Sensible Peter Hitchens has made some judicious comments about the cardboard and chickenwire strategy game Grovel With Dampier. He rightly points out that it is “squalid mind poison” and “mental slurry”, riddled with “toxic fantasies” which turn those who play it into “desensitised amoral husk[s]”. Harsh but true.
Mr Hitchens writes from bitter personal experience, as witnesses to his somewhat exhuberant and unnerving GWD performances at a dinner party in Connaught Square a few years ago would doubtless agree – especially a certain visiting American lady actor, who was particularly enthralled, however self-loathingly, by his vigorous excesses.
I have it on good authority that Mr Hitchens was only able to overcome his compulsion by attending the UKs only treatment centre for GWD-related obsession, Contumely Grove, at Weston Point near Runcorn. It must be presumed that the critic attended as a private patient, as owing to the much maligned NHS postcode lottery, he would have to have been a resident of Halton Borough to have qualified for his treatment to have fallen to the tax-payer’s expense (although it is rumoured that his mum lives in a council flat in Castlefields).
All this aside, I cannot conceive that even the most casual readers of the weekend news periodicals can have failed to have remarked to their wives over their morning toast and marmalade, that a significant proportion of our nation’s industrious pundits have drawn a direct parallel between one Mr Boris Johnson’s success in recent mayoral elections and his acknowledged life-long mastery of the finest points of play in GWD.
Congenital buffoonery aside, I can think of no finer example to set before Barleycorn Jnr of the summits that can be attained by those who set aside all other pleasures and labours in life, in order to indulge themselves at every available opportunity in the joys of cardboard and chickenwire, than this pale-haired paragon with the mischievous smirk, who in the not-too-distant future may be making decisions that affect the commuting experience of many people who live and work in North Surrey Town, and whose triumphs or disasters in that regard, will soon be thrilling the ears, hearts and brains, of the young and the old, the length and breadth of this island.