I’m blogging late tonight and I have to ask you to picture the scene. Judy is already in bed. Fed with cocoa laced with Horlicks and a tablespoon of Ovaltine, she is wrapped in her fleecy pink PJs and lies with her knees in the air dreaming of Engelbert Humperdinck frolicking naked on his mink farm. Meanwhile, I’m down here in my office. My tie is dragged to one side and the shirt is wet on my back. I light myself another cigarette before I pour myself three fingers of some cheap cooking sherry I found behind the potatoes in the pantry. Only then do I run a hand across my unshaven (though undoubtedly handsome) jaw and contemplate the next words I’m about to hammer into my keyboard.
‘Saul Bellow eat your heart out!’ I cry. ‘How’s that for setting a scene?’
Here, I think, you have a touching portrait of a man deeply troubled. A man who has tonight been accused of lacking depth!
‘Where is your killer punch,’ wrote a friendly blogger.
‘Where indeed?’ I replied.
I’m a man who writes his blog in minutes, not hours. My mind only flits here for relaxation while my body does great things in the real world. You might say that this blog is the product of .05% of my brain’s capacity for genius. Yet the accusation that I lack depth still troubles me. I won’t shame those shameful types who have said these things. I only ask that they take heed of wiser words than mine. For I believe it was Cicero who once lamented: ‘high ratings don’t make the man shallow, but the shallow man can have high ratings, particularly on Channel 5 when the show features oily breasts and that guy who used to be in Eastenders and has a metal plate in his head’.
So, what if I’m here for cheap laughs? I always thought there was more between us than that. So much more. Forgive me for speaking on your behalf, but I thought we had something special going on between us. Not in a way that requires lubrication or tissues. I just mean: intellectually. After all, you are members of my ‘Appreciation Society’ and part of that appreciation is to understand my many hidden depths. Work commitments might prevent me from posting my regular interesting facts, but it doesn’t mean than I’m no longer in possession of suitable nuggets of data were you to ever need them. You only need to ask and I will tell you that Australia is the single largest piece of sandstone in the world and that earwigs got their name because they resemble Victorian ‘ear wigs’ that were popular in the 1840s. You want more? Well, did you know that brisket is technically a biscuit of meat and that Kent has more homeless Iranians than Tehran?
But I can see that all this depth is wasted on some of you.
I’m travelling up to Manchester in the morning, hoping to find inebriated Russian billionaires littering the streets after the UEFA Cup celebrations. As I rummage through their pockets, I’m going to try to formulate a new action plan for this blog. You claim that I’m not writing enough quality material and I agree. A re-launch is called for. Even the title, ‘The Richard Madeley Appreciation Society’ might need altering to highlight that this is blog written for intellectuals by intellectuals. I’ll leave Elberry to quote his German philosophers and post pictures of flat-chested women who choose to wear no knickers despite the high likelihood of their needing to bend over while standing in close proximity to a camera with a zoom lens. I’ll stick with handling the meaty end of the thinker’s baton, so to speak. I might not have the eye for interesting curios like Bryan Appleyard, know a little about everything else like Nige, nor have an encyclopaedic knowledge of brothel etiquette like Selena Dreamy. I don't know a thing about literature and choose to leave that sort of business to Ms. Baroque. I'm no font loving style magnet like Davethedesigner and my hand could not find the pulse of American politics if you placed my fingers on Hillary's thigh. I suggest you go see Jerry Caesar if that's your thing. And if you want your politics cold and aloof, head over to that frightful bore, Iain Dale, and ask him about ten pence tax rates and Gordon Brown’s habit of scratching his nose when happy.
However, those of you that choose to stay with me will see that I have an abundance of good sense. With the right plan, I might even start to enlighten you to my further hidden depths. You'll discover why I don't trust people who buy 'The Big Issue' and what rare earth metal I've had lodged up my right nostril since Vietnam. What's more: I’ll make thinkers out of all of you. Then we’ll see who still believes that I write ‘a shallow blog’.