Mutton dressed as lamb - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Mutton dressed as lamb

I do love a good pithy aphorism.

Oh yes, and “Mutton dressed up as lamb” is one that has stuck itself into a frontal lobe like the piece of venomous shrapnel that it is, since it was uttered – in the direction of a woman clad in leopard print clothing bending over in a supermarket –  by my Mother many, many moons ago.

It’s certainly had an effect of sorts on me as I have for no fashion-based reason whatsoever always considered the wearing of leopard print anything to be a mark of sluttish-ness of the highest order. Should that be lowest order?

Just in case you Americans do not understand what I mean, try Googling “Julie Goodyear” the actress who played “Bet Lynch” in long time British soap opera, “Coronation Street” (see feature photo – that’s her in the middle) and see what I mean. The only people who truly appreciate her “fashion sense” are the legions of transvestite British truck drivers who teeter around in their size 11 heels when off duty desperately dreaming of the day when something fortuitously gets caught in a truck door.

Julie Goodyear aka Bet Lynch. Role model for all transvestite truck drivers in Britain. (Public Domain)

Photographs of Julie Goodyear will give you a general idea of what I mean, mainly due to the aforementioned leopard skin print clothes, but this week the nail was firmly hit on the head, buried the entire depth of its shaft into its subject matter and irrefutably defined for all time when into my oh so recently awakened Monday morning consciousness was brought the most horrible of news images.

A global tragedy of unspeakable horror that, having already blighted the lives of one generation of its helpless victims was about to return, worse than before to claim still more.

The BBC is normally sensitive enough to warn viewers when there will be flash photography or other disturbing images, but no such warning was issued here to prevent the instantaneous wave of nausea and disgust that rose from my vitals and headed outward as a good projectile should at the sight that filled my screen.

There was the embodiment of my Mother’s caustic use of that phrase so many years ago. The absolute without a shadow of a shred of a doubt 100 percent enshrined in the umpteenth amendment bona fide fits the bill f*ckin A walking talking fits the bill one and only needs no introduction of course Linda Gray.

Linda Gray. The actress. The one famous for such roles as “Swellin” in Dallas, and, err, umm, “Swellin” in the remake of Dallas. You remember don’t you? Dallas with Jayarr, Swellin, Bah-bay, the poison dwarf and others. The family of multi millionaires who could only afford one house to live in. It changed the world, was responsible for the fall of communism and single handedly saved the shoulder-pad industry from ruin.

Linda Gray – a 71-year-old woman, like your Grandmother? (Wikipedia Commons)

Well, now Linda Gray is 71 years old and apparently only suffering from the show business form of dementia, the one where you completely forget your age and any idea of how to act and dress with dignity and sit wearing a dress short enough to show what you had for breakfast whilst you whitter endlessly on about something that should have gone the way of smallpox at the end of the 1980’s along with Kajagoogoo.

If I were to describe her as looking like a wizened hag I would be sued for defamation by the Wizened Hag Association of America, but there she sat, ludicrously lopsided botoxed grinning with her bingo wings flapping like a plague of locusts next to the identikit production line “actor” that plays her son, whose own facial “perfection” – right down to the adherence to style of whatever slight facial hair that Brad or Johnny was sporting this week – only emphasised the half century difference in their ages and confirmed Linda Gray’s position atop the dung pile of the deluded.

For Christ’s sake, 71  is the age a grandmother reaches, your grandmother maybe and I know I may be slightly out of step with some areas of opinion in the world – for which I am eternally (or at least as much of eternity I have left) grateful – but aren’t grandmothers the kindly grey haired perpetually baking, knitting or comforting founts of wisdom and kindness of our social group and the mini skirted drooling idiot cosmetically enhanced bimbo’s their polar opposite?

Yeah I know. This is the 21 century, old role models do not apply. Stereotypical role models have been abolished, the “Gray Pound or Dollar” is a significant economic factor, people are living longer, vast swathes of the world are now of retirement age or above ad-fecking-nauseum but when did the alien laden spacecraft with the dignity hoover position itself in orbit above the earth and suck every last ounce of it away into space?

I rave about certain TV series its true, and I was never a fan of Dallas anyway although I expect that it did some good somehow at some time perhaps by bringing some tragic teen out of a coma by being played in his or her hospital room – although I secretly suspect that if that were the case they would only have regained consciousness to be able to change the channel.

I accept that like malaria or any similar disease we are doomed to have re-makes of almost anything the idiot box has brought into our homes at some time, but do they have to wheel out (almost literally) these prehistoric “stars” to publicise them as if this is somehow news?

I rail against the inevitable. It all comes round in spirals I know. Mark Chapman is up for parole again this week. I just wish that there were limits to what comes around again, and that I was able to be one of the arbiters of what does. Leg braces for example of the type worn by so many young children who contracted polio in the 1950s have yet to attract any serious retro-style kudos and should never be seen again.

Gulf Wars enjoyed a brief popularity under successive Bushes but should not be indulged in again. Afghanistan was a cause celebre when the Russians invaded it and so attractive the U.S. just had to have a go as well as part of the world-wide war on terrorism, and I cannot help but think that a fraction of the manpower involved in it used properly could have prevented a re-make of Dallas.

I feel that this could all get out of hand, if it hasn’t already, and could call for drastic measures, of which I am only too happy to supply several.

Someone who had the luck to go out of this world in his prime. (Pubic Domain)

The first should be the licensing of all show business performers and the drafting and passing of “The Buddy Holly Law,” which would issue each performer with an allotted career span to be terminated by death. Not in the sense of being written out of whatever role they have inhabited, but actual death in whatever passes for their prime, like Buddy Holly, to prevent their inevitable Elvis-like decline into embarrassment.

The second slightly more humane version would be the creation of a United Nations created and controlled colony in a suitably remote and isolated part of the world to qualify as “Godforsaken” where they could be sent into exile at the end of their allotted career span.

I would probably prefer this option, nut because of its more humane aspect, but because part of the terms of its creation would be that it be encircled with the worlds entire stockpile of landmines and other anti personnel weaponry so that any and all paparazzi intent on seeking interviews with any of the inmates would have to be prepared to die to bring us this “news.”

Oh, and a few snipers as well, just to be sure.


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