Ailing males send for robo-doc

31st March 2000 at 01:00
AS YOU know I have been ill. It is my wife's view that this is the kind of thing that happens to most people but that only half the population react as if their basic human rights have been infringed.

This 50 per cent (more commonly known as men) whinge far too much. This is her opinion and her profound sense of irritation has, alas, made her deaf to anything I have to say on my favourite subject of the week: "What I Learned While Ill Today".

Everyone should be ill from time to time in my opinion. Not only so we'll all start greeting each other with the cheery words "Thank God I'm not vomiting" but also so that we can truly come to appreciate what a good programme Robot Wars is. I mention this because up until last week I was seriously worried that young Tom's favourite TV show was this weekly nerdfest in which Men Who Will Never Have A Girlfriend bring their favourite tacky, remote-controlled toy to a BBC studio where it is quickly pulped up by other so-called "robots" until, after seven heats, the one machine that hasn't short-circuited, burnt out, flipped on its back or lost its batteries, is prclaimed winner by default.

Robot Wars drives my son euphoric. He spends the entire programme hurling himself around the room making "kerpow" noises, oblivious to the fact that the only two normal people in the whole show, presenters Craig Charles and Philippa Forrester (she of the deeply ironic mike technique) clearly cannot believe how week after week more and more geeks crawl out from the woodwork.

My greatest fear for Tom, to date, had been that he would grow up preferring to pilot a remote-control lavatory brush over his chances of getting a girlfriend, but since joining fellow potatoes on the couch of oblivion I have come to realise that Robot Wars is Art compared to daytime TV.

There are no words banal enough to describe the people with deeply boring lives who crop up on every channel telling an audience of equally dull people about their rate of sexual intercourse. If teachers were ever in doubt, let me say it now: "schools have a purpose" - to keep impressionable children away from daytime TV and thereby give their brains a chance.

Too late for me. Brain gone...........


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