Monday, 3 September 2012

A Bundle Of Joy?

Terry Molloy (Mike Tucker)

The four words of the title definitely are not a reference to Mike Tucker. Insofar as you can see these things on the radio, he spent all last week mooching around with a face like a smacked arse. Mind you, the not-very-surprising news that the baby he and Vicky are expecting definitely has Down's syndrome is hardly calculated to make anyone laugh out loud.

At the meeting with the Consultant, Mike latches on to all the pessimistic bits of news – when the Consultant says that most Down's syndrome individuals learn to become independent, Mike repeats "most?" in a doom-laden voice. On learning that life expectancy for Down's syndrome sufferers is now "60 or 65", he mournfully intones "I'll be long gone by then". The Consultant reasonably points out that no parent expects to outlive their children, presumably saying this while moving sharp objects out of Mike's reach.

Vicky on the other hand is determined to act positively, saying "I'm going to love this baby and care for it, come what may" and "our baby is a gift, Mike". She is all for telling the family, but Mike says "no" just in case they decide on a termination. Looking ahead, he moans that it will be hard work "day in, day out – we've got a good life; why spoil it?" I cannot help feeling that there is a long way to go before we find any common ground here. Anyway, people are bound to learn the news soon, as Vicky told Lynda. She also added that she's desperate for Mike to want the baby – I don't want to put a damper on things, but I reckon the only way that will happen is if Vicky gives birth to a cow – and a good milker at that.

Harry popped back to Ambridge to pick up his stuff and he apologised to Mike for leaving him in the lurch. Mike's mind is elsewhere and, while he says it doesn't matter, Jazzer takes the opposite viewpoint, berating Harry for deserting him, as he cannot afford the flat on his own. Harry stretches the bounds of credibility way beyond breaking point when he tells Jazzer "I'm sure there's someone out there dying to share a flat with you." Ha! Go on Harry, name just one person – there are creatures living under stones and in dung heaps that have more pride and self-respect than to sink that low.

There was a nice cameo between David and Adam, when the latter said that Brian was in a sunny mood. ("Alien abduction, I reckon"). Adam also told David that Debbie has whittled the applicants for the Herd Manager's job down to six good people. In passing, he mentioned that the job is paying £60 k plus benefits – make that seven applicants, Adam; my CV will be with you shortly.

Over at AmSide, poor Darrell is getting a hard time all round. Lilian goes to the office on Monday to find a number of calls from Arthur Walters on the answering machine – there's a damp patch on the living room ceiling and it's getting bigger. Lilian rings to placate him and then tells Darrell to get round there sharpish. Later on she rings to find out what has happened and the Walters are pleased because Darrell got there so quickly. Not only that, but he swiftly identified the source of the leak, which isn't that amazing really when it was he that sabotaged it in the first place.

Matt returns from his golfing – sorry, networking – break and Lilian lets him know that she has her suspicions. Mind you, I would think that, if you lived with Matt, suspicion would be your default position. She tells him "Convenient – you want the Walters to move out and they have a leak." Matt is all innocence and says that they should get Darrell in to explain about the leak. Darrell arrives while Lilian is out and says "Look Matt, I did what you asked me to do." When Lilian returns, Darrell gives a plausible (just) story about how the leak might have started and Matt (presumably gazing up at heaven with a bible clutched to his breast) tells Darrell piously "we mustn't endanger the health of our tenants." When Darrell has gone, Matt says to Lilian "Happy now? I think he knows where we stand." Lilian is obviously not convinced, as she tells Matt that she has given Arthur her mobile number, adding: "But I'm sure there won't be any more out of hours emergencies, will there Matt?"

So that's Plan A gone tits up – I reckon Darrell will soon be tacking hard-to-see black threads across the stairs at the Walters' house. Later on in the week, Darrell shows a spark of rebellion when he tells Matt that blaming him in front of Lilian is not fair. Matt, for whom the phrase 'not fair' simply means 'on the darkish side', says that what's not fair is the Walters living in a house that's too big for them and suggests Darrell starts taking up floorboards to check the pipes for leaks and if he doesn't like it, he can take his tools elsewhere. "I just might" says Darrell, to which Matt, drawing on all his enlightened man-management skills, tells him "with your record, you'll be lucky." Somehow I have the feeling that glowing references wouldn't be readily forthcoming, Darrell.

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