I seem to have put my foot in it again.
I don’t know if you caught last night’s show but I happened to let slip that all the bathrooms are ‘lock free’ in the Madeley household. I didn’t think it was that big a thing when this factoid slipped out. We have no secrets in our house and many a time I’ve been caught steeping out of the shower with my… well, let’s just say 'with little Richard hanging out with his friends, little Fred and slightly bigger Raj'. I’m not ashamed that you all know this. It's just one of those small inconveniences I’m more than happy to live with, so long as Judy has peace of mind.
Only don't get me wrong. Judy's not one of the millions who suffer from coprophobia or anything like that. No, Judy just doesn't like confined spaces. It's something about being trapped in a small room with sanitary products. And who can blame her? My heart quickens apace whenever I'm in close proximity to a toilet duck.
TNo, the way I see it, having no locks on our bathroom doors makes it a win win situation for Judy. It makes her feel safe in her own home while also maximising the chances that she’s going to catch a certain handsome co-presenter naked in the shower or sat bare arsed reading the latest issue of Nuts magazine. Yet despite these benefits, Judy's fear did get me thinking. Is it really the fear of confinement that worries Judy? Or, as any good psychologist (or even Dr Raj Persaud) will tell you, is it the fear of death?
I reached this level of enlightenment yesterday afternoon when she told me in no uncertain terms that she wouldn’t allow a certain man of infinite foregiveness become a Richard & Judy bookclub author unless he cheers up and write about something more uplifting than death. She suggested a ‘nice upbeat book Afghan amputees learning to tap dance’ but I wasn’t so sure. It convinced me that I needed to prove something to Judy. I need to prove that there’s an upside to the afterlife.
Death can be a funny business. There’s something quite Buddhist about it. It's like we're lumps of animated clay stuck in a warehouse fire at Aardman Animations. One moment we’re Gromit’s leg leg and, the next, we’ve been reincarnated as a turtle’s sweatband in an advert for British Gas. And that’s the message I wanted to send to Judy. There are positives in death, if only you look for them.
The way I see it, death means ear wax is no longer a problem. Pretty much all problems of grooming fade away on the other side of death. You don’t even need to buy grooming products, though who can say no to Vidal Sassoon latest range of anti-worm products to help protect your skin through the afterlife?
'Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful'. John Donne might also have added helpful and timely. What greater excuse could you have for escaping a birthday bash held for your distant cousin . In fact, mortality brings with it its own rewards: it’s an excuse for tardiness, a reason to lie in past noon, and you no longer feel bad about the planet. You are the planet.
You can be rude to whoever you like when you’re dead. And, let’s face it: you’re going to be rude to just about everybody. You don’t write, you never call. You don’t even answer when somebody asks you a question. In a way, it’s like becoming a Jehovah’s Witness but without the legwork.
You can grow a beard when you’re dead. Actually, you won’t be able to help it. Unless you’re Russ Abbot, your hair will continue to sprout long after you’ve ceased to be. This explains the prolonged career of Jimmy Savile and his current appearance. He’s been dead since 1983.
Death has a small carbon footprint so Al Gore won't complain. Unless, of course, you're cremated. In which case, take it from me: you're much better off being asked to be buried in a grow bag with a tomato seed stuck up your ass.
Death makes you down with the kids. How much more hip can you be with a white face and long solemn silences? If that's not Goth, what is?
As soon as I’m made this little list, I decided to present it to Judy. That's another advantage of having no locks on the bathroom doors. We can tell people good news as soon as we have it. Only, I think she wasn’t that interested. I’ve now backed out of the bathroom and I’m waiting until she’d finished. In the meantime, how about some morbid factoids to cheer us up?
Did you know that Suggs from Madness collects funeral director’s top hats? Or that Ealing has the highest mortality rate among mimes than the rest of the country? And did you know that when a mime dies, they're buried in a glass coffin?
Did you know that more people die exercising in a gym than eating doughnuts in a cafe? That waxed moustaches can prolong a man’s life by up to five years? It’s a scientific fact.
And did you know that to the Japanese, the colour white represents death and this is why there are no professional Japanese tennis players?