Stupid stupid stupid

January 26, 2010

It’s taken me an age to track this down. Sometimes, in films, certain bits stand out when the rest of the movie disappears. All I can remember is stupid, stupid, stupid; a phrase that often goes through my head, usually aimed at myself.

I knew it was from some legal film. I knew it was a woman in a courtroom reading out a letter. Until tracking it down down, just now, I’d have stumped for A Civil Action with John Travolta. And I’d’ve been wrong. It’s The Rainmaker, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Clearly (to me) not as memorable as his other The films; The Godfather, The Godfather II, even The Godfather III and, of course, the Apocalypse Now one (ok, I cheat a little). But it had it’s moment. And here it is:

So it has stuck with me and I hear it often, in my head, with that flat somethin’ stoopid Sinatra intonation, telling me off; stoopid, stoopid, stoopid.

So what’s the stupidest thing I could do? Well, I’m still alive so I didn’t walk in front of a car or fall off a cliff or push my head up close to a bacon slicer. Instead I sat in the bar of a swanky hotel, and, needing to go to the toilet, decided it would be absolutely fine to leave my bags for less than the  minute it might take me to have a wee.

Altogether now; stupid, stupid, stupid.

That’s ok. I can take it. Leave your comments.

See, maybe I have too much faith in human nature. What’s that I hear you all shouting in unison? Having faith in human nature is one thing, leaving your bags unattended in a public place in London is stupid, stupid, stupid.

Oh, who cares.

I had three bags; one with all my stuff in it, two full of presents. The robber only took my bag. And for that I thank him (I know it was a him because there was a witness).

The presents were for my girlfriend.

Ok. Big pause. That last sentence was a fair enough thing to write; they were presents for my girlfriend. There! I’ve written it again. It must be true. It seems I have a girlfriend.

Ok, so, if you’re reading this and you don’t know me, either personally or in my professional role as a former TV idiot, then what you’ve just read is no big deal. Everyone has girlfriends, wives, husbands, partners, children, pets.

If you do know me, then you most probably think I’m lying. I’ve made it up. I’m delusional.

If you don’t know me, but know who I am from the world of childrens’ TV, then you most probably think I’m gay.

Well, it’s true. That I have a girlfriend that is. Though at the age of 47 girlfriend just sounds silly. I asked my friend Claire if it was ok at my age to say girlfriend. She answered, Of course not; she’s your bird!

Partner‘s out of the question; it makes it sound like business, and whatever business we may or may not get up to, I doubt anyone’s going to make any money out of it. (I went to see Stewart Lee the other night and as I picked up the tickets the box office* asked me for the name of my partner- I was so shocked I almost said Trev).

No. Partner no way. Other options are either unrepeatable or silly. Although my lovely lady has a nice ring to it. Anyways, this is no big deal to you, dear reader, just me and her. Ok. just me. She is real. Honestly. But back to robbing and stupidity.

My robber got away with a nice bag bought for me as a present by my friend Sarah. And inside:

  • My Richard Hawley T-shirt (Christmas present from Andrea)
  • My glasses
  • Socks, underpants, a shirt
  • an umbrella
  • Two inhalers
  • An electric toothbrush
  • A beard trimmer
  • Some toiletries
  • Oh… and my camera

My camera is (was) old, doesn’t work too well and was £99 when I bought it. Still, it was my camera, and until someone gives me a job my blog will remain pretty photoless.

Other than that, good luck robber. Try making a bit of money out of the rest of the crap in there. I hope, just to make it all worthwhile, that you have asthma and a minor sight defect that matches mine. But I don’t want you to be a Richard Hawley fan. I want you to take that T-shirt and throw it into Truelove’s Gutter (no disrespect to you there Andrea, and your lovely present. It just feels like a romantic end for the T-shirt).

I was stupid, stupid, stupid. But I don’t care. I can’t afford not to care, but there we go. I don’t. Bye bag and things.

I checked my insurance policy. Things were looking good until I got to clause 8.1 or somesuch. We do not pay out for baggage left unattended unless it is in a locked room. What do you think we are? Stupid, stupid, stupid?

Clause 8.1.1 You’re the stupid one. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Ha ha ha!

Clause 8.1.2 You’re lucky he didn’t steal your willy whilst you had a wee, you stupid, stupid, stupid… thing.

Clause 8.1.3 We love insurees like you.

Who knows why the robber took the one bag and left the two bags of presents. Here’s my two top theories:

Theory 1: He didn’t want to draw attention to himself. He was seen, by the witness, to drop his gloves alongside my bag. He stooped to pick them up, and in the same movement scooped up my bag and swooped out of the exit. To pick up the other two bags would have involved clumsy movements and drawing attention to himself.

Theory 2: He saw they were bags of presents. He thought to himself; I’m a kindly robber and these are presents for his lovely lady. They’ve been apart over Christmas and the New Year, I have a heart, and I am only going to cause this man minor anguish by taking his bag and leaving the presents alone. I wish you both a good evening, and now I’m off, to see if I can get a quid off Wheezy Dave down the pub for a half-used Beclazone inhaler.

I’m opting for Theory 2.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. I know.

I don’t care.

Me, looking like a robber, in Alcatraz

* Using Box Office and making it speak is, I think, an example of a synecdoche, like in the film. So, even though I am stupid, stupid, stupid, I can still show off and make out like I am not, sort of, even though I really wanted to write the Box Office person, cause it seems silly having a box office that can talk.


10 Responses to “Stupid stupid stupid”

  1. Andrea said

    Wonderful post. And although you weren’t stupid, stupid, stupid, I did love watching the clip.

    “…asked me for the name of my partner- I was so shocked I almost said Trev”

    made me laugh out loud.

    Re. what to name your lovely lady, how about a poll? (I mean, put up a poll on the post. Not call her a poll. Unless she’s Polish?)

  2. Andrea said

    PS thank goodness you clarified the pictures. Until I saw the last one, I was thinking ‘Is that Simon’s bedroom? It looks like a prison cell’.

  3. Samantha said

    Oh POOR POOR YOU!! I think it’s really sad that things can’t be left for 2 mins (or however long it takes you to wee! Maybe you were hours, I don’t know?!) Great post anyway despite the sad topic, it made me smile and laugh and be VERY VERY cross with the evil robber…hopefully what goes around comes around…
    What camera would you ideally get now? I know nothing about cameras and I’d be interested to know your thoughts on whats good at the mo (not too much of a arm and a leg price)
    STUPID STUPID STUPID indeed SADLY, it shouldn’t be that way….WRONG WRONG WRONG! x
    (Congrats on the girlfriend! V pleased for you, I never thought you were gay! Well not often! Ha! Maybe gay in the old fashioned way! “Gay doesn’t mean now, what it meant then” “No, But Shirt lifting poof does”) Your blog comments is the only place I’m insulting, it’s quite fun! Thanks! 🙂 No offense anyone…

  4. Samantha said

    You said “for less than the minute it might take me to have a wee” You said MIGHT, see?

  5. Simon Hickson said

    Well, at my age… No, I was gone all of a minute. Anyways, that’s that.

    I’m no expert on cameras Samantha, so I’m not going to race into buying one. The key thing, apparently, is not the amount of megapixels but the size of the sensor. And I always like one that can be operated fully manually as well as on auto. Ideally a digital SLR but that’ll have to wait.

    And Andrea, no she isn’t Polish, but I’m still a little shocked at your phrase “put up a poll”. I’ll see. She, of course, has a name… imaginary girlfriend… but I know what you mean.

    Hey, imaginary girlfriend, leave a comment if you like.

  6. Imaginary Girlfriend said

    If I’m in your imagination can you imagine me 10 years younger, 4 inches taller and a stone lighter please. Thanks.

    In my imagination I have found that mean robber , punched him and got your things back. X

  7. Simon Hickson said

    Hey imaginary girlfriend! Stop that at once! I like you at your current age, height and weight! And anyways, if I imagined you as you say (ie, 10 years younger, 4″ taller and a stone lighter)that would make you a 7 year old, 4 foot four 5 stone freak and the imaginary ploice would be on to me.

  8. pat said

    After all the time you took picking the right presents I am very glad it was only your bag he took.
    Didn’t your mother teach you to look after your property in public places?

  9. Trevor Neal said

    Funny,funny,funny – the blog that is, not the actual event of course. I wonder what the insurance company would say about willy theft? Not something I’d wish on anyone you understand but since you introduced the idea it’s made me think. Did that Bobbit fella put in a claim? How do they work out it’s value? Size? Age? Would they replace it like for like? Old for new? I feel a bit queasy now. Wish I hadn’t started this comment…it’s stoopid, stoopid, stoopid.

  10. Rowan said

    Oh I do so sympathise. I, too, had my camera stolen recently. Not the modern digital SLR that I do my gig photography with, but the old retro Olympus OM10 which I use(d) for fun things like holidays and family portraits. The phrase ‘stupid, stupid stupid’ also applies to me, who left the thing in the glovebox of the car, and even more so to my husband, who left the car unlocked. The annoying thing is that, much like your bag contents, it had absolutely no value other than sentimental. It’s hard not to dwell, but one does feel stupid, there’s no getting away from it.

    I was pleased to read in the next post that you’re camera had been replaced, that really is lovely. Nice to know there are some genuinely good people out there to make up for the thieving b*stards who go around depriving people of their cameras and making them feel stupid.

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