Saturday, 14 January 2012

Indiana Moans

The High Commission of India (HCI) have complained to the BBC about the Top Gear India Special which was broadcast over Christmas (or Winterval if Christmas offends you).

I don’t usually watch Top Gear as cars don’t interest me and I am lucky enough to be blessed with a cracking penis. However, the furore forced me to have a look, like Lady Chatterley's Lover did to the closet horndogs in 1960.

The show began in Downing Street with David Cameron telling them to “stay away from India” and “you do the cars and we do the diplomacy”, after they offered to go on a trade mission jolly. Apparently Belgium does more trade with India than England which is pretty surprising. Maybe they just pay more to the sweatshops. We must get quite a good deal.

The HCI complains that sensitivities have been offended due to a toilet seat built into the boot of a Jaguar as “everyone gets the trots when they come to India”. Is carrying a stockpile of Imodium offensive too? I'd prefer privacy if I was shooting off an explosive one in the mountains rather than being mounted on a plopping plinth. Diarrhoea is a really rather humiliating occurrence - especially annoying.

A senior diplomat at the HCI says “India is a developing nation with lots of issues to address”, sense of humour hopefully high up on that list.

I don't understand why India feels the need to deny that when tourists visit they may have to dash in a real rush, hurry or else accident. Why are Indians worried about a toilet in a car when so many of them use the street?

To Indians, the left hand is unclean as it's the hand used to wipe the arse so you should not use that one to handle food. Why they don't use toilet paper is a mystery. Keep an eye out for Indian McDonald's employees to see if they extend the same courtesy over here.

I once worked with a lovely bubbly chubby Indian guy in an English call centre. I won't mention his name to spare his blushes. Anyway, Bush was hopeless with women, a virgin at 30. I was delighted when he told me they had arranged for him to get married, even if it was to a cousin in India.

She was a pretty girl over in India and would normally have been well out of his league. They were going to get to know each other over the telephone. This was in the pre-Skype days. Every day he would come into work and regale me with stories about their lengthy chats the previous evening. Some went on a bit (like this story), but it was genuinely warming hearing him be so passionate and happy.

They had arranged to meet and marry in India in a couple of months. I knew when he returned there would be so many stories to hear. There was a mammoth amount of morbid curiosity in the office to hear how he prospered on honeymoon night. It was a few days before his best story surfaced though...

He had to formally ask her family for her hand in marriage so the first time they met was in front of them all. He had a long and tiring journey there so he met everyone at her family house on his second day in India. They had exchanged gifts and greetings and had just sat down to dinner when Bush suddenly felt a gurgly rumbling heading down his Passage to India. He excused himself from the dinner table and went up to the 'toilet', a hole in the ground in the bathroom. I have researched why these exist and apparently one of the advantages is “Squatting might help to build the required exhaust pressure more comfortably and quickly”. I shit you not.

Anyway, needless to say Bush had no such problems with pressure. In fact it was a high pressure situation, so much so that the pressure forced things out in more of a horizontal jet-pack fashion than the desired vertical drop. When he steadied himself and turned around to see the damage he realised that not only had he missed the hole, he had avoided much of the floor like a jewel thief in the movies. What he had created was a dirty protest of Bugsy Malonesque proportions all over the wall.

Bush had made the mother of all messes, like he often did in work. At least he was consistent, although this time it had the consistency of slurry. He did his best to clean it all up, but he was smearly rubbing it in.

Bush returned to the dinner table and sat next to his fiancée, who took one sniff and raised eyebrows, like a mother catching a nappy breeze - his tragic trajectory had splattered all over his shirt tail. She casually excused them from the table and her first duty was to scrape the shit from his shirt. Her second was redecorating the new bathroom as best she could. It never rains but it pours - all over the wall. They were both in deep shit (sounds like an Indian name).

As he told me this story, smiling like a simpleton, I was wondering what that poor girl must have thought when she saw the gift he had splurged. She must have been dreading the wedding night cock. Although I guess he could even the score by making her bleed all over the new bedsheets.

Back to Top Gear - the BBC initially received just 23 complaints out of an audience of 5m after the show. i.e. nearly 0.0005% felt incensed enough to call up. I imagine that number will have increased exponentially when the hysterical paper-readers express their mock outrage despite never having watched the programme.

The Indians were supposedly also offended by a banner prank Top Gear cleverly engineered on the sides of a train. When the carriages separated, the banner ripped and converted 'Eat English Muffins' into 'Eat English Muff' on one side and 'The UK promotes English IT for your company' into 'The UK promotes sh IT for your company'. A clever, albeit puerile prank. However, for some reason it is being treated almost like an act of war on Indian soil.

Clearly they are unfamiliar with the supercilious humour but it was not really an attack on the Indian people or culture. Indeed many Indians have risen up and appealed to the rest not to be so stuffy. These Indians should learn to laugh at themselves like the rest of us do.

Stewart Lee once said “Clarkson has outrageous politically incorrect opinions for money” (watch his rant at Top Gear here). Jeremy Clarkson is the Derek to Richard 'The Rodent' Hammond's Clive. They like causing a fuss then revelling in the commotion that unnecessarily follows.

If Clarkson was sacked what would people have to complain about? Everything else is so politically correct, nobody takes risks any more. As an example, I recently watched the filming of the Matt Lucas Awards, a show in which they hand out awards for left field categories. They were comedically discussing China as a nomination for 'Smuggest Country'. They had been jokingly piling into them for nonsensical reasons when filming was halted with instructions from the production team for Matt Lucas to introduce some positive aspects of China to appease the BBC impartiality execs. It was completely unnecessary as it was clearly comedy of which nobody would have taken seriously.

Incidentally the other nominations were Sweden and England. The roguish Jason Manford, when asked for his nomination, said 'Pakistan' and then paused while we all laughed before saying “I can hear the BBC lawyers having heart attacks from here!”, knowing that the BBC would never allow a joke about Pakistan, as jokes are not allowed about that country just in case.

There is nothing wrong with criticising stereotypes, we have all laughed at it for generations. Eurovision was always an opportune time for each country to take swipes at each other in a good-natured spirit, but of course Europe is a different beast to Asia. In recent years there seems so much worry that we will offend someone that it has become a taboo subject. Banter about different nationalities is no different from teasing someone about having a big nose, being fat or having a slag for a mum.

India are trying to force the BBC into backtracking over the antics, hopefully without the threat of sanctions. The situation may well be similar to what is happening in the cricket with the Board of Control for Cricket in India holding far more sway in the game than they should, due to the huge amount of revenue advertising brings in.

The BBC will investigate and will conclude that Indians have no sense of humour, Top Gear is a cash cow, and the team are free to continue making publicity-grabbing headlines with schoolboy antics. Although I am sure the official diplomatic release will read slightly differently. There will be a grovelling apology from the BBC and a thinly-veiled (shouldn't have used chiffon) apology from the presenters. It is all political correctness gone mental health issues. It is arguable that being on before the watershed it could have done without the use of 'shit' and 'muff', but kids nowadays are familiar with these words and hairstyles anyway, and choose not to copy their mother's pubic perm.

It has been said many times that what I write is a load of shit and today is no exception. Today you will also have to settle for a bog standard ending.

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