Thursday, August 22, 2002

"Mao's Revenge"

This week, I have been mostly shitting through the eye of a needle. Yup, there's nothing like spending a beautiful summer's day wedged on the bog, squirting at both ends and cursing a certain nameless Chinese restaurant in the centre of Weymouth. I did, however, manage to see parts of the spiffy Weymouth Carnival from my perch, most notably the rather ace RAF Red Arrows lining up for their display round the harbour over my house.

The week wasn't a total dead loss. While everybody else was having the time of their lives, I was left in charge of supervising The Man We're Paying To Fix The Kitchen Floor. It turned out that he was once a TV presenter, back in the early nineties when Sky Sports were new to the scene, and were hard pushed to find anything that might even be loosely termed a "sport" to show their punters.

In short, Mike hosted a fishing programme, called (as they always, always are) Tight Lines. He became a bit of a local celebrity, particularly enjoyed mixing his passion for fishing with getting paid shedloads of money for a few hours work a week talking about a "sport" that hardly lends itself to television.

"We'd make a few filmed inserts in the morning" he told me, "and then they told me I had to go back in the evening for the live phone-in. Only trouble was, I went down the pub and had six pints of Blackthorn Cider."

You can see where this is leading...

"I was pissed out of my head, but they had to let me go on anyway as the other expert hadn't turned up. The first caller asked me 'Mike, what's the difference between onshore and offshore fishing?'. So I told him. 'In all my years, that is the most fucking stupid question any fucker's ever fucking asked me'.

"They went straight to an advert break and that was the end of my time on TV. Still, you've got to laugh."

So, if you ever need any plastering, ceiling or floor work done in the Weymouth area, and get a damn good anecdote into the bargain, Mike's in the Yellow Pages.

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