Wednesday 22 September 2010

On the buses

15st 8lb, 5.0 units. The other possible subject for a newspaper column this week was ear-ringed Geordie lothario Keith Macdonald, 25, who has so far fathered ten children by ten different mothers, naturally all on State benefits, at a total estimated cost to the taxpayer of £2 million. He would have to be called “Keith”, wouldn’t he? I only started writing this piece because the BBC mistakenly called him “Kevin” when making the secret of his success, “I pull them on the buses”, their “Quote of the Day” on Monday. The Daily Mirror reported that unemployed (naturally) “Macdonald lives with a pal in a council house in Washington, Tyne and Wear. He spends much of his time drinking strong lager, chain-smoking and playing computer games.

“He laughed: ‘I always have to have a can to get myself up and started in the morning.’”

Then he heads off to the bus stop and chats up women with clearly astonishing success, despite being, as the paper observes, “no Brad Pitt.”

All of which goes to show that neither Shameless on TV nor Viz on the newsagent’s top shelf are comic fiction, but true representations of life in the north of England today. God help us.

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