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REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL

31-05-2007

Belying his reputation as the curmudgeonliest writer on the block, Laurence Inman can think of a few reasons to raise a smile today. Not too many mind.

Sometimes I get fed up with moaning. It worries me. It makes me think I may not be a complete and genuine Brummie. But then I had a confidential chat with my mate Den from Nechells, who makes Victor Meldrew look like Ken Dodd, and he said it was perfectly all right to feel a teeny bit up now and again, as long as you don’t overdo things.

Den is bi-polar; he swings between being suicidally depressed and homicidally irritated. Luckily the day I went to see him was a Thursday: change-over day.

Right, here goes. These are the things which have recently caused me to crease my face in a near-smile.

The Blues going up. No, really. All Villa fans must feel slightly easier about the traumas of the coming season because it now means we only have to get 34 more points to avoid relegation. (I have no fear of reprisals from Blues ‘fans’ because I’m fairly sure they won’t get that.)

The Moseley Lib-Dem triumvirate are still in place. I am a generous-minded man, and even though my own pavements are currently being used by Land Rover to test the suspension on their latest models, and will be requisitioned later in the year by the SAS as part of their winter training obstacle-course, I am still glad that residents elsewhere in the ward will, in just a few short weeks, be walking on stones coated in synthetic crushed velvet, more level than a snooker table at The Crucible and smelling softly of seasonal wild flowers.

Tone is going, but not yet. Why ? Oh, who cares, as long as he goes! But even better, Cherie will have to go too. Not only will we never see the cheesy smirk of Tone again, but we will also be spared the revolting spectacle of her doing that thing where she flops her head on his shoulder and slobbers all over his neck.

I mean, she wants us to believe she’s a modern liberated woman, High Court judge and all that, and then she acts like a spoilt lap-dog!

One wouldn’t want to appear in any way snobbish, but there always seemed to me something of the parvenus about them. You know what I mean; the kind of people who buy wine-glasses with little patterns in frosted glass around the rim. I expect much better things from the Browns.

She, especially, seems to have some idea of how to behave in public.

That club from Manchester didn’t win the Double. I say this, not in any spirit of schadenfreude, but because if any more teams win the Double it tends to devalue the achievement of the club which won the first, and in many ways the greatest, Double of the modern era, in 1897.

For similar reasons I’m rather pleased that the only non-British team in the semi-finals of the European Cup ended up winning it: too many British winners takes a little of the shine off the truly spectacular 1982 triumph.

But the main thing which gets me springing out of bed with a whoop of joy in my heart of a morning is that I am no longer a teacher. The pleasure this brings seems to become more intense every day that passes.

Particularly wonderful is the knowledge that I can plunge into my day’s tasks without being told what to do by someone for whom I haven’t the slightest respect, someone whose only qualification for thinking he can do this (tell me, me, what to do) is that he managed to persuade a few other people one day that he could, rather than the three other dolts who turned up for the interview.

Anyway, all that is behind me. If you detect a note of exasperation in my tone it is because I have been forced recently to have some tangential dealings with something called the General Teaching Council for England. I’ll be telling you about this in September. If I’ve calmed down enough to be able to get my thoughts in order.

Any more Reasons To Be Cheerful? Leave a comment on our Message Board. And is it only Villa fans who regard 1897 as “the modern era?” Don’t forget to check out Laurence’s controversial take on missing toddler Madeleine McCann - click here

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