Having lived in the People's Republic of the West Midlands for nearly as long as there's been a county called 'The West Midlands', I thought I'd be used to the stupidity and crassness of our local news bulletins by now.
It turns out I'm not. I'm still weirded out by what I witnessed on Central Tonight, tonight (funnily enough). This is the bulletin on ITV, and it's been presented by Bob Warman for what feels like forever. I think his first story for what was then ATV Today was something along the lines of 'Sabretooth tiger attacks Neanderthal in a cave near Bromsgrove', but I might be making that up. Because Bob's the elder statesman of news in the West Midlands, the news bulletin tends to be a bit more straitlaced when he's on it, because he doesn't understand the modern world or senses of humour. You can see he's uncomfortable with the friendly lightweight stories or the affable banter with the sports presenter covering the lack of transfer activity at Villa Park that day. And rightly so, in my opinion. News is for news, not for giving airtime for some local tit who's designed a new way of getting jam into doughnuts or something.
Anyway, Bob Warman was away today. It was instead presented by that woman with the Lego hair and that Scouse bloke whose face is far too small for his head. (I think it's wrong for a Scouser to read out Midlands news).This gave the editorial staff the chance to fanny about a bit. It went like this; the weather girl, Emma Jesson likes to do her daily reports from different locations, although it usually tends to be an ice rink or the Walsall arboretum. Today, however, it was neither of those exotic locales. She was, wait for it, in a living room in Sutton Coldfield! (I can sense you're all getting excited by that particular piece of prose!) She had a couple behind her who were both dancing, albeit slightly out of sync with each other and a bit rubbish. This carries on for a couple of minutes, the lovely Emma telling us it's going to piss down all week, with this man and woman acting like they're both dying for a wee in the background.
Then we found out why. They're practising for their elaborate first dance at their wedding, which they're going to film and put on YouTube. How original! To prove how original it was, Central Tonight then showed us a montage of all the other wankers who have done something similar and put it on YouTube. (Just put 'wedding dance' into YouTube, you'll see the kind of shit I mean.) Why do people do this? Why is it always to a shit song? Why don't they do something original? (I'd love to see a wedding dancefloor with a big circle pit and lots of moshing! That'd be cool! Maybe I'll have it at my own wedding, should any woman be daft enough to agree to become Mrs. Michael Trimble.) What happened to dignity? Why do they feel the need to show the fucking world how 'wacky' they are?
I know I sound like a miserable old fart, but for fuck's sake, the last thing I want to see at a wedding is a re-enactment of Dirty Dancing, which is probably the biggest crime-against-the-eyes shown in a cinema ever made. (This reminds me, actually, of a wedding my dad told me about. It was one of his mates from work, and it was about twenty years ago, when Dirty Dancing was first out, and they tried to recreate that scene where she jumps into his arms and he holds her aloft. Thing was, she wasn't the lightest bride, nor was he the soberest groom. She gets up on a chair when the song reaches its big chorus, there's no way she can actually jump from the floor without a block and tackle. He's ready with his arms out. All their nearest and dearest are all round them on the dancefloor in a big circle, to give them both room. She launches herself at him, and he catches her, but he's too weak and too pissed and after about eight seconds of sweating , straining and swaying they both crash to the floor in a heap of white lace and grey tails. Fantastic. Now that, I wouldn't mind seeing. Unfortunately this was before the internet, so it will just have to live on in oral tradition.)
Where will it all end? Divorcing couples having a West Side Story-type dance off at the custody hearing?
As you can see, I'm a hopeless romantic.
This bit of the news wasn't the weird bit, though. Afterwards, they cut back to the studio and Lego Hair and the Scouser With A Face Too Small For His Head both remarked to each other how nifty the Sutton Coldfield couple's moves were. Then, and I shit you not , they went into a crappy dance routine of their own, which culminated in Lego Hair jumping into Scouser With A Face Too Small For His Head's arms and he swung her around at waist level. Then the theme music and credits came on, and Lego Hair carried on shimmying around the set with all the grace of a three-legged tortoise, whilst Scouser With A Face Too Small For His Head had a suitably shameful look on his face that was too small for his head. This was on the same show that had a big story about a poor bloke getting stabbed to death, and they looked like they were celebrating the news!
Local news, eh?