Thursday, 3 September 2009

Play Not Dull

Last week, there was a moment when BBC TV rivalled the internet for wilfully propagating anarchy.

During Mock The Week, Dara O’Briain suggested extracting the radio-control chip from a London Underground Oyster card and fitting it into a magic wand. Then you wave it at the gate each time you go on the tube. Many people might say, “Why would you want to do that?” To which the only sane answer is “Why would you not?” Come on, it looks cool, it makes onlookers laugh and it might seriously annoy a bureaucrat somewhere. And it demonstrates the sort of youthful, playful outlook on life which makes you irresistible to the opposite sex. Or not.

Talking of annoying bureaucrats, how many of you have come across the splendid book by Patrick Moore on this subject? Bureaucrats and How To Annoy Them is a guide to doing exactly that. It offers helpful advice like always putting a stamp in the exact middle of an envelope, how to slightly overpay your income tax by an amount just significantly too much for them to ignore and generally how to drive officials round the bend. The philosophy is that you can never beat bureaucracy but you can waste its time by engaging it in pointless correspondence. It’s an engaging, hilarious book and I recommend you buy it and put its philosophy into practice immediately.

Back to the interweb. Another bit of wayward brilliance recently came to my attention via YouTube. In Me Shed is a raucous, back garden pop-video performed by suburban Welsh rockers Punks Not Dad.

For those of you too desperately unhip to know, Punks Not Dad are a bunch of middle-aged blokes who are living the dream of punk rebellion exactly 32 years too late. Their lead singer is called Sid Life Crisis. Other band members include Johnny Cardigan, Joe Strimmer and Adrian Viles.

PND’s motto is Allen Key in the UK, although it might just as well be live slow, die old and concentrate on developing an impressive beer gut between gigs.

Like Where The Hell is Matt?, In Me Shed one of those attitude-defining things. You either get it or not. Explanations are redundant and there is no middle ground.

Which is as it should be. What one person categorises as joyous and life-affirming, another will find mind-numbingly tedious.

And speaking of dull, there is one reason why you might not want to do Dara O’Briain’s magic wand thing: Transport for London will fine you for damaging an Oyster Card.

There are far too many reasons for being grown up and boring. Fight back. Buy Punk Not Dad’s CD.