Mack’s Craic


Miserable dog.

The credit agency Moody’s has given Britain a “negative outlook”. Well they don’t call them “Moody’s” for nothing. I have to agree with them though, but not about the economy. In Britain we DO have a negative outlook. First thing Monday morning, go up to anyone you work with and ask them how they are. The chances are what you’ll get back is something negative. I work in radio, one of the most fun and exciting jobs you can have. I often say to people at work, “Having fun?” and they look at me as if I’m mad! It’s as if having a well paid, interesting job is a problem for them. When I lived in Australia and I asked, “How you going?” they’d smile and say, “Good thanks” as if asking the question made them feel even better. When I lived in New Zealand the answer to “How are you?” was often, “Excellent”. Excellent means it can’t get any better! I grew up in the North West of England. The reply to “How are you?” there is “Not so bad”. Not “good”, “Not so BAD”! It’s as if there is no good and no chance of anything being good, there are only degrees of bad.

Let’s face it the British are miserable. We celebrate misery and admire miserable people. We turn them into stars; Tony Hancock, Basil Fawlty, Les Dawson, Jack Dee, Dougal from the Magic Roundabout, the list goes on. We like watching unhappy celebrities so much that our highest paid TV stars are the ones that are prepared to put themselves in the situations they hate the most. Jeremy Paxman hates talking to politicians, Simon Cowell can’t stand watching people who can’t sing and nothing winds Gordon Ramsey up more than being in a kitchen with people that can’t cook. If they can’t skate, can’t dance or can’t even live in a house together for a month, we make them. And if that doesn’t make them miserable enough, we trap them in a jungle and make them eat kangaroo testicles.

It’s all because living in Britain basically comes down to being miserable most of the time. Now don’t get me wrong, our miserable lives are interspersed with moments of ultimate happiness, but in between, we’re angry, frustrated and fed up. That’s why our national game is football. For most of the ninety minutes, we’re shouting at the referee, the players and the opposing fans. Then there’s the ultimate happiness of the goals but that happiness is brief. If we win, we don’t stay happy for long and if we lose it’s like swallowing a kangaroo goolie.

People can’t understand why football hasn’t taken off in Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA. Well, now you know, it’s because they don’t have a “negative outlook”.

Look through the Craic again soon!

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Listen to the Graham Mack Breakfast Show Podcasts on iTunes.

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