Last night I had one of the most glamorous evenings of my miniature life - I sat in jogging bottoms and a vest eating chocolate buttercream icing out of a tub, watching Catchphrase and then Family Fortunes. Bliss. I somehow managed to enjoy my evening despite the sensation of my teeth and brain simultaneously rotting away in my head.
I also learnt something about the human race - I learnt we are different and that some people's brains simply see the world in different colours, sizes and patterns to other people.
I love Catchphrase - I think it's a wonderful lateral thinking challenge. Perhaps we could even call it the predecessor to Sudoko in cajoling the masses into thinking they're intellectually superior because they are enjoying mental agility.
I love Mr Chips - I think he does his best with some pretty poor animation techniques to inject some personality into a show that seems to comprise mainly of contestants at mismatched height and awful shirt & tie combinations.
I also love the way it teaches you that some people think very differently to you but it doesn't make you or them a bad person. Sometimes, people just don't see what you can see. It will make you angry, it will leave you screaming at the TV...
"JUMPING ON THE BANDWAGON, YOU MORON!!! THERE IS MR CHIPS, LEAPING UP AND DOWN LIKE A DRUGGED UP GAZELLE ON A WAGON WITH A FULL FUCKING MARIACHI BAND. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?"
While you're screaming your sage wisdom at the goggle box, Julie from somewhere where going on Catchphrase is deemed exciting, is staring embarssed at the massive screen repeating -
"Men bounce?" "Band leap?" "LEAP OF FAITH??" "Wagon dance" "Wagon band!" "On the band wagon?" "Off the band wagon?"
"JUMPING ON THE BANDWAGON!!!" You chime in helpfully... how has she not got this? How has her mouth come out with all those different options, but not the blindingly obvious phrase you've been chewing into your pillow for the last minute.
"Cart Music...? Jumping on the music cart...? Flamenco truck...? Scaling the horizon...?"
By now, even poor old Roy has exhausted his supply of "It's good but it's not right.", "It's close but it's not right!", "Keeee-eeeep guessing!" and has had to move on to taking a stricter line with poor Julie from the inside of a cardboard box.
"That's not a phrase Julie."He says politely as you watch the poor man's career evaluation flicker behind his eyes like the saddest Generation Game prize procession ever.
"Do you know what is a phrase?" You think, as you clench your bum cheeks to try and stop yourself farting out "Jumping On The Bandwagon" in time with the cheerful music blasting through the studio. "Jumping on the bandwagon is a phrase... Julie, did you know that? Julie - Jumping on the bandwagon is a phrase that indicates you are joining a craze. For example they might say, Laura wanted to kill Julie - she was jumping on the bandwagon with the studio audience. Now do you see? Why don't you say the words Jumping On The Bandwagon and then the whole matter will be resolved?"
But Julie doesn't say Jumping On The Bandwagon... £300 slips through her desperate fingers. The tension is incredible. Is she just going to take her own life when Roy tells her how close she came? Will she just literally die through sheer stupidity? Will she cry and beg to be forgiven as family and friends file past her spitting on her shoes?
She does none of this! Barely even a flicker of emotion from her as her monstrous faux pas is revealed. She's already limbering up for the next catchphrase and a chance to beat Steve from Worcester to the grainy holiday we saw at the beginning. Incredible.
How does she not care? How did she not get it? You're at home stuck to the wall where you've climbed in a nervous fervour trying to make her say the words 'Jumping On The Bandwagon'. You sit there - not sure what to do, like a lover at the end of some terrible sex where your elusive climax has just been glossed over as your partner lights up and smugly enjoys the afterglow. Then, slowly, as the cold dissatisfaction of loathing creeps over you, you realise - people are different.
Some people just don't think like you. It's not that you're superior, because you certainly didn't get "Bell Bottoms" from that frankly disturbing cartoon of the yellow cheeked boys. You're just different, and that's the way it's always going to be. The best you can do is just get over it....
...until Family Fortunes starts in 4 minutes and you simply cannot comprehend for the life of you why no one in the Johnson family is forthcoming with the blindingly obvious answer to Things You Might Pull.
A DOOR? DO YOU HONESTLY THINK YOU'RE MORE LIKELY TO PULL A DOOR THAN, SAY... OOH I DON'T KNOW... A MUSCLE? NO WONDER YOU'VE JUST HAD TWO NUH-NUH'S IN A ROW YOU PILE OF IDIOTS, YOU PULL A MUSCLE...