‘The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing’ – Oscar Wilde
Often when I mention that soaps are watched in our house people express surprise: You dont watch such nonsense do you Ian! they will exclaim.
Leaving aside the fact that just because the soaps are playing on television does not necessarily mean I am watching (although I might take more interest when Charity Dingle played by the gorgeous Emma Atkins returns to Emmerdale) we must consider are the soaps any more nonsensical or far fetched than real life.
Lets not be in a hurry to forget the story of young Shannon Matthews whose pikey mother decided a great way to make some easy money would be to shut her daughter in the storage compartment under a divan bed and pretend the child had been kidnapped and a ransom demanded. No television soap opera would ever dare to be so nonsensical and far fetched. but on investigation that failed scam was found to have been based on a story from an episode of Shameless, not a soap but getting on that way.
Oscar Wilde one said Life copies art, maybe he was not far wrong. As a disabled person I see more crap on daytime television that a lively minded person really wants to, but this is sometimes a great help in blogging. There is a little show that follows the breakfast news magazine on BBC. It is called heir hunters and surprisingly is not about the middle years of Elton Johns career. It is actually about a firm of investigators whose business involves tracking down relatives of people who have died without leaving a will, putting those long lost relatives in touch with their inheritance and taking a modest commission for their efforts.
One story last week concerned the estate of Vincent McGarry. After a career in the army this man led a solitary but contented life before dying at sixty two. he lest £150,000, not a sum to be sneezed at. Vincent had not made a will and had no known relatives and few friends.
The heir hunters undertook a meticulous investigation of the mans background and found it quickly became very soapy indeed. Soon after World War Two Vincent had been born in a small Scottish village, the illegitimate child of a local girl and a man from outside the area.
But the scandal did not end there. It turned out George McGarry, Vincents Dear Old Dad was already a married man when he impregnated Vincents mother. The girl was shunned by the locals who would not even let Vincent play with their kids lest the respectable children caught moral degeneracy from him, a local person who remembered the family and was only slightly insane, told the investigators.
George McGarry dumped his lover and her child, not to go back to his first wife but to seek new adventures in the world of soap like behaviour. he moved to Nottinghmshire and shacked up with another lady with whom he had three daughters all now in their fifties. Not wishing to saddle the girls with the stigma of illegitimacy he did at least marry their mother, sort of. Unfortunately he had forgotten to divorce his first wife. The marriage was bigamous.
The three girls will now cop for almost £50,000 each (less commission) from the half brother they never met, which is nice. Whether it will make up for the knowledge that their Dads life was like a storyline from East Enders, Coronation Street or Emmerdale we shall never know. We do know however why Vincent wanted nothing to do with his family.
For the record George left his Nottinghamshire family when the girls were in their teens.
Now tell me soap operas are nonsense.
More humour every day at Boggart Blog
You may have noticed that Boggart Blog has literary pretensions, well today a couple of stories have prompted us to come over Oscar Wilde. Not in a colloquial sense of course, even the French would be a bit pissed off by such exhibitionist behaviour in Pere-Lachaise.
No, we have suddenly developed a penchant for the epigrams and bon – mots of Wilde.
Firstly, a letter in the local paper (from my wife’s old English teacher as it happens) complained about the celebrity culture promoted by TV shows like Big Brother. “Money cannot buy class,” she wrote, “and while young people are encouraged to look up to the ignorant, uneducated, foul – mouthed quasi – celebrities paraded is such shows society will continue to sink into the gutter.”
I agree with her point, but as Oscar might have said, “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars – while the rest are fawning on Z list celebrities.
And in the same vein we cannot let the latest Home Office fiasco pass without comment so: “To lose one sex offender is unfortunate, to lose three hundred and twenty two looks like carelessness.”