A New Com

One might think we had enough coms to be going on with. We already have sitcoms and romcoms and divcoms and dotcoms – respectively, situation comedies, romantic comedies, The Divine Comedy by Dante, and comedies about dotterels, the small wading bird of the plover family which breeds in the arctic tundra. So it might be argued that yet another com is a com too many. Normally, I would agree, were it not that the latest com is the frackcom, a series of comedies about Old Farmer Frack. As these are chiefly written by the bestselling paperback author Pebblehead I suppose they might equally well be called pebcoms. No doubt one or other term will win out as the common usage, much as we say “ping pong” rather than “gossima”, and “lawn tennis” rather than “sphairistike”.

It could be argued that there is little humour to be found in the perpetual trudgings of a mad old farmer driving his bellowing cows from field to field, pointlessly, in all weathers, through all the hours god sends. In fact, that is a view I have myself favoured, as explicated thoroughly in my six-part television series Penitence And Farm Implements, which insists that farmyard life is miserable and grim and despondent and hateful and wretched and disgusting and absolutely without comic possibility. But I reckoned without the skills of Pebblehead, whose hilarious accounts of Old Farmer Frack driving his bellowing cows from field to field, pointlessly, have me slapping my sides and gasping for breath.

The original books, of course, are known as farmyardlit, and it is the films and TV series based upon them that are called frackcoms or pebcoms. It is important to get this terminology right.

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