129. More Low Life

Tapehead no 129

Witness surveyed 250 men “to find out why men go to prostitutes for sex.” 

One man – get this – went “for no apparent reason at all other than he enjoys it”. Can you believe that ?

The rest are a sad and-very-sorry bunch of inadequate misfits and scary-looking wackos (and that’s just the women).

At least the men come up with some good excuses.

Wayne’s excuse is that he was “run over by a kid in a go-kart” ! (He went for a massage and before he knew it, he was watching a porn video and being covered in baby oil.)

Bill seems to blame his first wife, which is a nice touch. 

He considerately explained his use of prostitutes to his second wife as “just something I need and enjoy doing”, like DIY.

Monty’s justification is he is “unlucky in love”. A 36-year-old DJ from Romford, an intense-looking, podgy Goth, Monty puzzles: “It’s a mystery, to me why I struggle.” 

Of course, Monty mate, going on national television telling everyone you fuck prostitutes probably isn’t going to help.

Sometimes, he leaves a prostitute’s room, wondering, “Am I a bit of a sad tosser for doing this?” – a rhetorical question if ever there was one.

At least Charles, a quit, deeply disturbed mannequin dressed in the truly scary combo of brown leather waistcoat and tie, goes for “pure lust”. (“I was hooked on illicit sex.”) 

The line of cuddly toys on his bed is genuinely alarming.

Too Much Too Young’s chickens (on two teenage rent boys operating in the parks and, appropriately, graveyards of Glasgow) similarly fails to rise above the mundane, merely confirming the cliches. 

Despite its level of access to the boys (as it were), the progamme’s tone is flat, trivial and almost chatty. Inane observations like “I do believe I’m providing a service” actually have no value at all, likewise anodyne advice like “You need a sense of humour throughout everything: life, work, whatever, or it’s gonna be a boring old, depressing world.”

The boys’ irritating endless chirpiness – with more naff singing than a Pet Shop Boys/Erasure head-to head (as it were) – is not even endearing.

Some subtitles would have come in handy too. Mumbling in heavy Scots accents, especially for anything risqué, results in a series of lines like “I do believe I’m good at ma job because I’m known to be an och-aye-tha-noo-werrffupf-ffstrurgff.”

It is also surely time drag contests were banned at least from TV documentaries.

The only thing lower than going on the game or paying to have sex with prostitutes you might think, is being a traffic warden and An Inspector Calls confirms you’d be right.

“If it wasn’t for us, the city would come to a standstill,” says one pompous jobsworth, while another, an ex-army officer, declares: “I’m still wearing the Queen’s uniform to a certain extent.”

Warden Karen Carr has developed “such a thick skin” that “insults no longer hurt”. A dumpy, plain, flabby-faced busybody, as far as Tapehead can tell, whose thick skin is hr most attractive feature.

The city’s longest-serving warden, David Raglan, is such an officious, petty-minded irritant that even when he got promotion, he insisted on going back on the streets to persecute honest citizens like your good selves.

That red herring “jovial good humour” surfaces again. (Raglan is so remorselessly, humourlessly “chirpy”, even a former policeman had no option but to throw him through a shop window.)

What none of them realise is that in the absence of any commission, their low wages (£186 a week) and good-bloke good humour actually makes them worse.

“It’s not me personally that they can’t stand,” smile one, “It’s the uniform.” (No, really, it’s you.)

Raglan’s Percy Sugden-esque rage at finding one of his parking tickets ahs been ripped up is priceless.

“That’s the respect they’ve got for the law, y’see. They’ll have to pay in the end. They don’t know I’ve got a copy.”

Look, you idiots, we know we’ll have to pay in the end. We know you’ve got a copy. Seeing how much the ripped-up ticket hurts and outrages him is inspirations. 

So, rip up all your tickets, readers. Even if it only annoys one or two of them this much, it’ll be worth it.


Too Much Too Young: Mon, 1pm, C4

Witness: Tues, 9pm, C4

An Inspector Calls: Weds, 8.30pm, C4