Friday, July 13, 2007

How Desperate Are You?

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that I have an unquenchable predilection for fly-on-the-wall type documentary TV shows – an appetite that I indulge solely so that I can exercise my rabid spleen by giving the participants of these shows a bloody good drubbing.

Hey. A nasty spleen is a happy spleen after all.

But watching “How Clean Is Your House?” last night I had to wonder to myself what kind of person actually chooses to willingly debase themselves on national television by appearing on such a show?

Now I realize that there are people out there – damaged, inept and socially inexpert – who through no fault of their own are unable to live conventional lives and carve out a small pocket of existence for themselves which resembles that of a New York bag-lady. There are even people who just choose not to clean their homes regularly and feel perfectly happy mired up to their hips in their own filth and detritus and develop immune systems that can snuff out the after effects of a neutron bomb.

But generally – either through immense shyness bordering on psychological shutdown or a perfectly normal sized sense of shame – these people would rather run a mile through Irish bog than let a strange person into their homes... let alone a film crew fronted by Scottish frost-pot Aggie MacKenzie and blonde beehived behemoth Kim Woodburn.

Which leads me to conclude that the people who apply to participate on this show are, perhaps, a little bit conniving... a little bit scheming... a little bit manipulative and self publicizing.

I have visions of them scrunching up yet another rejection letter from The Weakest Link or Deal Or No Deal and deciding that, "right, that’s it, I’m off to my local landfill site to collect as much dross, crap and bio-muck as I can; I’ll chuck it around my living room and dining room kitchenette and then give those obsessive compulsive cleaners from How Clean Is Your House? a call... it’s a sure-fire way to get on the telly!"

And bingo – it works. Cos every week there’s yet another sad-sack on my TV screen looking theatrically abashed at the sheer volume of killer ecoli spores that are lurking on their welsh dresser and the amount of faecal contaminates that have been liberally scattered around their DFS sofa suite and within the air tight confines of their tupperware lunch boxes by the malfunctions of a scabby toilet bowl that resembles the north face of the Eiger.

Effing hell. Do these people want to get on the telly that badly?

To the point where they’ll risk their own health and well-being as well as that of their family and friends? Do they even have friends? I mean it’s not something you’d boast about in the pub is it?

"Oh yeah, my mate Kev has been on How Clean Is Your House? - yeah, they had to slash and burn his entire living room apparently, it’s been diagnosed a global biohazard... there’s a five-mile exclusion zone around the whole site... but hey at least he gave Kim Woodburn one.... now she really was mucky..."

Urgh. Shudder.

For God’s sale just buy a mop and some Mister Sheen! I mean how difficult can it be? Isn’t there enough crap on the TV these days without encouraging more...?


Old Cheeser said...

I can see your point. I find it very hard to believe that people can live in such appallingly squalid conditions as the filthy creatures who appear that programme.

Still, I'm a gay man and we're obsessed with cleaning. Supposedly. Actually I confess that Gustavo and I have now got a cleaner in to do our flat on a fortnightly basis, as we can't be arsed to do it any more. I'd be terrified of Kim and Aggie coming round to ours though. They'd probably castrate us on the spot just for leaving a few bread crumbs on the kitchen floor. (And I'd pull off Kim's tacky fake hairpiece in retaliation).

Steve said...

Now there's a fight I'd love to see!

TimeWarden said...

I have noticed your predilection for this type of show but didn't realise it was unquenchable! I must admit, it's bad enough having to do housework never mind watching television programmes on how to do it!! Same goes for gardening, DIY etc. etc.

Mind you, there's many folk could use a series on how to make a cup of tea with tea bags, milk, sugar, and boiling water!!!

Steve said...

Ha ha! Well, maybe "unquenchable" is a bit strong! I do pride myself on being quite discerning in other areas and love quality dramas too - both from an escapist and writer's point of view. And you're quite right about some people needing instruction on how to make a decent cup of tea. It's a real skill and art. Shame Delia didn't include a chapter on it in her cook book (or maybe she did?)...

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I agree there is something disturbing about living in a society where people have become SO socially 'challenged' they have forgotten how to clean/how to raise their kids/dogs etc (although I suspect there has always been a small proportion of such people). However from a purely practical point of view if you have reached such a desperate stage and have no hope of getting straight without outside help, I guess it's worth the trade-off of allowing the TV cameras in to get your house sorted!

And quite honestly I find transformation programmes much more positive than rubbish like Big Brother which is just out to trash people and exacerbate any mental problems they already have. At least Kim and Aggie are motherly and obviously care about their subjects. And they really DO transform some of the lives they are allowed in to, that is obvious.

Steve said...

Hi The Poet Laura-eate, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I agree there is something mesmeric about transformation films (I'll even admit to being a sucker for chick-flick transformation films where ugly duckling become beautiful swans). Though I draw the line at Transformer films!

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Steve said...

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