you're listening because you haven't taken your eyes off me, but I've no idea if you think I'm spot on or talking pants" was one comment. I'm still listening, pal, you do the maths) - but it ain't that important. Or at least, it ain't the most important bit. Why? Well, Mr. Knowitall Coach, here's a telephone, order me a pizza with body language. Exactly. We have a brain and throat that is different to other animals, because it's adapted for language, on a big scale - massive vocabulary, grammar (think Chomsky here, not 'French For Today', heh, heh, I love to trot out those colourless green ideas when I'm into that groof and getting the point across that I have a little bit of background here, no expert, but certainly educated) and sophisticated intonation. It sets us apart; cetaceans and neanderthals, that's about it for comparison, and we ain't sure about them. (I bet body language is a major component of communication for a whale moaning about the weather to her chum miles away in the dark abyss...) It's a big investment evolution-wise, like walking upright. I suppose that, like walking upright, there is downside. Walking upright frees our hands for important things like cricket and beerglasses and going throught the CDs at the second-hand shop, but it means we get backache, bad hips, knees and ankles, and haemorrhoids. The effort of evolving sophisticated language means we get Chaucer and Shakespeare and Roberts Hunter and Calvert, but it also means Wordsworth and Littlejohn and Bliar. Anyway, these fellows (the trainer/coaches) passed the test, so they were in for a sympathetic time from yours truly.
Thank you for all the comments on the 'breasts' conversation. I neglected to point out that my associate is a bit of a fruitcake, and is not on the agenda for this prince other than as laughing company, and in small, albeit regular, doses. But your concern and advice was much appreciated. I love this blogosphere thing, all this concern and togetherness. Tom, what are you thinking of, how can you walk away from it?
Weekend meant family, and niece (ok, I hear you switching off in droves) and to some friends' 10th Anniversary bash, which was fantastic, and my knees are still hurting from all that bippin' an' a-boppin' an' a-tellin' the dirty jokes. A great night out, and everytime I sat down to eat or drink one of my ladyfriends - I do have them, they're just all spoken for, fingers beringed - came and frogmarched me back onto the floor for more gyrating. And singalong. A band, who were basically jamming, having stepped in at very short notice and with one rehearsal, provided covers galore, the usual stuff - Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Free, a bit of Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, and a version of 'Superstition' by S. Wonder. I don't know if you've ever heard this played by a four-piece guitar r&b band, but I was struck but how much it reminded me of 'Trampled Under Foot'. There were also copious doses of that ol' fall back Status Quo. Highlight of the night, rock'n'roll-wise, was a rendition of 'I Saw Her Standing There' that compared with, though not quite as fabulously rough and raucous, as that from the Pink Fairies. Good fun.
The downside of all this fun was that I missed the media event of the weekend, the success of Lordi. Ha ha ha, it really sums that event up, doesn't it? My mother had the Prince's Trust do videoed, and this provided the entertainment on Sunday afternoon. Actually, I slept through it, to catch up on the sleep I hadn't caught up on on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. I did unfortunately wake up to see both Patrick Kielty - why doesn't someone just put him out of everybody else's misery, "Minister!" - and Ben Elton, gurning out of the telly.
Ben Elton. I challenge the Minister to deliver suitable punishment. That would be Ben Elton the "working class 'ero, eh, eh? Only me Dad and me Uncle Geoff are leading academics, eh, eh?", fuck off pal, you're no more working class than me and don't try and pretend otherwise, you tart. Thank you for some of your telly scripts, but 'Thin Blue Line' rather counts against you, and do you want us to take into consideration your involvement with Andrew Lloyd Poem-Fucker-Upper and other crimes against the stage? "You pay forty quid to see a covers band and because I've put the songs in a specific order you think it's a musical, that's not a cynical exploitation and frankly disgracefully lazy waste of a stage and theatre then, eh, eh? Margaret Thatcher, eh? You couldn't make it up, my name's Ben Elton, give us yer money you ignorant plebs (leer, leer), goo'nigh'!"
'It makes my skin crawl' - second Alice quote of the night. And on that note, I'll bid you all goodnight. Love ya.