Another piece of relocated filing from my old Moonfruit website, this one dating from November 2011. There are references to a TV programme called ‘Origins of Us’ which was airing at the time, but that aside it’s just the same old stream of consciousness stuff that doesn’t really have a ‘best before’ date. Reading it back, this one seems particularly random: my guess is I’d had more than a couple of cups of coffee while waiting for them to call me for my scan and was on a caffeine high…
Has anyone else been watching ‘Origins of Us’ on BBC2? Good, wasn’t it? Thing is, though, as the series has progressed I’ve been struck increasingly by the fact that the so called professor ‘Alice Roberts’ has exactly the same mannerisms and delivery as that other recent BBC professorial discovery, Brian Cox. The same constant, confident, winning smile, the cheeky glint (and sunlight squint) in the eye, the expressive hand gestures, the slow, laconic – dare I say, given Mr Cox’s Madchester musical background, ‘chilled’ – delivery and the same flirty and intimate ‘straight to camera’ didactic dialogue. In fact, with the sole distinction of the Manc accent (which would, let’s face it, be a complete giveaway) it would be difficult to tell one from the other were it not for the fact that one is a blonde and ‘sturdy’ (in the nicest sense of the word) female and the other a somewhat slight, dark-haired male.
All in all it’s a very convincing makeup job. Incredibly convincing, in fact, because, as far as the lovely Alice is concerned , I definitely, if I didn’t know better and in the incredibly unlikely event of such an offer being forthcoming, ‘would’. (And before any feminists out there jump on that as sexually inappropriate I would ask, in my defence, how many laydees have made precisely the same observation regarding Mr Cox, and offer that the ‘sauce for the goose / sauce for the gander’ rule is still entirely appropriate and applicable – if equality is the agenda rather than role reversal – even in the oversensitive noughties and teenies. So there!) She has a lovely skull too – very large brainpan and minimal brow ridge, apparently – which has got to be a plus for an anthropologist as well as being aesthetically easy on the eye.
Brilliant series, even if I’ve never fully grasped the significance of the larger brainpan in relation to intelligence and evolution, given all the scientific evidence to suggest that we only use around 10% of our brain while the other ninety percent is pretty much just pâté. I mean, logically, if I had a head the size of an orange and a brain the size of a walnut I could still, potentially, have the same capacity for intelligence as the rest of the human race providing I was using my ‘walnut’ at full capacity? (NB: anyone making cynical quips about a big head AND a walnut sized brain really should be ashamed of themselves, both in terms of their predictability and their capacity for ‘snitticism’.)
Another thing that struck me was the fact that while Alice covered all of the other variants of the Homo Genus when she showed us her bush (I quote: ‘not a big enough diagram to be considered a tree’) – i.e. Homo Erectus (fnar fnar), Homo Heidelbergensis, Homo Neanderthalensis etc – she made no mention of Homo Erotic, as so regularly featured in discussions regarding the film careers of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost…
In Other News: yesterday, I went for an MRI scan. No, not my brain and yes, they would have found one if it had been a brain scan (see parenthesis above regarding predictability and snitticism). It was actually my foot – well, ankle to be precise – which gives me considerable gyp in the mornings and after long walks, short runs (very short runs these days – usually related to toileting or catching buses), or any other form of athletic endeavour ;).
For anyone who hasn’t had an MRI scan – as I hadn’t prior to yesterday’s – you wait in a waiting room for several hours dressed in a pale blue ‘leesure suit’ wondering if you’ve been forgotten, then are taken to another room where you lie on a bed mounted in front of a giant white doughnut ( a bit like ‘Stargate’, but I was assured I wouldn’t be whisked off into another dimension) while a nurse encases the area to be scanned in a series of plastic strap-on devices designed to focus the rays of photons or whatever they are on the afflicted tissues. In my case, of course, it was a simple boot over the foot, but I imagine it could get quite claustrophobic if (i.e.) you were faced with the equivalent of a bucket over the head, as the scanning process takes a considerable amount of time and several passes. She gave me some earplugs and suggested I insert them as the machine is very noisy. I did so, and she then offered me a pair of headphones and asked if I would like to listen to some music.
‘WHAT?’ I shouted, taking the earplugs back out again.
‘Would you like to listen to some music’ she asked again.
‘Is there any point, with the earplugs in?’ I asked.
‘Oh yes,’ she said, ‘you’ll still be able to hear it,’ a statement that revealed both a major flaw in the design of the earplugs as well as my own capacity for melodrama and exaggeration (think about it).
I said I would like music, but if it was Coldplay I would be suing. What I actually got was Morcheeba, which was not much better but at least had Skye’s vocals as a redeeming feature. When the machine started I found I needn’t have bothered with music after all, as the strange twangs, beeps, whistles and grumblings it gave off completely drowned out everything. To be honest, the twangs, beeps, whistles and grumblings weren’t half bad – if they’d overlaid a four-to-the-floor kick, some hi-hats and a 303 bassline I would have happily (despite my Achilles heel of an ankle) danced all afternoon, which might have made for a more enjoyable scan but would probably have been quite blurry. No, not Damon Albarn ‘Blurry’, you silly sossidge, distorted blurry. Now hush…
All in all it was quite a relaxing experience as hospital visits go, but I’m now more than a little worried about the thick, black hairs that are growing out of my leg. I didn’t notice the fly until after the scan and the nurse assured me that it was ‘nothing to worry about’, but I can’t help thinking it’s a bit of a coincidence… I haven’t started craving dog poo yet, but I was a little bit sick after eating my breakfast… I’ll keep you posted.
Oh – and a heads up to two GARJUSS babies I saw while I was there. They were twins called Oscar and Sienna and were just two months old. I pointed out to their mum that if they changed the ‘n’s in Sienna for ‘r’s she and her partner would have babies named after two police radio call signs, and could devote the rest of their lives to producing the other 24. I don’t think she was Catholic, though, as she didn’t seem too impressed with the idea. Oscar was a (handsome) big bruiser and almost completely bald and Sienna was petit and pretty with a huge shock of jet-black hair. I did the usual bloke thing of staring at their tiny fingers and marvelling at their perfection and generally felt all whatever the male equivalent of ‘broody’ is.
Anybody want to make a baby with me? Go on, I’ll look after it… … Pulleeeze?