Tuesday 10th January 2012
This blog contains too much information for the prudish and faint of heart. Feel free not to read it.
Channel surfing this evening I noticed Blockbusters was on and in tribute to the late, great Bob Holness I had to stop and pay my respects. Back in the 1980s it's unlikely that anyone would have dreamt that this show would be repeated a quarter of a century later. Or that anyone would watch it. I was the same age as these contestants back then and the fashions and hair styles take me back to school (though I was resolutely uncool and didn't join in with such stuff, though that's OK because so are most of the nerdy dweebs on this show). Inevitably one can't help wondering what has become of the bright and cheeky contestants who inappropriately, but harmlessly flirted with Mr Holness ("I'll have U, Bob" said one girl with an attempt at an alluring look, another girl ended up in a weird conversation about her leggings that the nation had failed to see because she hadn't gone up for the Gold Run) and if Challenge TV had more of a budget (the fact that they're showing Blockbusters suggests that they might not have) then it would be a brilliant show if they could bring us up to date with a where are they now section (not so much for Bob himself, that would be inappropriate). It would turn it into a kind of art as we were forced to confront the devastating effects of time on the beauty and giddiness and stupidity of youth, but also be genuinely fascinating. And probably occasionally tragic (I seem to recall that one contestant died on the motorcycle that the show had foolishly given him as one of his Gold Run prizes), as we confronted a promising life that had failed to reach its expectations. We would be forced to confront our own limitations and our own squandered ambitions and dreams. If they really had a budget then they could maybe make the contestants have a rematch to see who is the cleverest now, perhaps awarding hexagons for life achievements or contentment.
As a perpetually horny teenager I recall with a mixture of embarrassment and amusement and amazement, I was sometimes able to use Blockbusters for masturbatory purposes - not because of Bob Holness, he would ruin it - but I was so unjaded then that just a pretty girl on TV was enough to help me through the job in hand. If you've watched The Headmaster's Son, you will recall from my teenage diary the wonderful entry in which I helpfully catalogue my masturbatory activities for any historians who might be reading, "I now masturbate once a day when it’s a school day
but twice at weekends and in the holidays. I often watch TV and wank, when women come on, if everybody’s out. These wanks usually last about 2-3 hours as I have to wait for beautiful women to be on and for men to get off." So Blockbusters must have been a challenge for me. For every spunky teenage girl (and remember I was a teenager too, so it's all above board - well less below board) that stood on the Gold Run hotspot there would be a shot of Bob Holness' old man face which I would have to try and ignore or blink my way through. Was I unknowingly setting myself on a course where as an adult I would only be able to get aroused if I heard the Blockbuster's theme or had a mask of Holness' face stuck over the face of my partner.
So this viewing that started as a harmless piece of nostalgia turned into me asking myself some strange and searching psychological questions.
Nowadays only the most obscene and borderline illegal pornography can get any kind of reaction from my dormant and largely useless genitalia and the idea of being able to wank off to prime time TV seems ridiculous. But I did wonder to myself (and then to Twitter) whether it was OK for me to fancy the contestants on 1980s Blockbuster, given that in reality they were the same age as me. And whilst this was intended as a seedy joke, it is an interesting moral issue, though one that leads to some dark areas if you follow it to its logical conclusions, (put best perhaps by @nadiakamil who said, "by that logic I can fancy the baby Jesus because he's really 2000 years old.") But there's something else at play there. The youngsters are attractive not because of their age (though youth is clearly a wonderful thing and you just have to turn to page 3 of a certain newspaper to see that there is a market for such weirdness), but because they transport me back to a time and a place where I was young and frustrated and pumped full of hormones. I think it's probably OK and pretty safe to find 1980s teenagers attractive. Due to the ludicrous nature of teenage fashion it's very unlikely those haircuts and stupid clothes will ever return on an actual teenager. It's a yearning for things lost and past rather than an overtly sexual desire anyway. A pining for the hopeless idiot I once was, the girls were unobtainable to me then as the passage of time has made them to me now. It tugged at my stomach rather than making me want to tug at my genitalia. Despite the crudity of this blog it was quite a bitter sweet, almost romantic feeling. I wished I was innocent and full of hope as these sweet young people, yet was aware that now they were mums and dads, their bodies sagging and useless like my own, their freedoms stifled, their senses jaded.
It was oddly elevating and depressing, a melting pot of emotional and psychological opposites, that to be honest the whole thing was almost depraved enough to masturbate to.
I didn't though. I was going to, but then Bob Holness' face came on to the screen and ruined everything. I might be sick, but I'm not that sick. The man just died for Christ's sake! Actually that does add a little frisson.
I can only apologise for this entry. Well I could delete it, but instead I will just apologise.
But if you want more embarrassment, I also recall a time when an attractive continental lady contestant on Going For Gold might also be enough stimulation for me. And that show didn't even start until I was 20. I should probably seek help. Or some kind of pill that will make me that effortlessly horny again. Come on science, when you going to invent that kind of sex pill for old men? Never that's when. Useless.
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