Last night I had the incredible misfortune of tuning into ‘The X Factor’.
Like the curry house at the end of the road, I’ve always known it was there but have never felt the need to make a personal visit.
Very soon I wished I hadn’t, as the hate child of Mary Whitehouse and my father took residence in the place formerly occupied by my personality.
First there is a chap singing. I feel sorry for him because there has been a technical fault and he can’t hear that the sound he is expelling is at diametric odds with the instruments designed to accompany it. Then I feel sorry for the panel of judges because of how embarrassed they will be when they realise the same thing and have to wipe the pre-neanderthal smirks off their slippery faces.
When it stops I am slack-jawed to hear the audience whooping and clapping and the little leprichaun fella at the end talking arrant bollocks about the quiffed mutoid’s quality performance as fast as he possibly can, so that Dannii Minogue can step in because basically no-one gives a flying finger of fudge what he has to say.
Dannii- who capably flew the flag for pre-pubescent breasted girls during her ‘Home and Away’ days- now has a voice worse than a chain-saw being swung around on a rope in an alligator sanctuary and uses it to collude with the leprichaun fella that the violation collectively experienced five minutes previously has been a harmonious piece of entertainment.
This can’t be true- Is this true? I bellow into Bruno’s frightened face- and yes, turns out it IS true because next up is Cheryl stick-to-your-ribs Cole. How can you not love this confectionery of a girl- tacky to the lips if licked and gaudily wrapped but sweet as spun sugar?
The answer is very easily because the false sentiment trotted out by the taxidermist’s masterpieces who preceded her is gospel to this woman, so steeped in vacant phoniness she would be shocked into speaking Latin if a person with real talent ever crossed her path.
At least we can trust Simon Cowell to tell it like it is, I steam through my nostrils. He’s nasty- I know that about him; he’s going to tell this whippersnapper he is destined to be a failure in any profession within a 400-yard radius of the hearing public.
Only he isn’t! He starts to wear the face he puts on when he thinks he needs to talk a Stringfellows lapdancer into bed even though she’s prone and panting in the Four Seasons penthouse suite. ‘Can I just say that when you walked in here tonight I thought you were nervous. But you looked good and you felt confident and it is the God’s honest truth that this is the best you’ve ever been.’
‘What the fuck was he like last week?’ I shout at Bruno, who has started to recoil when he sees me leering towards him. ‘Did he shit on the stage through a colander and feed it to a camerman?’
Then Dermot O’Dingleberry mawks his way through some effluvient bio-matter, thereby demonstrating to the guerning ingrates that yes, it is possible to be a consummate waste of space who wears their tongue between their teeth and bottom lip and still make it on primetime TV.
Followed by another ‘act’ so repellently heinous I am brought to my feet to spew a loose bowel movement of invective at the television. This one comprising four girls utterly void of any human characteristic that could be construed as appealing, ‘just having fun’ by catterwauling and hauling themselves over a troupe of professional dancing desperados, like large transvestite zombies. As if re-enacting a nightmare of the girl you hated most at school, pissed and caked in her own puke performing karaoke at your wedding. Cloned in quadruple.
And again, the panel of judges: sappy, lobotomised, gawping behind make-up trowelled on thicker than a foam mattress of Lurpak butter, poised to pour unctuous praise on their offensive exhibitionism, momentarily risking being fed to the booing lions by one incy-wincy-teeny-weeny suggestion that it might be a good idea if they ‘worked on the vocals’.
Once I have started to breathe again I find the mute on the remote and am grateful to Bruno for the distraction of his bizarre head-led breakdancing performance, which he follows up with some sexily-worded singing that still manages to be a gazillion times superior to anything thus far suffered on the living room consciousness.
‘This programme represents everything that is morally decrepit about our generation,’ I mince through my teeth when the ordeal is over. ‘It is like an apocalyptic presaging of the end of our depraved civilisation.
And I think it is a profoundly inappropriate influence on Bruno.’
Who spends the rest of the evening energised and leaping around in a great mood until bed-time when he looks haunted by an unpleasant memory.
‘Mummy, what means unfiltered excrement?’ he asks.