YOU don’t get much for your millions these days do you?
When I was a lad, when the pound was worth two American dollars, £3million could buy you a bionic man from NASA with electric legs, a telescopic eye and an arm as powerful as a pneumatic car jack.
Today such a sum barely covers the ponytail of a Gateshead lad who can kick a ball quite hard.
The Six Million Dollar Man was one of my boyhood heroes. At that price today, he’d barely scrape into Blackpool’s starting 11.
Fitted with legs that could run at 60mph, US astronaut Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors) was a pop icon of the Seventies.
There wasn’t a kid in our school who didn’t re-enact his amazing powers in the playground. But how, I hear you ask, do you replicate running faster than a car and punching at 100mph?
Easy, by doing everything in slow motion … just like in the show!
Being the effects “wizard” on the set of The Six Million Dollar Man must have been a doddle.
“How can we make it look like he’s running at 60mph?”
“Easy, just film him running at normal speed … then slow it down.”
Perfect. And we all fell for it.
“Ah, but what about showing Steve Austin bending this metal pipe?”
“Easy, just use a rubber pipe. Paint it in metallic paint and then get Steve to bend it, but show it in slow motion.”
“Will the audience believe it?”
“Sure they will. Just add some weird electronic ‘du-nu-nu-nu’ sound effect and you’re there.”
It precipitated a whole legion of youngsters performing full-scale punch ups in the playground in super slow motion. No wonder playtimes used to fly by … it took three minutes just to throw the first punch.
The slow mo fighting is still in vogue today. My wife and I were invited into the front room to watch our two boys (aged 10 and six) tear each other apart in a fist fight at 2mph. They seemed to love it, but as a spectator sport it’s up there with snooker and birdwatching.
I was almost relieved when, as ever, it descended into a real fist fight. At which point I leapt to my feet with a “du-nu-nu-nu” and deposited them in their separate bedrooms at around 60mph.
THE £35million Andy Carroll transfer saga makes for interesting reading.
By all accounts the Magpie striker didn’t want to go. And Newcastle didn’t want to sell him. So how did he end up leaving?
If he fails to score for Liverpool in his first few games, there’s every chance Kenny Dalglish won’t want him any more.
So if Carroll and Newcastle still feel the same, surely a happy return to Tyneside is on the cards.
Question is, do footy clubs do money-back guarantees? And has Kenny kept the receipt?
WHEN I first read the Echo’s front page news story about hospital bosses inviting workers to apply for redundancy, I thought it was bad news.
Thankfully my concerns over an NHS crisis were allayed on reading the illuminating words of the spokesman tasked with explaining the issue.
Turns out that rather than being a problem, this call for health staff to consider packing in their jobs is, well, almost uplifting.
“Its aim,” the spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust helpfully informed us, “is to create vacancies that do not need to be replaced.”
“Or which can be filled by the deployment of staff from posts that may no longer be required due to different ways of working.”
So they’re not looking to reduce staff, they’re looking to create vacancies. Vacancies that do not need to be replaced!?! So in a way, they’re creating stuff, right, which is good news, isn’t it?
No. If your boss suggests they may wish to create a vacancy in your position … start clearing your desk.
Should the Trust be considering compulsory redundancies, I can think of one position that should be first up.