Thursday, June 28, 2007


It is a truth universally acknowledged by women d'un certain âge that intelligent, decent, heterosexual men in their forties and fifties do not usually come in single packages. It is another truth universally acknowledged that when they do, they want twenty-something trophies who can reproduce, not bright, witty, kind women of a like age with whom they could actually have a conversation. Readers of my own blog will know that I am an addict of the BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers and a few years ago the story line seemed so ridiculous to me that I wrote the following epistle to its editor:

Dear Ms. Whitburn,

As a long-standing listener to “The Archers”, I write to say how utterly ridiculous I am finding the current “Shula affair” storyline:

All this wrestling with her soul in church seems a little pointless as she and Richard are, after all, both supposed to be single. You’d think she had at least broken up a marriage or two!

The character simply does not come across as a "femme fatale": [1] She is boring and has no sense of humour [except when she giggles irritatingly with Caroline over the misfortunes of others]. [2] She is in some seventies time warp as she [a] never buys a round of drinks and [b] only feeds her men pasta and quiche.

And how come there are three single, decent, fortyish, professional men [Richard, Graham and Alistair] in the village of Ambridge when there are none such in the whole of Cardiff, which has three hundred thousand inhabitants?

Well, if Shula does not want the lovely Alistair, dear Ms. Whitburn, I suggest that you pop him on a train to South Wales; I’ll look after him and feed him fare which is more in keeping with the times than pasta and quiche!

Yours sincerely,

UPDATE: I'm rather glad I didn't take Alistair under my wing now, as he has become a rather sly character who gambles away the family silver. But so would most men, if they were married to Shula!

I only posted this because it's gone quiet over here!


james higham said...

Whatever the reason, glad you posted it. And steer clear of the Alistairs.

Trixy said...

The 20 somethings don't always want them, though. Especially as they will probably be all saggy, have baggage and be getting the bus free in a few years when they are in their 30s....

jmb said...

Of course they totally ignored you WCLC, I'm sure. But I bet you felt better after that very sophisticated rant.

Tuscan Tony said...

I have become very animated at the reaction to Brian Aldridge's love-sprog announcement to his nearest and dearest - and have taken to shouting at the radio whenever there's some stoopid socialist-feminist-leaning over-reaction by members of his family, ep. that of his appalling "children" Alice and Debbie.