Every fall for the last 20+ years, I've been getting a flu shot. I've only gotten the flu twice -- once about five years ago when the Swine flu was not part of the influenza cocktail and the second time this past week. I missed two and a half days of work, extraordinary for someone who prides herself on always going to work unless there's a fever involved. (I took one day two years ago when I had a fever that went with a rattly cough.) Well, I did go to work but my supervisor agreed I should go home after a few hours (and I offered to stay until lunches were over). I talked to my doctor and he said it sounded like flu to him but if I should happen to cough up something dark-yellow-to-green in color, to call back and he'd give me antibiotics. There was some considerable coughing once I returned to work but the solid evidence of it being an infection never came forth and I say now that it really was flu.
On Tuesday evening, after being in bed for almost 24 solid hours, I decided to see if I had any email of significance. My very good friend, Suzy, left me a message about Jeremy Clarkson having a run-in with one of the "Top Gear" producers.
This is what happens when I get sick. Things go all to hell and I hear about them days later.
It seems Jeremy Clarkson, the main voice of "Top Gear" along with James May and Richard Hammond, got into a fight with one of the producers after a taping in Newcastle. From everything I've read, it seems it was a fracas of the fisticuffs variety stemming from the lack of availability of a post-production hot meal.
I blushed as I wrote that. Yes, he smacked someone for not making sure they had some hot food when they were done with the taping. And when the fight was over, Jeremy Clarkson called the head of the BBC and gave him a heads up that he'd done it. I am blushing again because I'd learned that earlier this year, Jeremy had used a childhood rhyme from the early 20th century that, in the UK, used the "N" word. My face is hot because I am so ashamed that I admire someone who would be so stupid as to use the "N" word at any time for any reason. Americans are mostly politically correct always and the Brits are often not. If you drop the "N" bomb here, you are basically dirt in the eyes of everyone and you remain dirt forever and ever. No amount of apology can undo it. BBC did not air that portion of the show and Jeremy was told that that was his final notice.
After the meal altercation, he was suspended from the BBC and the show will not be aired while they determine what to do with him.
Some people are pissed in both directions. There was a petition on change.org to bring back Jeremy Clarkson which at least 911,861 people had signed. There was another petition to get rid of Jeremy for good and hire a popular gay UK comedian named Julian Clary and got 6,198 signatures. A third petition to simply sack Jeremy Clarkson for good had a puny 805 signatures.
Jeremy Clarkson doesn't seem to think before he talks and he likes to end the work day with a meal of hot meat and two veggies and is willing to pound lumps on someone to get it. But the man knows cars and is really smart and very funny. He is charismatic and the audience loves him. They can sack him and bring in Julian Clary -- who is supposed to be great, smart, funny -- but does Julian Clary know cars? Can he do a handbrake turn? Can he tell stories about trying to impress dates with handbrake turns?
"Top Gear" has regular viewers of about 350 million. It brings in a huge amount of money to the BBC. In the USA if someone brought in that sort of money to their network, said network would be doing anything those hosts/presenters wanted to keep them happy. From what I've read, the BBC doesn't go out of their way for "Top Gear" in ways that they would here in the States, although that might be from the perspective of someone who could soon be sacked. Has "Top Gear" reached the end of its usefulness? Will all be forgiven and will that cold-food-providing producer be fired instead?
I have watched all of "Top Gear" that Netflix has to offer at the moment so all I am doing is thinking about whether or not I can let go of Jeremy Clarkson making big, fat, racist comments. (I gather there was another comment he made about Asians in the Burma special and Richard Hammond made thoughtless remarks about the citizens of Mexico.) I'm annoyed at being put in the position of having to abandon something I enjoy so much.
I do have a good suggestion, however. If he makes any more comments of a racist nature, I will fly to London at the BBC's expense and kick Jeremy Clarkson in his testicles as hard as I can. I will then see a play at the National Theatre (also on their dime), spend the night at the Savoy (did you think I would want anything less?), then after breakfast in the morning, I walk over to the Covent Garden tube stop and get on the Piccadilly line out to Heathrow to come home. The BBC can reimburse me for the work I miss and Jeremy Clarkson can have ice on his naughty bits and be thankful that I don't have more power behind my kick. My sister is pretty small and has really mighty legs. She would send his testes way up into his body cavity where they would likely reside forever, giving him something to think about every single day.