Monday, 14 May 2007

Blogging Bernard, Jeff, that is...

Hard to know why I am doing a 'blog.' God knows what a blog is, anyway.

But Reb, my wife, has been telling me for years that I should write my autobiography. This will not be it, but, if anyone is interested in some scurrilous episodes from the sixties onwards, mostly involving journalists, the following screeds may not be without interest.
An autoblography, perhaps.

However, along with the ancient history, I will have the nerve to offer you, reader, my thoughts on a variety of contemporary topics, mainly if not mostly related to the United States. I lived there from 1990 to 2006, so regardless of whether or not you are in agreement with my generally acerbic judgements, you will surely conceed that I have some practical knowledge.

There will be a good deal of name dropping, I must warn you. But, thankfully, most of the names will be obscure to all but the dessicated detritus of dusty decades of decadence. ( That's enough awful alliteration, Ed. )

We will kick off by dropping the name of Jeff Bernard, because I owe the title of this blog to him. Possibly the nation's most famous drunkard in his day, he died within days of Lady Di and Mother Teresa, setting up what must have been one of the more bizarre trios so far assembled outside the pearly gates waiting for opening time.

Not that Jeff ever showed much interest in admittance to paradise. His attitude would surely echo the Tartar warrior, who when told about Heaven by the missionaries, asked what kind of horses God had there. On being told there were none, he said he'd rather go to Hell, then.

But back to the point. In the 1970's in Soho and Fleet Street pubs a gang of us used to play games like thinking up titles for autoboigraphies. "Downhill Struggle" was one of Jeff's winners along with "Starting From Tomorrow" which referred to foreswearing the Smirnoff and soda.

It was Jeff, in his Low Life column in the Spectator who pointed out some hitherto unrecorded great truths, such as when you vomit, no matter of you had not eaten a tomato in years, there are always bits of tomato skin in the result.

Many people could not see the point in Jeff.All he does is get drunk, lets everyone down and then writes about it, they said. The point was that Jeff was totally reliable. He always went too far. We need his like to make us feel good about ourselves.

One day, as one of my wives was going through the tried and tested old, "You make me sick,' routine, I found myself saying, "Well, you must admit I'm not as bad as Jeff." That's what, as the song tells us, friends are for. That, and naming blogs.

TOMORROW (or soon), three things that are wrong with the world today, and why Pascal was right about one thing, at least. ( What, only three? )


Anonymous said...


So good to read your blog. We could use some humor here at The Blade these days. For me, I good use a few weeks hiking in your mountains...

Dan O'Gara said...

It's about time, now if only you could get a Myspace page together...or is that to mutch to soon?

eileen said...

hmm, guess I have to repeat it since I wasn't a googler. Paddy, the blog is a smart beginning. I think inkstained wretches of yore have the best stories, from good to gory. Look forward to more. Eileen

Bill Hinsch said...

Paddy--very much enjoyed the postings on your blog. I have a very precious horceracing story from when I was a mere lad of 12. It was just a sulky race but to us boobs from the backwater it was no less glorious than and Kderby. My dad was a racefan, and the romance of it all was a lifelong thing for him. he died in 2001 and a couple years ago I was out at Santa Anita watching an afternoons races, blubbering all the while thinking of him (i had just read Seabiscuit for the 2nd time just before this and to be in the park seabiscuit made famous as well as dad's spirit was overwhelming. Sometime I'll tell you about the boyhood race that was special.

By the way--see my email to you--I have a favor to ask of you.
Warm regards --Bill Hinsch