Wednesday, 3 October 2012

It's sad life and then you die- September in Ambridge

THE YOUNG OF AMBRIDGE have a throughly miserable time of it. Firstly there is the heated debate, usually chaired by aged left wing earth mother, Jill Archer, about the sheer iniquity of receiving a private rather than state education. Invariably secondary school education is at Borchester Green comprehensive before the really gifted head for the University of Felpersham which appears to offer everything from sandwich courses in sandwich making to masters' degrees in Canadian Studies.

Of the great Archer clan only Debbie Aldridge went to a university listeners would recognise, and even she dropped out of Exeter before her final degree, in order that she could take up with the lecturer in Canadian Studies at Felpersham University. For the rest it is agricultural college or nothing. Having completed their studies none of the young ever move away from the place but remain in the open prison that is Ambridge with only the occasional new inmate to socialise with as well as the inevitable long term lags and trusties.

This month has seen the young of the village experiencing desperate times for widely varying reasons. Fallon Rodgers, a young woman who seemed set to make something of herself despite having parents who would convince most that being an orphan was preferable, seems to have jettisoned her musical aspirations in order to find love with whatever pitiful Ambridge male she can.

Harry, the grey and wearisome young barman she went on holiday with to Edinburgh, decided that he was really gay despite never having shown any signs or mentioned it previously. This month we have seen her fretting over what to wear when treated to a night out with Rhys, another barman who makes Harry look like riveting company. Rhys is so Welsh that any minute now we expect him to shout 'Oggy, oggy, oggy' and break into a selection of ballads by Max Boyce. Different accents are helpful to identify characters in radio drama but the Archers is turning into a farcical league of nations.

Elsewhere Ed, who seemed to be on the verge of achieving what no Grundy ever seemed capable of namely making a success of himself through hard work, is for some reason plunged into economic misery. His dairy herd seems to be incurring huge losses whilst the Archer clan have no trouble at all in making money from their milk. He and his young wife Emma are getting increasingly fractious with one another, often over the fact that they seem to be unable to afford even a loaf of bread.

And then there is the dynamic, work obsessed duo of Tom Archer and his long suffering girl friend and fiancee, Brenda Tucker. These two only speak about business to one another and the bulk of their conversation merely concerns how busy they constantly are. Brenda is another apparently bright girl who turned her back on a sensible career outside Ambridge in order to drudge secretarially for spiv property dealer, Matt Crawford, when not serving burgers from her boyfriend's van.

Tom Archer seems to have access to a line of credit that most of us, and especially Ed Grundy, can only dream of. This month he is gearing up to launch a huge order of ready made meals without anything as tedious as premises or distribution networks. He is the Borchester equivalent of Blackadder's Baldrick, always with a cunning plan that will transform any tricky situation. He is arrogant, far fetched and thoroughly unlikeable which should certainly make him a major hit with all the hard up, under achieving and lonely young women of Ambridge.


BroomersP said...

Thanks Squire. An excellent summation as per. No mention of the cardboard cutout 'salt of the earth pensioners' that infest the airwaves on a far too regular basis? Arthur Braincell and his three quarters baked wife should take in the now homeless Jazzer.

amanda white said...

Excellent summary Squire. Felpersham Yewnee is a beacon for us all.
I am now wondering whether Ed and Emma should apply for a joint degree course in Badger Studies and Skirting Board Hygiene.
Just to add zeitgeisty Student Debt to their portfolio of poverty.

Big Nell said...

Sadly, the SWs don't seem to read your cogent columns, Squire, as we are still getting the pork balls! shesings