Sunday, 1 May 2016

Geniuses? I Think Not

Edward Kelsey (Joe Grundy)

How do you define Genius? Who would be your role models? I submit that Michelangelo, Bach, Einstein, Newton and Shakespeare might well qualify, but would you add Joe Grundy and Rex Fairbrother to that list?

Eddie and Pip would, apparently. Eddie is moaning about the fact that Lynda is complaining that the roof on her Shepherd’s Hut is leaking (she’s so picky, isn’t she?) and would Eddie get over there sharpish and do something about it, please? Eddie is moaning to Joe, who comes up with the idea of offering La Snell an extended warranty on the hut. “If you charge her £10 a month for two years, that’s … a lot of money” says Joe, the Economist. “Dad, you’re a genius!” Eddie says, proving that a) he has no understanding of Lynda’s character and b) his level of intelligence means that he probably couldn’t re-arrange the words “off” and “sod” if you chalked them on a blackboard for him.

But, would Lynda fall for it? What do you reckon? “Please tell me you’re joking” she says, scornfully, and her mood is not improved when Joe, looking at her expensively engraved ‘Resurgam’ stone, suggests that the engraving “looks like it’s been done with a bent nail”. Sniffily (and she’s the Ambridge sniffing champion) Lynda tells him that that’s what the font is supposed to look like and it appears in Coventry Cathedral. Joe goes rambling on and Eddie, who can see a business opportunity rapidly disappearing over the horizon, tries to get his father to shut up. Lynda dismisses the pair and Eddie (ever the optimist) asks “What about the extended warranty?” Lynda tells him to go “Before I tell you what to do with your extended warranty.”

Our second ‘genius’ of the week is Rex Fairbrother, who wants to pick Pip’s brain about his brand name for the - to me anyway - hugely over-priced pasture eggs. He tells Pip that Toby doesn’t like the name, which should count in its favour (Toby is away somewhere; is he trying to source new markets, or off on one of his mysterious absences?) but Rex tells Pip his suggested brand name, which is “Upper class eggs, laid by landed poultry”. Snappy, or what? It’s not often that I side with Toby, but I’m with him on this. Why not brand the eggs “Not for peasants”? or “Are you sure you can afford these?” Pip, however, disagrees, telling Rex that his suggested name is “Genius”. Is she having a laugh, do you reckon?

Let’s leave the geniuses behind and move on. Helen is interrogated by her Barrister, Anna and is totally uncommunicative, when Anna is trying to get her to comprehend the consequences of pleading ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ to the two charges that she is facing; to wit attempted murder and wounding with intent. Helen isn’t helping herself, by saying that she cannot remember what happened on the fateful night and refusing any visitors, including her family. Her attitude is not improved by the fact that Ursula goes to Bridge Farm in order to pick up Henry and take him to see his dad. She is supposed to take him back to Bridge Farm in the early evening and, when she doesn’t, Pat calls her to find out what’s happening. Ursula, who is proving to be an even nastier character than her son, tells Pat that there has been a change of plan and Henry will be staying at Blossom Hill Cottage. “Now his father’s back here (Rob has been released from hospital) there’s no need for you to have him any more, is there?” Pat is incredulous, but Ursula says “Henry should be at home with his father: that’s where he’s staying. Goodbye.”

This doesn’t go down a storm at Bridge Farm and they take legal advice from solicitor Dominic. He says that they will have to sort it out via the courts (Ursula’s reaction, when told this is ‘we’ll see you in court’). And so it transpires - Rob is too unwell to attend, but Ursula tells her lawyer that she’s not prepared to listen to a pack of lies. Diplomatically, he suggests that she keeps quiet and let him do the talking. As it turns out, the decision goes in favour of Rob - the fact that Helen awarded him parental responsibility for Henry counted heavily in his favour - and the ruling is that Henry stays with Rob and Ursula and Pat and Tony can see him on Sundays. Ursula later turns up at Bridge Farm to collect Henry’s clothes, etc and it is to Pat and Tony’s credit that they don’t take her outside and drag her behind the tractor for a mile or two over stony ground.

Helen’s mood gets worse - if such a thing were possible - when she learns of the decision, but she still refuses to see anyone and tells Anna Tregorran that it was all her fault because she has been so weak and she gave Rob parental responsibility. “He’s Rob’s son, not mine - I’m never going to get him back” she tells Anna, tearfully. Anna is doing a good job of making bricks without straw, as her client isn’t helping herself - Helen is so confused and upset and cannot remember whether Rob threatened her or Henry on the fateful night. Better get a grip, Helen, as, if you plead guilty to the lesser charge of wounding with intent (and assuming that you aren’t found guilty of attempted murder) you are looking at 4 - 6 years in jail but hey! You’ll only have to serve half the time. I don’t know if it’s usual legal practice, but if I were Anna, I’d bang Helen’s head on the table until she remembered something - anything.

Going back to Pip, she is off to see some cattle for sale. David cautions care - don’t get sucked into an expensive deal. But this is Pip we are talking about and she comes back with a deal that impresses David and Rooooth, to the extent that they agree to advance her the loan to buy the beasts. Rex also admits that the chances of him and Toby becoming ‘cattle barons’ are slim and he apologises for letting her and Adam down. However, Pip is so pleased that she gives David, and Rex, who happens to be around when the good news is revealed, a big kiss. Rex is pleased, but his enjoyment is diminished when Pip says that she must give Matthew a call, as he’ll be delighted. Rex sighs - does he stand a chance with Pip? Not while Matthew is around, I submit.

We now have to question whether Jennifer is - literally - away with the fairies. She tells Brian that, while she was walking in the Millennium Wood, she saw a tiny, elfin grotto in the roots of a tree. Brian, understandably, wonders if she’s been on the magic mushrooms. Alternatively, she might have been having an alcoholic breakfast with Lilian; Lilian has been showing Justin the results of her interior decoration of the Dower House and he tells her that Miranda (his wife) will be coming down to view the house in the next few weeks. Lilian has a crisis of confidence and drags Jennifer to the Dower House to have a look - is everything OK? Astutely - remarkably so for her - Jen says that she feels that Lilian’s misgivings are because she has been making the sort of decisions on Justin’s behalf that a wife should normally make, which makes Lilian even more anxious. Never mind Lil; think of the clothing allowance and smile.

After being smacked in the mouth and sacked by Tom - not to mention being thrown out of Bridge Farm - Jazzer is desperate for money and somewhere to live. At present, he is dossing down on Fallon and PCB’s sofa - don’t smoke the wacky baccy, Jazz - and he is getting close to outstaying his welcome.

Jazz approaches Johnny at Bridge Farm - Johnny is working hard, as Tom left a gate open and the pigs got into the polytunnels and trashed the crop and Johnny volunteered to replant something like 20,000,000 lettuces - and Jazzer begs Johnny to intercede with Tom about getting his job back. Johnny tells Jazz to do one, but later in the week, Jazz approaches Johnny again and gets the same answer. Despite this, Johnny tentatively mentions Jazzer’s plight to Tom. Tom’s response? “Why should we care? Don’t waste your sympathy on Jazzer - he’s only got himself to blame.”

That would appear to be final, but Jazzer has a plan; Jim is on the verge of moving back to Greenacres and Jazzer is keen to resume their former housemates relationship. Jim confides to Shula that he would prefer to live on his own, but she points out that he cannot keep putting Jazzer off forever. Jim agrees to meet Jazzer at the pub and Jim is there with Shula. No sign of Jazzer and Jim is all for going home, but Shula tells him to wait a while. Jazzer turns up and greets Jim with a man-hug and offers to buy the drinks. Jazzer tells Jim how much he has missed him (“a Jim-shaped black hole in my life”) and can they pick it up from where they left off?

Jim says that there’s something he has to say, but Jazz interrupts him by saying “Hold on a minute” and tells Jim that he’s a changed man and, should Jim take him back, he would be a perfect house guest, would pay more attention to his personal hygiene, and would clear up after himself (Jim told Shula that he was fed up of finding half-eaten takeaways on the sofa). Not only that, but Jazz promises to pay Jim rent when he gets a job (just don’t ask Tom for a Reference, Jazz) and he will help with the bills. “Haven’t you been a bit lonesome?” Jazzer asks Jim.

Despite his previous misgivings to Shula, and forgetting that he dislikes pig-muck-encrusted overalls being left in the bath (not that that will happen again unless Tom relents) Jim crumbles like a piece of ripe Stilton and tells Jazzer that he can move back in at the weekend. The Scots ex-pigman is exultant, saying “Jim, you’re a real saint - you won’t regret this; I promise!” Personally, I‘m not convinced, but time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. I have had enough of the Rob/Helen stuff. I can sort of appreciate the "raising awareness" angle that the charities are banging on about, but it (the story) has gone on far too long, and is just not credible. There is no way that Rob could be such a tw*t, and for no-one to have called him on it. And his mother is completely unbelievable in my view. I can't wait for Helen to wake up/walk out of the shower etc. I can't be bothered listening to this arc anymore. I'd rather listen to Linda banging on to Eddie about her shepherd's hut!