Life is, of course, full of disappointments – well unless you are seriously committed to your pessimism (and perhaps even then). To try and keep the length of this post somewhat manageable, I shall restrict myself to those occasions where I have been overlooked and where so many others have not.
For example, despite the huge turnover in personnel over the years, I have yet to be offered a position in the Sugababes. I even have quite a decent singing voice and some training in how to use it to advantage. As a bass, I feel my voice would chime nicely with the apparent desire for low frequency music among today’s youth. Perhaps the other “babes” were worried I would show up the paucity of their own vocal delivery? Or is this yet another example of the sex discrimination which remains rife in the UK?
Similarly, my name has yet to be linked with the position of England manager – an increasingly unusual boast on a planet of a mere 7 billion souls. I’ll admit my footballing skills are a little rusty and even in my pomp these skills could at best be described as poor. I will also admit to a shaky grasp of the rules of the game – but this seems pretty key for management today. I can say that I have represented my school in the white heat of competition as a cornerstone of the defence – though, if pushed, will admit this was against a village primary school team so poor they would struggle to get past England on penalties and so team selection was drawn from a rather wider pool than would have been considered for more formidable opposition. Talking of the soi-disant beautiful game, whilst at primary school I attended football practise every Tuesday for many years. I think this goes to prove that while “practise” may make many things, it did not in my case make “perfect” (or even mediocre).
But, enough of reminiscence. This morning I wandered out to exercise my franchise (and get my hair cut). This gave me the opportunity to pick both a local councillor and an MEP (and so covering the full range of political representation). For the council, I had a choice of five hopefuls – all representing political parties I had at least encountered in my life to date. For the European option, I was given a telephone directory’s worth of names from a truly enormous range of political entities, many completely new to science (and, indeed, me). Some of these were clearly aiming to split the xenophobic/racist vote – others were a complete mystery with their names and slogans giving no clue at all as to their political aims. Clearly, at least one party (I think one of the more xenophobic) had taken its political strategy from the Yellow Pages and had appended the prefix “An” to the party name so that it would appear first and appeal to those too lazy (or tired) to scroll through the several pages of parties which appeared on the voting slip. I was disappointed to discover that my own name was nowhere to be seen on this great roll of candidates – did I miss the memo? I must be almost the only resident of Southampton not standing for a chance to enjoy a share of the monetary gravy doled out to MEPs. Perhaps, the 60 or so followers of this blog mean that I am too well known to be an MEP – a role for which total anonymity appears de rigeur with one, very dishonourable exception who has had so much of the oxygen of publicity that he must surely soon be taken from us in the highest temperature example of spontaneous human combustion ever recorded.
Still, after a couple of hours of speed-reading I had made my way through my options and picked a poor unfortunate to represent my interests on the European stage (actually, I rather like Brussels – a city easily reached by rail and which offers good food and beer on arrival, what more could one ask for?). My civic responsibilities cleared for another day, I returned home exhausted for lunch.