This is a dangerous post. This post could have repercussions; lose me valued friends and readers. This post would be better dismissed as one of my ‘not so intelligent’ ideas. Yet once that something is in my head, it’s very hard to dislodge it, so it often ends up being written about. Like in this instance. So, rightly or wrongly, this blog must be born. It’s out of my hands now – and the wrath is in yours. I apologise in advance if my shameful opinions offend you, but sometimes you must tentatively put your hand up and confess what you truly believe in – no matter what the cost.
I’ve never seen Dirty Dancing (and I don’t want to):
Dirty Dancing came out in 1987 and I would have been 16. It was huge at that time. The charts were filled with ‘The Time of My Life’ and ‘Hungry Eyes’ etc. I know people who have seen it scores of times; it’s that feel-good movie people turn to again and again…to feel good, I guess. But I’m afraid DD just passed me by. I’ve never seen it. I never went out of my way to see it. I’ve never had occasion to see it. Did they ever put in on TV? Because I’ve never seen it. And what’s more, I don’t really want to. I can’t see what all the fuss is about. I’m told the plot revolves around Frances (Baby) who spends the summer with her family at a holiday resort, and falls in love with the dance instructor, Johnny. Which I suppose might be alright for the premise of a movie – I mean, I have been known to like the odd chick-flick. But I’ve got a vague memory of seeing the trailer back in the day, and thinking ‘Baby’ was a bit too needy for my liking. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, I’ve never seen it and I have absolutely no right to judge. It may be your most favourite movie of all time – which is why this is not something I admit to very readily. Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and watch it someday – just so I can give an informed opinion whilst in an argument (and there’s bound to be an argument). But I won’t like it – I just know it.
Poetry: What’s that about…?:
I’m really uncomfortable about confessing to this one. Since becoming a writer (or pretending to be), I’ve met a lot of poets – at least, I have ‘virtually’. We’re all on the writing scene together; we all frequent the same social media circuit. They’re a lovely, supportive bunch of people. It’s just I’ve never really understood poetry. Obviously, I must have written a poem once or twice in my life, but it would have been at school, and certainly because I was forced to. Maybe it’s the stanzas and the couplets and the tercets and the quatrains and the cinqains – the rhythm of the thing. I just don’t understand all the rules…or have the desire to. But I’ll be the first to admit that I have no flair for poetry, and I think that’s because I never really grasped its purpose. When I read poetry, I’m largely unmoved. This may well be due to the fact that I’m highly unintelligent, and a person with a more lofty education than mine would probably just ‘get’ it. Actually, I’m going to completely contradict myself now. There was one poem I liked, but it’s the same poem everybody likes (I’m very unoriginal): “Warning: When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple” by Jenny Joseph. It was voted the UK’s favourite poem in 1996. And maybe it’s because it’s simplistic and doesn’t try to be too clever, and encompasses a lot of humour. So, that completely disproves my theory, then. Maybe poetry has its place; you just have to find the right poetry for you.
I’m sorry, but I don’t really like wine… *gulp*:
I think I’m even less comfortable about admitting this. Wine is such a staple; an accepted part of our society that I’m really the odd one out when it comes to this beverage. Out to dinner with friends? Shall we order a couple of bottles of Prosecco for the table? Please, no! Need a quick gift idea? A bottle of red or white will always suffice (even I am guilty of this; I recently needed to buy somebody a gift and I discovered at the eleventh hour she was pregnant, so I couldn’t buy her a bloody bottle of wine – goddamn her!). I wish I did like wine, it would make my life easier. Nobody likes a non-wine-drinker. But you see it’s not just me being fussy or having unusual predilections: Wine actually makes me very sick. No other alcohol can make chunder the way wine invariably does. Having said that, I have been known to down the odd glass out of desperation. I once had to attend a kids’ school disco, and I risked drinking two glasses of white wine – just to kill the pain. And it did kill the pain. However, I felt pretty ill afterwards – and it wasn’t worth it. But if you’re interested, I do like gin – even if it does make me a bit aggressive. But that’s better than puking your guts up, right?
What was the big deal about Elvis?:
There are two artistes/bands one must never, ever, ever disrespect. And those are Elvis and The Beatles (and The Beatles rule I thoroughly abide by, I LOVE The Beatles). But Elvis, though? Um… Elvis wasn’t played in my home (apart from on the radio), so I have no fond childhood memories. I didn’t particularly like his voice and I didn’t like his songs. If you were to ask me what my favourite Elvis track was, I simply couldn’t tell you. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of Elvis records, I just don’t particularly enjoy hearing them. I remember the day he died in 1977, I remember being very sad; it was a big deal. It sounds as though his later years were very unhappy and he was used and cheated by his managers, his untimely death came too soon. But I’ve just no artistic love for Elvis. I’m sorry, but there it is. Actually, I did like the live version he did of ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’ where he’s in hysterics and he laughs all the way through it. That always makes me chuckle.
Nando’s: It’s just bland chicken…isn’t it?:
I have frequented Nando’s a sum total of three times, so I think I am more or less qualified to have an opinion on this. It’s a Portuguese-style restaurant, originating in South Africa (like you do), and it now frequents many a British high-street. But is it me, or is Nando’s just…meh? Friends always seem to suggest going to Nando’s – ignoring my grimace of displeasure when it is announced as our chosen restaurant for the night. Nando’s, Nando’s, bloody-well Nando’s! On my first two visits to Nando’s I ate chicken; once a piece of chicken, and once a chicken burger. Chicken is what they are famous for. You don’t go to KFC and eat sausages. And I like chicken as much as the next man, but on both these occasions the chicken was overcooked and dry and insipid. On the third occasion I felt I had no choice but to eat the one item on the menu which was not made of chicken (a steak sandwich, I think) – which was a bit better, but chewy. Honestly, I’m VERY cosmopolitan when it comes to food; I like food from every nation – I even like a bit of spice, on occasion (not too often, overly-spicy food sadly upsets my stomach, however much I like it). But I do insist on flavour – something Nando’s doesn’t seem to care a great deal about.
Now look, put your flaming torches and pitchforks away. You can spend your life trying to fit in; trying to be appealing to every single person on earth. But it can’t be done. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Sometimes you just need to stand up and be counted. Sometimes you must ‘fess up to your awkwardly different stance on those weighty issues. The beauty is in our differences – so we can still coexist, can’t we? Those are my opinions and they make me what I am. I’m sorry if my views are offensive and hurtful to you; a complete degradation of something that is very dear to your heart. But I can’t help the way I feel. And let’s face it, I’ve gone 45 years without Dirty Dancing in my life and have been largely very happy, so I’m not hurting anybody, right…?
NB: Oh, and to my friend Sally, I’m also sorry about Wuthering Heights, but it was horrible.