Wednesday, 11 January 2012

May Actually Contain Nuts.

David Cameron, Prime Minister was let out in public today; and was yet again on record bumping his gums about things he is under-qualified to talk about. The British movie industry was receiving his attention and our Dave opined that we should be making more “mainstream” movies.

I have some questions, your bumptiousness.

What does that even mean? “Mainstream”.

Let’s say it means commercially successful. Movies that make money, yes?  Which begs the question - does he think movie-makers go out of their way to make nae money?

Or does he want UK film-makers to go all Hollywood? Big names, big budgets, special effects and a storyline Arnie could drive a truck through? Where’s the money for that going to come from?

Here’s the thing, dear David, nobody knows which films are going to make money. (Stuttering Royalty or inept suicide bombers anyone?) And here’s another thing – didn’t you abolish the UK Film Council?
Cynical me ties the timing of this comment in with the release of The Iron Lady. Is DC imagining a time when film-makers are making a biopic of his life and keen to make sure they are in a position to take full advantage of his “legend”.


Another thing that caught my eye recently –  something for the brain-cell impaired - a warning sign on a jar of peanut butter that read “May Contain Nuts”.

And another thing that caught my eye...

I had occasion to be in a hotel. Away on business, dontcha know. (Jeez, do I live the highlife or wot?)My well-appointed room had all the usual stuff including an (empty) mini bar and a safe, which was nicely tucked out of the way. Wandering about the room, scoping the facilities – as you do – I opened the wee door of the safe. On the inside was a warning that read, Danger of Suffocation.


The frontage of the safe was rectangular. About five inches high and about eight inches wide. Picture me with the daft expression on my face and thinking WTF.

I had to try it out. I twisted my neck and lined my face up to the opening. I pressed against it. Nope. I could still breathe. Quite well as it happens. But I had my full weight on my feet. What if I was unsupported?

So I lined up a coffee table, stool and dresser – not an easy task as they were all different heights - lay on top and moved to press my face against the mouth of the opened safe. Before I moved in, I had a moment of panic. What if this worked? What if I did actually suffocate? What would they tell my family? Would they put it down to some strange auto-erotica thingy?

My trousers were safely zipped and belted, so no danger there. I hopped off my perch to check, just in case. Aye. We were decent. I put my shoes and socks back on as well. (There are some devious fuckers out there – who knows how their minds work.)

So. Safety factors all accounted for, I lay across the table, stool and dresser. Lined my face against the safe opening and pressed against it. Sadly, I noted that breathing remained an achievable goal.

But people don’t put these signs up for nothing, people.

What if I wrapped a scarf around my head before applying to the safe? A quick mental inventory and I spotted the flaw. I had no scarves on my person. But I did have a spare shirt.

I wrapped this round my head and moved back into position. It was a more comfortable way to be possibly suffocated, what with the cushioning against the metal of the safe, I thought, as I waited for my breath to fail.
Nothing dangerous happened. No auto-erotic thingy. No danger of suffocation. My pesky lungs kept on filling themselves to spite me. Bastards.

(Do I, or do I not put myself through the mill for you, dear reader?)

Realising the sign was a dud I re-arranged my room and slung off my shoes and socks. I could feel a letter to the government forming in my head. Maybe we should get David Cameron to talk to the public about the dangers of misleading signage? 

What do you think?


  1. Oh my god, I can't wait until your book comes out. Hahahaha...

  2. The things you do for science, and safety rules, Michael! And why would we want more 'mainstream films' when the small independent films are usually better.

  3. Hey LG, thank you! It has to be said the novel is deadly serious. With dead people and all that. However, humour does kinda creep in now and again.

    Rosemary, I am a martyr to the cause, am I not?

  4. Aargh, I'm actually gonna defend Cameron here because I couldn't tell you the last time I saw a decent "British" action or horror film. I think that's the kinda thing he's getting at.

  5. Doesn't make you a bad person, Ricky. (Now go and wash your mouth out). This is me racking my brain for examples ... Attack on the Block - was that British?

    I think part of the problem is distribution. In the uk the main venue is Odeon and unless it is a blockbuster/ Twilight/ any one of a number of lame-ass comedies written by Jon Favreau, we don't get to see it - and they head straight off to DVD purgatory. (Which to be fair, you do a good job of highlighting.) So my point - I think I have one - is that potential filmmakers are put off by the fact that they need Cruise/ Downey Jnr/ Pegg/ Diaz/ Streep etc to get a chance at an audience.

  6. I kidna agree with the PM :) Here in Serbia, for example, state gives money to artsy films (artsy doesn't mean good and quality) which are then seen by the director and his family and no one else :) So it's normal that you would expect at least 50% of the sponsored films to be mainstream and to have viewers, after all it's our money.

  7. I agree, I don't see the point in making a movie for no audience. That's an ego trip, not a piece of art or entertainment.

  8. I thought Favreau was brilliant back in the days of Swingers and Made (you gotta see Made)but he seems to have sold his soul nowadays.
    I'm with you 100% on the distribution thing and thanks for the plug, I do try to highlight good films that would slip past un-noticed.
    Dez, great comment.

    1. where's the "like" button in this place? Oh, and folks here's another plug for Ricky's excellent blog. The link is on the right. (No, the other right.)

  9. Pure dead brilliant, Michael. I LOLed plusieurs fois as I was reading it. What a fascinating life you lead and how grateful we all are that the auto-eroto-self-immolation rehearsal didn't work. Keep them coming, please.

  10. Very much up to your usual standard Mr Malone! Sniggered all the way through.

  11. Bill, glad you LOL'd. And - on reflection - happy the suffocation thingy was bogus. Now, immolation - I didn't think of that.

    Hey Rowena, you awright, missus?

  12. Love it, Mr Malone. Had the same thoughts myself as regards Mr Cameron's view of the film industry. A sign for you to ponder on which was displayed on the bedroom wall of the B&B I stayed in last year in Edinburgh.
    'Please do not stand on the bed unless wearing a hat.'
    I have pondered, and pondered on that one - I lead a very dull life - and still can't make sense of it.

  13. Ah huvnae a scoobie, Maggie. You've got me stumped with that one.

  14. What some folks will do for displacement therapy! I usually play with tech! Never thought of the autoerotic thingie. Have you got a spare safe or summat I could practise with?

  15. Sadly, Chris, the safe came as part of the room. And I've been unable to find an able replacement.

  16. Brilliant, Michael. Made me laugh out loud on a grey miserable morning. Thank you.

  17. Gill, I often hear the "mad" bit.

    Mary - a pleasure. Was it odds with the more serious side of me you witness at Dumfries the other night?