Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Birds, bees and wayward blackcurrant bushes

Broadly speaking I am in favour of sex education. Things were managed differently when I was a lad. I was told I had come off a blackcurrant bush.
Not very nice going through life thinking you were adopted and your real mother was a shrub.
No whittling wood on the doorsteps of my childhood. I might have been cutting up a cousin. As autumn approached each year I waited in dread for my hair to turn gold and fall at my feet. In the gardens of my youth pruning time was an agony.
In the same way no-one has been able to convince me there are no fairies, so I have never been able to shed - if you will forgive the arboreal expression - a feeling that I am part twig, though I reject with vigour allegations that I am a chip off the old block.
When I got older I was introduced to the more conventional forms of procreation but to be frank with you I think there is more gravitas in the blackcurrant method. I had been conditioned by my horticulturally obsessed mother to accept
the most bizarre explanations. No-one warned me that in real life the position was absurd and the method improbable. Not only did that it not always work. Though in all honesty it worked more often than blackberrying,an activity which had very sinister connotations in my childhood. I was always surprised when two people went out to pick soft fruit, three did not come back.
My own efforts to provide myself with a brother were a gloomy failure. I would select this fine bouncing bud and place it in a matchbox lined with cotton wool. But alas, nothing came of it.
It was a pity. When the conventional method was used the end product was never as well designed.
If a human being was a house, it would never get planning permission. The waste disposal arrangements are at best rudimentary. Look where the nose is. Right over the mouth. Would you buy a house where the drainpipe is above the front door?.
And would it have been so difficult to make the arms retractable? Have you ever met anyone who knows what to do with his hands when not in use?. True,in Western dress there are pockets, or you can stick them out of the way by clasping hands behind your back. But have you noticed? If they don't hold tight to one another they come sneaking round the front again, first chance they get.
And the feet. I ask you Is there anything in the whole of nature that looks as silly as a foot? With toes hanging on the end like a fringe? And another thing. They only bend one way. Sheer waste. If you could turn them over you could
walk twice as far on them.
Only think how much easier sleep would be if you could stack your arms and legs under the bed. Entwining bedclothes would be a thing of the past.
Why legs at all? Wheels would have been much more convenient.
As to other functions I will only say the blackcurrant bush has much to commend it. No mouth, therefore no toothache. Eats through the feet and the leaves. None of those tiring strolls to work up an appetite for lunch.
Some of us I regret are built even more oddly than most. I was, until a recent enforced diet, literally an all round reporter. I was as broad as I was long. The last TV series I made was a source of great embarrassment. Not to beat about
the bush - and how that phrase strikes at the heart- where other people go in at the waist, I went out for quite a distance.
One of the things that made me take up my present rigid diet was the way people doubted the reality of my body.
On radio you get used to the size phenomenon. The way listeners invariably tell you in a disappointed tone;" You are much taller on the radio". But what am I to do about the lady who came up, patted me familiarly on the belt buckle
and asked; " Is that real or are you just wearing it on tele?".