Sunday 26 April 2009

Scars Beneath The Skin

I had a shock a couple of months ago. A friend of mine announced that he had written a novel.

I wasn’t surprised by this because I knew that he had been attending a creative writing class for some time. However, the next bit of news floored me; a publisher had accepted the novel.

As happy as I was for him, I was also envious. No, that’s not correct – I was insanely jealous. Why? Because writing a novel and getting it published is one of my ambitions and he has achieved something I dream of doing. Yet I am still delighted for him, so much so that I offered to contribute to his success in a tiny way by posting about his achievement and giving him a little free publicity here.

My friend’s name is Andrew Duggan and his novel is called “Scars Beneath The Skin”.

The inspiration for the novel came from a major incident that occurred on 15th June 1996. I remember the day well. I was at home, getting ready to watch England play Scotland in Euro ’96, a major European football tournament. This was a huge match for everyone in England and Scotland.

The phone rang and it was my mum, who lived in Walsall, sounding rather worried.

“Are you alright?” she asked.

“Sure, why?” I replied.

“A bomb’s gone off in Manchester City Centre,” she said.

I reassured her that my (ex) wife, my two young sons and myself were all fine. I switched on the TV and was totally shocked by what I saw. A massive bomb had exploded in the centre of the city outside the Arndale Centre, a large shopping centre in the heart of the city. The police had received a call from the Irish Republican Army, or IRA, warning about the bomb an hour or so before it exploded. Thankfully the police recognised a codeword used by the IRA and took the threat seriously enough to start clearing the area. Bomb disposal experts had begun their examination of a suspect van when it exploded. Thankfully, and incredibly, nobody was killed. Two hundred people were injured.

You can read about the bomb here and here

Andy was downstairs in a record store when the explosion occurred and when he left he found himself in the vicinity of the devastated city centre, close enough to witness the aftermath of the incident first hand. It had a profound effect on him, inspiring him to write about the experience ultimately turning it into “Scars Beneath The Skin”.

But don’t take my word for it; you can hear Andy talking about the experience in an interview with BBC Radio Manchester (by clicking here).

The book is released on May 1st and will be launched in Manchester City Centre on 3rd June at the Central Library at 18:30.

I will of course be attending with Mrs PM, where I hope to enjoy a glass of wine and get a free signed copy of the book (only kidding Andy, though if you are feeling generous …). I am also, of course, looking forward to reading the book.

Details of where you can buy the book can be found here.

You can also find details about Andy and his book here.

As for my own aspirations, I have actually written two books myself. Unfortunately they are travelogues that are too personal (and too amateurish) to see the light of day. The first is a chronicle of my exploits on a two week trip to China in 1999; the second was a gift for Mrs PM’s mother for taking us to Australia and recounts our experiences on that trip. I may post a few excerpts to let you judge for yourself. No publisher would be interested unfortunately.

If I want to follow in Andy’s footsteps I will have to knuckle down, find some time, defeat procrastination and just get going.

I will also probably have to learn to write something better than the hogwash I frequently post on this blog.

Saturday 25 April 2009

Guitar Heroes - Alex Lifeson

In 1982, a friend of mine handed over a cassette tape labelled “Signals” and said “Listen to this! You will love it”. At the time I was willing to listen to all sorts of music so I popped it into my cassette player and pressed “play”.

I was hooked from the first note of the first song. “Who is this?” I asked incredulously.

“Rush,” he replied. “Good aren’t they?”

That was an understatement; they were and still are brilliant. I rushed out (if you’ll pardon the pun) and bought as many Rush albums as I could find. I couldn’t get enough of the band – I still can’t. I was lucky enough to see them at Birmingham NEC shortly afterwards and they left a lasting impression.

The Canadian trio have been my favourite band ever since.

Just about every milestone in my life since that point has a Rush song associated with it. When I listen to the Rush back catalogue, shivers run down my spine – even today. I have every album, including live ones, and have seen them four times in total. I would have seen them more often had they visited our shores more often. The last time was the tour accompanying their latest album “Snakes and Arrows” a year or two ago, and they were as good then as they were in the early 80’s.

All three members are musical geniuses:

Geddy Lee sings, plays a mean bass guitar as well as keyboards.

Neil Peart is one of the greatest drummers I have seen and writes all of the lyrics.

Alex Lifeson is the guitarist and one of the greatest I have seen. He has a unique style and complements the other band members perfectly. Obviously he plays guitar but he has also played bouzouki, mandolin and mandola on some of the more recent Rush albums. He has been responsible for some of the best solos I have heard or seen live. Apparently he is the joker of the band and has been known to have a rant during live performances of the classic “La Villa Strangiato”.

There are too many Rush songs to even begin to select a bunch of favourites – I love them all, every single one of them. So instead I will list my favourite Rush albums (in chronological order):

(1) 2112 (1976)
(2) Hemispheres (1978)
(3) Permanent Waves (1980)
(4) Moving Pictures (1981)
(5) Signals (1982)
(6) Power Windows (1985)
(7) Hold Your Fire (1987)
(8) Counterparts (1993)
(9) Vapor Trails (2002)
(10)Snakes And Arrows (2007)

I also love the remaining albums they have released.

I can’t wait for the next album and the next time the band tours – I really hope they come to Manchester again.

If you have never heard Rush I urge you to do so. I hope their music has the same effect on you as “Signals” had on me 27 years ago. I will leave you with Alex Lifeson and the band, performing “La Villa Strangiato” in 1978, a song that highlights just how brilliant Alex, Geddy and Neil are.

Thursday 23 April 2009

To Swear Or Not To Swear - That Is The Question.

Swearing is one of my most irritating and embarrassing habits. Over the years I have become increasingly annoyed with my inability to control the profanities that escape from my potty mouth.

There are times when I have complete control but occasionally, even then, the odd swear word is uttered. And I seem to be getting worse.

I have asked myself why and I think I have the answer: the world is becoming an insane place to live.

At work, I am becoming increasingly frustrated (for reasons that I will not go into here), so my language deteriorates rapidly as the day progresses. I arrive home after a hard day’s work, switch on the TV set and watch the news. Within two minutes I am yelling at the TV because of injustice and stupidity in the world.

Unfortunately there is nothing I can do to influence the world at large. I would love to build a space ship that can accommodate one million humans and then fill it with all of those people in the world who make me swear, before launching it on a one way trip to Alpha Centauri. I could make a list of my targets here but I think that I would be posting until doomsday. Of course, all of this means that my language deteriorates rapidly when these people appear on my TV screen, particularly when they open their mouths.

I do usually apologise if I discharge an expletive into the conversation, especially when there are ladies present. Most dismiss my faux pas but occasionally the odd person will take exception to my foul and abusive language, which is a little hypocritical in some cases, given that these people have been known to swear themselves.

I’m sure that there are people out there who hate swearing and very rarely curse. However, in my experience, the vast majority are as bad if not worse than me. If that’s the case, then why is the use of swear words so universally frowned upon?

There are one or two words that I never use (I won’t mention them here) but I don’t know why. These are regarded as offensive and can be replaced with other supposedly benign words and phrases that mean the same thing.

For example, the almost ubiquitous “F*** off” could theoretically be replaced by the phrase “Go and make love to somebody – anybody”.

Is that offensive? If somebody said that to me I would probably laugh at them (rather than telling them to “F*** off” back). For some reason the benign phrase has virtually no effect. Why is that?

Perhaps that’s how I should try to eliminate swear words from my vocabulary. Perhaps instead of saying “You f****** d*******” I should say “You are being rather obnoxious”. Instead of telling somebody to “p*** off” perhaps I could say “Why don’t you pay a visit to the toilet?”

Is there scope for that do you think? Or will they just think I’m being weird?

Maybe I’ll try it next time I see somebody like Jeremy Kyle on the TV:

You resemble a human bottom and you deserve nothing but utter contempt. You look as if you need to answer call of nature, so why don’t you leave the stage really quickly and stay there for the duration of the show? I never want to see you on my screen again, so please search for somebody to make love to when you have finished your business on the toilet.”

Mmm – doesn’t have the right ring to it, does it?

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Guitar Heroes - Angus Young

I have decided to pepper my usual inane drivel with a few posts about my favourite guitar players. I would like to start with Angus Young, mainly because I went to see AC/DC at the Manchester Evening News Arena last night.

As incredible as the band were, I was particularly awestruck by Angus Young, a man who is in his fifties yet runs around the stage like a twenty year old and plays the guitar in an amazing way.

AC/DC have been a constant companion from my teenage years until now, yet bizarrely, last night was the first time I have seen them live. They delivered everything I expected and more. There I was singing along with Brian Johnson as he belted out a series of classic and new songs. I felt like a kid again. The man standing next to me kept glancing over, presumably because occasionally he heard my wailing out of tune voice. I didn’t care one jot.

Angus was in fine form and has inspired me to post about those axe men who have given me so much pleasure over the years.

I love most songs by the band but here are my favourite AC/DC songs in no particular order:

(1) Thunderstruck
(2) Let There Be Rock
(3) Whole Lotta Rosie
(4) For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
(5) Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)
(6) Touch Too Much
(7) Fire Your Guns
(8) Highway To Hell
(9) Safe In New York City
(10)Stiff Upper Lip

Here is a very young Angus Young in 1977 performing “Let There Be Rock” with the legendary Bon Scott on vocals. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Saturday 18 April 2009

Mauled By A Russian Over Hugh Laurie

It seems that my post about Hugh Laurie didn't go down too well with a Russian House fan. Personally I didn't find the post too controversial - I was merely expressing an opinion.

I was intrigued to see a few visitors from there so I ran the referring web page through a translator. It was a forum and the translation came out as follows. The bits in blue are my words from the post:

I hate your Brits angry So take a one-sided, so stupidly did not see, so moronic to write: Let’s start with a scene from Friends (yeah - I know its American but it does show Hugh Laurie doing what he does best ). I was just shaking from indignationadmin

I think that the poster (called "swallow") was quite upset.

I'm also criticised for the use of the phrase "our very own" when describing Stephen Fry. Correct me if I'm wrong but the last time I checked, Stephen Fry was British.

If any of you understand Russian then I'm sure there may be a few other choice insults. Here's the link:

Oh well, c'est la vie. I don't care. In fact I find it quite amusing.

By the way, if you pop over here again, "swallow" and want to comment on my post directly, please feel free. I am a nice chap and will extend you every courtesy. I wouldn't want to start an international incident over an American show starring a British comedy actor and I certainly have a skin tough enough to cope with being called "one-sided" and "moronic". What's even funnier is that I was merely trying to show another side of Hugh Laurie; it is you, "swallow", who is being "one-sided" really - there's more to Hugh Laurie than Gregory House.

I have this nice message for you, "swallow":

Спасибо за комментарий. Просьба прокомментировать снова. посетил Россию, и было очень приятно провести время.

And finally - he is still stupid Prince George to me.

Friday 17 April 2009

Are You An Overpaid Arrogant Footballer?

Do you think you could cut it as an overpaid footballing prima donna? Is your arrogance matched only by your weekly salary?

Take the quiz below to see if you have what it takes to join an elite group of footballers whose egos are larger than Jupiter. Answer the following questions as honestly as you can.

(1) You find yourself in the penalty area with just a defender and a keeper to beat. What do you do?
(a) Attempt to beat the defender, while looking for an opening to have a shot.
(b) Draw the defender away from goal so that you can pass to a well placed team mate.
(c) Wait for the defender to come within an inch of you and then dive on the floor, rolling around as if you’ve been shot in the face at point blank range.

(2) A member of the opposing team fouls one of your team mates at the other end of the pitch. What do you do?
(a) Think about where you need to be for the impending free kick.
(b) Jog over to your nearest team mate and discuss the incident calmly.
(c) Sprint to the referee waving your arms like a demented Tasmanian Devil and screaming blue murder at the official. Insist that the offending player be dismissed from the pitch immediately.

(3) You are the last defender and the opposing striker is bearing down on goal. What do you do?
(a) Chase down the attacker, trying your best to win the ball cleanly but without committing a foul.
(b) Do your best to stop the attacker while calling to the keeper to minimise the attacker’s shooting opportunity.
(c) Take the attacker out using any means possible (preferably a two footed tackle that could possibly cause injury) and then protest your innocence, feigning total shock when the inevitable red card is shown.

(4) You are a defender and a corner is about to be taken. What do you do?
(a) Make sure that all strikers are marked, instructing team mates to cover any stray players.
(b) Cover the back post.
(c) Find the most dangerous opposing striker, grab him round the waist or neck and haul him down, accusing the player of diving when the referee spots your misdemeanour.

(5) Your team has just won a crucial game and a TV interviewer asks for your views on the game. What do you say?
(a) Express pleasure at the result, praising your team mates and the performance while giving a gracious word of commiseration to your opponents.
(b) Discuss the tactics and the manager’s approach to the game, describing how the opposition made it difficult to achieve the objectives you were set.
(c) Say the following “At the end of the day, we done a good job. Wazza’s goal was great y’kno and he did us proud. We had to score more goals than them and we did that. It could have been a banana skin but the lads did great. It was a game of two halves. We’ll keep our feet firmly on the ground and take each game as it comes …”

(6) You are on holiday and the owner of a major European club says publicly that he wants to make an offer for you with a salary of £500,000 a week. What do you do?
(a) Realise that you have two years left on your contract at your current club and ignore all of the speculation.
(b) Say that you are flattered by the attention but pledge you future to your current club
(c) See nothing but a way to treble your wealth and start saying that it has always been your dream to play for this club even though you don’t care one jot for them. After all, your salary of £100,000 a week at your current club isn’t enough to cover your sundry expenses is it?

(7) The manager of the club is under fire from the fans and the media for a couple of bad results. What do you do?
(a) Play your heart out for the club as you want to win for the fans and the manager.
(b) Publicly support the manager and dismiss the bad results as a slight dip in form.
(c) Use the opportunity to have a huge dig at the manager, saying that he has lost the support of every single player in the dressing room, whilst at the same time stating that you want to play for another club that will treble your already colossal salary.

(8) You are offered a new contract that increases your salary by 50%. What do you do?
(a) Accept the offer with open arms and pledge your allegiance to the club.
(b) Realise that you are lucky to be paid £100,000 a week and accept £150,000 considering yourself very lucky to be in such a great position.
(c) Publicly pledge your allegiance to the club yet secretly go behind the club’s back in order to get your already ridiculous salary doubled at your club’s closest rivals and when asked about it, lie through your teeth.

(9) Your beautiful model girlfriend/wife goes away on business leaving you for a couple of weeks to get on with your game. What do you do?
(a) Phone her every day telling her that you miss her and talk about her all the time, apart from when you are playing football.
(b) Regard her career as an occupational hazard and simply get on with playing football.
(c) Go to the most expensive night club in London, get absolutely totally rat-arsed and then search for any gold-digging slapper that has the stupidity to sleep with you.

(10) You are dropped by the manager for an important game. How do you react?
(a) Assume that the manager has a game plan for the next opponents and your style of play doesn’t fit into his strategy.
(b) Vow to improve your game but encourage the guys in the team because ultimately the results and the club are bigger than any one individual.
(c) Publicly slate the manager for having the audacity and stupidity to drop you, his greatest player. Throw all of your toys out of the pram and refuse to attend the game, choosing instead to race your top of the range Ferrari or go to an expensive night club to get rat-arsed.

(11) Is there anything bigger than your ego?
(a) What ego? I play for the love of the game.
(b) I am a humble player who is very lucky to be considered worth £100,000 a week.
(c) No! I am the greatest player that has ever lived. I am worth far more than £100,000 a week; I should be paid £2,000,000 a week. I am the best of the best of the best. I am bigger than any club or country in the world. All hail me!!!!!

If you answered mostly (a) or (b) then you don’t have what it takes to be a supercilious footballing arse.

If you answered mostly (c) then congratulations: you are indeed an overpaid prima donna whose arrogance is matched only by your ego. You would fit in really well at most big European clubs. In your eyes, you should be praised and worshipped for stooping low enough to ply your talent at any club in the world. You are also a total git.

Thursday 9 April 2009

Hugh Laurie Is Not Dr House - He's Stupid Prince George!

I read a bizarre blog post the other week, describing Hugh Laurie as a sex symbol. The blog author was an American woman and was a huge fan of his highly successful series over there about a maverick medical misanthrope called Dr Gregory House.

I watched an episode out of curiosity and was amazed at how he has managed to transform himself into this strange character.

In the UK, we know Hugh Laurie as a comedy actor who usually plays gawky idiots. He is also a talented writer and musician who has starred in a sketch show with his comedy partner, our very own Stephen Fry.

From what I’ve read from American blogs, I have a feeling that Hugh Laurie’s early work is unknown across the pond. I’ve therefore decided to enlighten any Americans who stumble across this post with some of the best Hugh Laurie moments from his earlier career in the UK.

Let’s start with a scene from Friends (yeah - I know its American but it does show Hugh Laurie doing what he does best):

And now in Blackadder II as evil Prince Ludwig:

And now my favourite Hugh Laurie character; stupid Prince George in Blackadder The Third (with Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson):

And as George in Blackadder Goes Forth:

Here’s a sketch with Stephen Fry:

And finally an early musical composition to show off his musical talents:

I hope that gives you a deeper appreciation of Hugh Laurie. I cannot think of him as Dr Gregory House at all – to me he will always be Prince George, the bumbling stupid idiot from Blackadder The Third.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Baseball Business

A while ago, I wrote a post about how irritating the language of business can be (read it here). I cringe when I hear people using choice buzzwords to try to impress in the world of business, particularly at my own workplace. I feel like a volcano waiting to erupt and have to exercise monumental control not to yell:

“Speak English to me.”

Equally irritating is the use of idioms from the world of American sport in British business, particularly from baseball. I understand that in America two businessmen, who almost certainly watch baseball all the time, would use choice phrases from that sport because they would both understand the meaning perfectly.

In Britain, however, we do not watch baseball and the vast majority of businessmen have absolutely no idea what the terminology means.

I remember the first time I watched a baseball game. I was in Trinidad and there was a curfew, so I had little choice but to watch TV. There was nothing on at all, apart from a baseball game on an American sports channel. So I watched the entire game.

I have to admit that I actually enjoyed it and, more surprisingly, I understood it. I wouldn’t say that I was an expert by any means, but I found it entertaining enough to watch it on a couple of subsequent trips to the US. As I watched, I was pleasantly surprised to hear some of the idioms. As a teenager, I loved the song “Paradise By Dashboard Light” by Meat Loaf from the album “Bat Out Of Hell” but I thought that radio announcer section of that song was just gibberish and couldn’t fathom the meaning in the context of the song. Watching that first baseball game in Trinidad was an epiphany; I knew exactly what was happening in the song because I understood what was meant by:

Bottom of the ninth

Batter steps up to the plate

Here’s the play at the plate

Bunted down the third base line

I listened to the song again and pictured in my head what was going on in the car and at the baseball game – and it all made sense.

Unfortunately I am in a minority because, although baseball is played in Britain, it is an amateur sport with a very small audience. The likelihood that it is watched regularly by British businessmen is slim at best.

So why do people use baseball idioms in the UK?

I want to know why they simply cannot speak to me in terms that I can relate to. Here are the most irritating, with my interpretation of what they mean:

Will you play ball?
Will you go along with my insane plan?

They threw a curveball.
They came up with something totally unexpected (as customers sometimes do).

That job you were assigned. Have you completed a home run?
That job you were supposed to do. Was it a complete success?

Can you field these questions?
Somebody is going to ask a bunch of difficult questions that I can’t answer, so will you make yourself look like a fool instead of me by answering them?

They are going to strike out on the deal.
They are not going to sign the contract (probably because it is full of baseball idioms that they don’t understand).

I want you to play hardball.
I want you to be tough with them (because I'm trying to give the impression that I'm nice).

Can you give me a ballpark figure?
Can you guess for me? I am incapable of doing so and I want somebody to blame when your estimates are way out.

Three strikes and you’re out.
If you make three mistakes you are sacked. So please don’t punch me again for using baseball idioms.

I want you to cover all bases.
I want you to prepare for all possible outcomes, even the most ridiculous unplanned ones.

Can you touch base with Bill?
Can you make sure that Bill has all of the information even the stuff you and I haven’t thought of yet?

Dave, step up to the plate.
Dave, can you take responsibility (and ergo the blame) for this?

It’s a whole new ball game.
Everything’s changed, probably because I've changed my mind.

I’ve had enough of these idioms and I am going to fight back. I propose that we start using football phrases. How about these for starters?
"Shall we kick off?" to replace "Will you play ball?"

"They bent it like Beckham." to replace "They threw a curveball."

"Did you score the goal?" to replace "Have you completed a home run?"

"Can you tackle these question?" to replace "Can you field these questions?"

"Can you guess the score?" to replace "Can you give me a ballpark figure?"

"Two bookings and you are sent off" to replace "Three strikes and you’re out."

"I want you to play it safe." to replace "I want you to cover all bases."

I don’t think that it would be difficult really as there are some football idioms already in use:

"Score an own goal" - to give yourself a problem.

"Kick it around" - to talk about an idea with co-workers.

"Let the side down" – to cause trouble and annoy co-workers.

"Move the goalposts" – to make an unexpected change at the last minute.

We could even extend this to cricket:

"Take a swing" - Have a go (although this could also be a baseball phrase).

"We’re batting on a sticky wicket" – We have an awkward situation.

"This just isn’t cricket" – the situation is unfair.

"You’ve had a good innings" – you've had a positive experience and the outcome was excellent - but you are still sacked.

Actually, to be honest, I don’t really like the English idioms above either. I am going to start a campaign to ban their use in British business completely. When I take over the world, I will make sure that use of sports phrases in business is severely dealt with. The punishment for using a phrase from a sport that you know about will be severe but woe betide the person who uses an idiom from a sport he knows nothing about.

It will be one strike and out.

Thursday 2 April 2009


I’ve watched a lot of TV and films over the years and am really puzzled by the things I’ve seen. I have a few questions that some of you may know the answers to. Here’s a tiny selection:

Why don’t Bond villains just shoot James Bond immediately?

Why does Jessica Fletcher always stumble onto a murder case in Murder, She Wrote EVERY SINGLE WEEK? That woman should be arrested.

Why were there TWELVE seasons of Murder, She Wrote? I can barely sit through ten minutes of a single episode.

Why does the only unknown member of the away team always die horribly in Star Trek?

Why would anybody want to be Paris Hilton’s British best friend?

Why is Homer Simpson becoming more stupid as seasons progress?

Why are the Simpsons kids still kids after twenty years?

Why can’t villains shoot straight?

Why is the bomb discovered when there is less than a minute on a timer?

Why does the hero always just manage to defuse the bomb with one second to go?

Why are all police chiefs bad tempered nasty people?

Why do villains always reveal their master plan to the good guys rather than just shooting them?

Why do all romantic comedies have the same plot?

Why are bad guys in American films always British?

Why is there always music when somebody sings but no band is present?

Why are cute kids always using adult phrases in American comedy shows?

Why do Nazis always speak English with a German accent when talking to each other?

Why can’t anybody tell that Clark Kent is Superman with glasses?

Why do people always go downstairs to investigate a weird noise in a dark house instead of calling the police immediately?

Why is the lead cheerleader always a gorgeous bitch?

Why is the gorgeous bitch cheerleader always romantically involved with the hunky quarterback (whatever one of those is) and who is also usually a real arse?

Why is the hero cop always a maverick who ends up getting suspended?

Why does nobody press the space bar or enter key when using a computer?

Why does nobody ever go to the toilet?

Why do all phone numbers begin with 555?

Why did Theo Kojak suck a lollipop?

Why don't contestants on Deal or No Deal realise that it is just a stupid guessing game and no amount of "positive thinking" will help them win?

Why hasn’t anybody punched Jeremy Kyle yet?

Why has nobody hacked Jason Vorhees to death yet?

Why do people watch Big Brother and then claim to like the contestants?

Why do the majority of the interviewees of The Apprentice have no common sense whatsoever?

Why are the majority of the interviewees on The Apprentice such egotistical, obnoxious arses or absolute bitches?

Why do people actually participate in The Jerry Springer Show?

What can’t I turn off Clive Tyldesley’s football commentary?

Why was Earth ruled by apes at the end of the remake for Planet Of The Apes?

Why do Arnold Schwarzenegger’s characters have American names yet he still speaks with an Austrian accent throughout the film?

Why would anybody live in Albert Square? You know that bad stuff is going to happen to you.

Why did Dana Scully not believe in aliens and weird stuff when it slapped her in the face in every single episode of the X Files?

Why did Rocky Balboa beat that bloody huge Russian in Rocky IV?

Why were the Russians cheering for Rocky at the end of Rocky IV?

Why did the US struggle so much in the Vietnam war when John Rambo was fighting for them?

Why doesn’t the American President send John Rambo and John McClane to trouble spots?

Why doesn’t he just send Superman? Or Batman? Or Spiderman?

Why don’t we offer the services of James Bond or Dr Who?

Why don’t the Daleks kill Dr Who as soon as they see him?

Why is the Eurovision Song Contest not dead?

Why didn’t Sam Tyler look up Gene Hunt when he returned to the present day in Life On Mars?

Why didn’t Jean-Luc Picard go back to the point when he first met Soren in Star Trek: Generations?

Why didn’t any of the crew of Voyager beam Neelix into space? I would have.

Why didn’t any of the crew of the Enterprise beam Wesley Crusher into space? I would have.

And finally ...

Why didn’t Wonder Woman become my girlfriend in the 70s (I had such a crush on her)?

I’m particularly disappointed and depressed about the last question.