Posted tagged ‘Catcher in the Rye’


31 October, 2008


I don’t like gherkins.  Don’t like the way they look in a jar, blankly floating in brine, like a neverending carousel of Berts (of Bert and Ernie fame) with burst appendices. I can think of many more displeasing ways in which to describe them that will hopefully put you off them as well…

A Komodo Dragon’s stool.

Thalidomide cactus. 

Unsavoury knob coral. 

Members of the Martian Ku Klux Klan.

Slug bullets.


I’m retching as I type.  That sick water is gushing against either side of my tongue, I can feel the air rasping up my oesophagus, the catapult lurch of my stomach…


I don’t buy them or eat them in any form.  I’m sure they have nutritional value but I have to like how my food looks before I put it into my mouth.  Does that make me foodist?  I don’t care.  Can’t stand them.  I think there may be a jar somewhere hidden in a dark corner of my kitchen, purchased by a sadistic ex-girlfriend (call me kinky but that doesn’t really narrow it down) and I’m too scared to look.


If I was to find similar feelings of disgust and fear anywhere in my life, my thoughts immediately turn to one thing.  (Bypassing any major British politician, merely because they’re too buffoonish and/or incompetent to incite fear.  Here’s smirking at you David/Boris/Milly.)  Let’s say, for the sake of a disjointed metaphor, that television is my kitchen.  BBC2 is my pantry.  And Sunday morning is that dark corner I’m too terrified to search.  Why?  Tim Lovejoy.  He is the last gherkin in the pantry.


It’s one of life’s cruel ironies that some of the things I love so much, such as football and cookery shows, are populated by this vinegared cornichon.  These days I’m lucky enough not to live in a house that subscribes to SKY, so I don’t have any danger of encountering the shitswamp of misogyny, hollow boistrousness and arsesucking promotion of average footballers as a brand, that is Soccer AM (Football Focus isn’t much better and is sexist and elitist in a much more subliminal middle-class way, but they don’t have a gherkin). 


He embodies everything I hate in the majority of modern British citizens.  A rock star attitude, even though he’s not even approaching the level of mediocre at anything (being a cunt doesn’t count).  Whack at all trades, a masturbator of one.  In Catcher in the Rye the protagonist is advised towards the end that, as he gets older he will start to realise what the size of his mind is, and what ideas, thoughts and facts he can fit in there.  I like to think that inside Tim Lovejoy’s mind is a small room with no windows, a chair, a copy of The Sun and a kitten chasing a moth.  It gives me peace of mind to believe this, because then the existence of people like him makes more sense to me.  He has a typical little islander perception of himself and contempt for the world that revolves around him.  With his attitude comes an unnecessary swagger, like he’s transporting a mint imperial in his belly button.  It’s not chewing gum so he can’t stick it behind his ear, so he’s placed it in his ‘inny’ to save for later.


Maybe that’s how the Chinese came up with football in the 6th century?  Discussing the best way to cook rice without it getting sticky (twice as much water as rice, boil, stir once thoroughly, cook until the water is at level of the rice, don’t forget to add salt at the start to kill all bacteria in said foodstuff) whilst balancing half eaten hard boiled sweets on their bellies, they found it was actually much more fun to play keepy uppy with their humbugs instead –  Meanwhile, the swaggering Brits were running around at 100mph being hacked at and humiliated by invading foreigners who were much better at everything.  An opportunist, Aussie shit-stirrer threw a fly-away in the middle of this, turned up the volume, kept Andy Gray in a cage for 6 days without food and only a laminated picture of Steven Gerrard for company, then rebranded it The Premiership.  And where would Tim Lovejoy be without it?  Rotting outside the backdoor of a grotty kitchen, embibed head to toe in some foul smelling liquid that numbs his reality, surrounded by similarly hued dill pickles.  Probably.


Ode to Tim Lovejoy (to the tune of ‘My Old Man’s a Dustman’ performed by Danny’s Dire)


Tim Lovejoy is a gherkin

He wears a screwtop cap

And when he’s on the telly

He’s such a fuckin twat


He doesn’t have a braincell

Connected to his mouth

And you should fucking hate him

If you’re Manc, Cockney or Scouse

(Please feel free to suggest further verses)