20: A List Of People I Intend To Outlive
Some people are interesting enough to have enemies. A rare few are so fascinating they have nemeses.
I’m a bit dull so I don’t have either. But I do have a long list of people who really get on my wick.
I don’t quite care enough about those people to squander my savings on a hitman. I lack the resources and determination to bring about their ruination in some Dickensian plot. But I harbour just enough spite so that, on the day that the whole of Twitter is abuzz with insincere eulogies to one of the celebrities on my list, I can be the lone contrary voice saying “I always thought they were a bit of a dick’.
It was the Jacobean poet George Herbert who first said “Living well is the best revenge”. To many, finishing off that box of chocolate liqueurs left over from Christmas might be the best description of ‘living well’. Not me. I am nourishing my rancour with fresh vegetables and light exercise. It’s the only way to stay alive long enough to deliver my planned post-mortem obloquies.
Some of the people I intend to outlive include;
Fashion really isn’t as complicated as all that. Moran’s 5th Law explains 20th Century women’s fashion as a simple oscillation between the two main areas of interest. About once a decade the focus moved from the upper chest area (odd-numbered decades) to somewhere more in the lallies/jacksie department (even numbered ones).
There was an understandable amount of Millennial confusion at the turn of this century but we’re now into a new cycle where Pound Shop leggings – positively the most indecent fashion item sold in my lifetime – are currently displaying the virtues of the sit-upon in unprecedented detail. I fully expect gossamer boob tubes to appear on the catwalk within a year or two.
Men’s fashion can be explained even more straightforwardly: Gentlemen are always looking for something that doesn’t show the junk, and can take a certain amount of soup spilled down it without complaint.
Nevertheless assorted upstarts seem determined to make everyone else feel miserable about their outfit with intemperate pronouncements on style. And the worst of those upstarts is Kaiser Karl.
Most men appreciate a lass who looks as if she’s enjoyed a few chocolate liqueurs. Not Lagerfeld. He barely goes a day without having a pop at top racy pants spokesmodel Heidi Klum, captivatingly chunky chanteuse Adele or popular Princess Without Portfolio Pippa Middleton because he reckons they’re too beefy for nice frocks.
And he does all this from within the confines of an outfit that looks like he’s come as ‘3rd Vampire from the left’ in the local Darby & Joan am-dram presentation of ‘Twilight’.
Yes, to his credit he’s got a lot of iPods. And yes there is that My Little Pony based on him to be taken into account. But someone who hasn’t changed his clothes in over a decade, and must therefore honk of Febreze, has got no business telling the women of the world what to wear or what to weigh.
Karl’s a bit silly about revealing his age but he’s at least 80. As long as I look carefully when I cross the road I reckon I’ll outlive him easy.
Pop music, done right, should be ever striving after novelty. The pioneers of Rock And Roll were on a constant quest for new sounds. Who knows where music would be today if Chuck Berry’s cousin Marvin hadn’t telephoned him from the Hill Valley High Enchantment Under The Sea dance?
Regrettably, a canker has grown within the breast of pop. A misplaced reverence for the music of the past that has resulted in a society where perfectly respectable bicyclists are dressed up in a sort of Sealed Knot recreation of an imaginary 1960s.
In fashion or in music, the 1960s weren’t as brilliant as all that. I know, I was there.
If you don’t believe to me tune in to Brian Matthew’s Sounds Of The Sixties once or twice. You’ll soon realise that for every groundbreaking 45 by The Beatles or The Kinks there are four insupportable messes by The Action or Moby Grape.
But that’s the USP of doughy indiepop muppet Pete Doherty. Notionally he’s a purveyor of engaging doggerel that sounds like the soundtrack to Confessions Of A Pop Performer but the big sell is all the drugs and the rebellion and the sticking it to the Man and such.
Of course the pork-pie hatted troubadour with a face like a compromised Eccles Cake doesn’t actually use drugs. Even if his advertised consumption were survivable, the bald fact is that he’d be in for a ten-stretch by now if the substances found during his assorted drug busts had been anything more than carefully repackaged Sherbert Dip Dabs.
Pete Doherty is the Private Pike of the Indie Rock Dad’s Army, and allowing him to hold the memorial Keith Richards tommy-gun of pretend drugs is just encouraging his attention-seeking behaviour. I can’t abide the chap.
Besides, even Kaiser Karl would agree with me that it’s hard to take seriously a man whose sartorial style runs the entire gamut from ‘Poundstretcher Blues Brothers Tribute Band’ to ‘Stars In Their Eyes drummer off Chas’n’Dave’ via ‘original Grand-dad from Only Fools And Horses’.
Doherty’s 33. With that healthy drug-free lifestyle of his he’s going to be hard to beat. I’m optimistic though that those silly trousers will provoke a life-threatening case of deep vein thrombosis or an amusingly fatal pratfall.
I can put up with her dyeing herself saffron. I can sometimes manage to forget the fact that her front bottom is encrusted with glitter-glue. It’s that expression she pulls in every photo that pushes me over the edge. Somewhere between trapped wind and a mild stroke it pulls the side of her face up in an absolutely intolerable rictus.
Does she think it’s clever? Does she think it’s sexy? I’m afraid to ask.
Childs is only 22. Outliving her represents a major challenge for me. But every time I see that insufferable grimace pictured at the opening of a new nail bar or Pound Shop, I become more determined to try.
The full book-length List Of People I Intend To Outlive will contain potted character assassinations of hundreds of well-known personalities. There will be at least one that every reader will be pleased to see needlessly insulted.
A second volume, planned for 2015, will be devoted in its entirety to a bloke who lives in my street and always parks on the pavement.