MADAME LAURENT’S SYNDROME – Why We All Love Complaining And How Most Of What We Complain About Is Our Own Stupid Fault
The entire world appears to be suffering from Madame Laurent’s Syndrome. The affliction is named after a minor character in one of my all time top ten favourite films, Tony Hancock’s “The Rebel.” In fact if we’re talking specifically about comedy movies, it’s neck and neck for the top spot with “Some Like It Hot”.
Anyway, in “The Rebel”, Madame Laurent is a French lady who runs a boarding house in Montmartre. She constantly gripes and complains about artists all being the same in the respect of never having the rent on time. It is the bane of her life. To which the obvious retort is : “Very annoying yes. So don’t run a boarding house in Montmartre then.
If you have to run that boarding house, then just rent your rooms out to the stream of well moneyed American tourists who’ve passed through there every week since the end of the war. Problem solved.” The questions also arise: “Does Madame Laurent actually dislike artists really? Or is she just a big hearted softie.”
The answers to these questions are: Yes she does and no she is not respectively. But what she does clearly adore is complaining about the little pointy bearded, paint stained tinkers. And people do the same thing all the time.
Old ladies settle down to watch television programmes they know will offend them. Young ladies repeatedly go out with men they know will treat them like crap. And the British Nation voted in New Labour for a third term, despite the con trick having been uncovered some years before. People bitch and whine and twist and they enjoy every minute of it.
Madame Laurent accepts her destiny. But it isn’t destiny or kismet. It isn’t the Fickle Finger of Fate. When that jabs you in the eye, there is no way you could have seen it coming. But true fate does not actually touch any of us very often, despite appearances. Madame Laurent’s situation is a prime example of the Feckless Finger of Fuck.Fate is when the world happens to you and it lands like a gentle sigh whether the consequences are delightful or disastrous.
Fuck is when you happen to yourself and it clangs into place like the prison doors in the opening sequence of Porridge. Fuck is never good. I think Albert Camus said something similar, though being a French speaking professional philosopher, he stated it in much more erudite and completely incomprehensible way.
When you bump into a girl at the railway station and get chatting and get on really well because you both happen to be waiting for the same delayed train, that’s fate. A couple of years later, when you’ve inevitably moved in together, she may be away on a work course somewhere and you might get invited to a party. One of your ex’s is there, the one with the pretty face and the trick pelvis. The one who never quite got over you. There is that inevitable old spark, the wine flows a little too freely and you sleep with her. You knew there was a good chance she would be there, but you went anyway.
Now you have to live with the guilt and the type two genital herpes she’s just given you. That’s a severe prodding from the Feckless Finger of Fuck right there, my friend. And the hand that finger is attached to is yours. The difference between Fate and Fuck is the difference between “it could be you” and “it was definitely you”. You did it. You, you, you, you, you.
The Feckless Finger writes and, having writ, it hogs your sofa, drinks your beer and steals your girlfriend. Only one way to treat that kind of house guest. Don’t let him in to start with.
Of course knowing all of this doesn‘t stop me from going ahead and doing it myself anyway. So I bitch and whine and twist and I also enjoy every minute of it. So who am I to say anything about all the Madame Laurents out there?
Well, there is a difference. I do my complaining about the world in general. So unlike the old ladies and the young ladies and the Labour voters, I don’t have any other option. The World is the only place available to me to live and operate in. Being in The World was not something I walked into with my eyes wide open specifically so I could boo hoo hoo about it.
Somebody else put me here, namely my parents. The only solution to this situation is the one eventually opted for by Mr Hancock himself. And I’m not taking a trip to Switzerland no matter how grim things get. I might get into Heaven by mistake, and there wouldn’t be anything to complain about there.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2013
Tags: Albert Camus, American Tourists, Annoying, Brief Encounter, British, Complaining, Fate, Finger, French, Fuck, Heaven, Herpes, Joe Dolce, Marilyn Monroe, Money, Monmartre, New Labour, Norman Stanley Fletcher, Omar Khayyam, Pelvis, Points of View. Tinkers, Porridge, Rebel, Some Like It Hot, Stupid, The Rebel, Tony Hancock, Wine
About thedailygrimeAt that awkward age - too young to be a grumpy old man, but just acerbic and downtrodden enough to have an opinion. Read it here.
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