Thursday, March 24, 2005

I'M ON THE PHAETON! NO, THE PHAETON!*

Fantastically, on the train back from London, I had to explain to Ben in the GW office that a 'thrupenny upright' was a Georgian slang term for a prostitute.

Except, because I was on a train, I ended up saying: 'No, a 'slang term'... A 'SLANG TERM'.... yes, Georgian... no, a prostitute..... A PROSTITUTE..... A CHEAP WHORE!... Eighteenth century... CENTURY, yes, that's right....'

What do they teach them at school these days? The whole carriage was doing that thing when they were pretending not to listen, but doing so in a very focused, listeny, English sort of way. I'm not sure it's going to make it into the script anyway. Sometimes I do get a bit carried away with the wordage. Although I like to think I'm past what David Quantick referred to in the current and excellent Miles Kington series on R4 as 'the aardvark stage'.

Of course, the conversation I really wanted was me on the phone to Agent Ginny, going: 'To LA? Right now? They demand it? DEMAND IT? Well, it's terribly incovenient...'. But I haven't heard back from the film company yet, and it's over the deadline. Ah well. On the plus side, I've nearly finished my next spec sitcom script (although I had to stand up Evans last night to do so - my apologies oh beautiful one), which is handy, as I've a meeting with someone in the comedy department of the Beeb next week


* It was a kind of carriage. I'm reluctantly coming to the conclusion that comedy that requires footnotes is perhaps best described as 'not comedy'.

17 comments:

felinity said...

Are footnotes which are unrelated to the comedy in fact 'not footnotes'?

ScroobiousScrivener said...

Nonono! Comedy footnotes are a whole genre to themselves! We like footnotes! Footnotes funny!

britchick said...

Why do I never get someone like you as entertainment on my train journeys? Still, tonight we had a 30 minute delay due to 'a naked trespasser on the line', which was something, I suppose.

cello said...

Oh God. I'm showing my age. I know what a Phaeton is. Too much Jane Austen I think. Or Barbara Cartland?

patroclus said...

In that case I must be fairly aged as well, cello!

james henry said...

Wasn't Georgette Heyer very big on the Phaetons as well? About time for a Heyer revival, I reckon...

cello said...

How on earth do you know about Georgette Heyer? You are not only the wrong age but the wrong gender too. I've never read one but my mum loved them Are they worth a passing glance? I'll just leave you with the word 'barouche'.

james henry said...

I think the time of Heyer may have come and gone, to be honest. I had a bit of a Regency phase a while ago and read all sorts of strange stuff, whether it was actually of the period or not. I still have a hankering for big cuffs and tricorne hats and the ability to say 'Sirrah!' in a menacing way...

Willie Lupin said...

Didn't you once tell us there was a plan (presumably yours) to set the 2nd series of Green Wing in the Regency period? Or have I imagined that?

patroclus said...

Ah, that reminds me of the C4 Comedy Forum Green Wing-Blackadder Theory.

james henry said...

I missed that theory. I did suggest the second series be set in Victorian times, but sadly the suggestion was not taken up. Gah!

Rog said...

Although I know what a Phaeton is, whenever I see the word I think of something which might come out of a little boy's bedroom closet in the middle of the night.

james henry said...

Of course, now I wish George Lucas had read a bit more Heyer. "The Phaeton Menace" would have been a fantastic movie: jedi warriors fending off wave after wave of slightly creaky Regency conveyances... As opposed to the actual movie, which was of course, shit.

cello said...

You'd get yourself fired if you were Simon Pegg.

Anonymous said...

Just admit it, you've got an Adam ant problem haven't you?

james henry said...

Now, I've looked into it, and apparently, right 'ridicule is nothing to be scared of'. But I already knew that.

Maud said...

Mmmm Spaced-y goodness.