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Python Night

The Comic Strip, Vic ’n’ Bob, The Fast Show; the influence of Monty Python on their work is undoubted. Plus, they have an adjective coined after their brand of surreal nonsense. In honour of the Pythonesque art, the Beeb gives us an evening of documentaries, rare footage, spam and sperm hosted by Eddie Izzard. Continual talk of reformations is constantly rebuked with cries about one of them (Graham Chapman) being dead. Which

is quite often an impediment to career furtherance. Python Night is broadcast on BBC2, Sat 9 Oct, 8.55pm.


As the lines between literary and musical forms become more blurred, poets and lyricists often end up sharing the same performance spaces. In an attempt to showcase new talents and remind us how good the veterans really are, Sarah-Jane Lovett has



l-. ..‘. lines

1 Oct 1999


“cut (“‘91 im new oi 5"" pct mi In“ M Mn UH!" I“

compiled a volume for National Poetry Day bringing together the words of some of Britain's foremost writers and performers. Nick Cave, Nigel Planer and PJ.

Harvey rub shoulders with Jock

Scot, Murray Lachlan Young and, believe it or not, Robbie Williams. Oral is published by Sceptre on Thu 7 Oct, priced

f 6. 99.

Scooby 000

With a name inspired by a Frank Sinatra ’lyric’ and responsible for introducing the world's first vegetarian cartoon character, Scooby Doo was unique in many ways. And not just as a hero who was ultimately a coward. To celebrate his 30th anniversary in showbusiness, Scooby returns with his gang and the Mystery Machine for a new feature-length adventure. Chums Shaggy, Velma, Fred and Daphne are back as before, if slightly pumped-up and airbrushed. lust thank God it hasn’t got Scrappy in it.

Scooby 000 On Zombie island is released by

Warner on Mon 78 Oct, priced £ 72.99.

Benders. Don’t you just love ’em? They creep up on you with the sure tread of the honed assassin and fell all your best-laid plans with one karate chop to the constructive windpipe. One minute you’re planning that week long sabbatical in a rented vacuum, the next you're shambling around at 10am Monday morning with no socks, vertical hair and a real sense of having mislaid something. Invariany this will turn out to be your direction, your dignity or your tights, none of which you

can afford to lose at short notice. ,

A bender only becomes a

goes on a bender


have a central motivation about which they are in an advanced state of denial. For example, the human capacity for alcohol would appear to increase in direct correlation to the undue pressure one IS placed under by the filling in of self-assessment tax forms.

Anything as minor as visiting gran in hospital, through simple authority avoidance right up to jury service will be used as an excuse crampon with which to claw their way through the days and nights of drinking. Behaw0ur may be inconsistent but progress is linear as the victim pub-crawls his or her way toward the ultimate goal of oblivion and total absolution from responsibility.

Olympic drinking is only valid when the drinker can remember

The essential malevolent force that drives thebender will not rest until it leaves you a dehydrated husk with a debt the size of Benelux, lying spent in the gutter with only a lone shoe for company

bender through the element of surprise. One cannot pencil a bender into a window, or postpone it until you have enough money/vitriol/pals. The essential malevolent force that drives the bender will not rest until it leaves you a dehydrated husk with a debt the size of Benelux, lying spent in the gutter with only a lone shoe for company. The random nature of these attacks will render the victim utterly useless in the tide of circumstance. Just go with it. Do not fight the monster, instead curl up on its scaly back and let it transport you through a cityscape coloured by lurid drinks and inopportune liaisons.

Should this clinching of the chaos monkey disturb you, it may pay to be aware of the bender’s early symptoms, as damage limitation can often be attempted, although results are somewhat erratic. A potentially dangerous situation, such as an absolute deadline/christening attendance/looming tax bill will often be the catalyst for the foul breathed fiend‘s appearance. Pull yourself together and face those fears. The beast will become a chimera and evaporate like cheap vodka fumes. The bender will have been vanquished. For now.

Should you manage to decipher a bendee’s incoherent rambling, you will find that all of them

what it is he or she is avoiding. Once that has been obliterated, you become a mere drunk, rather than the far more glamorous and mission-led bender victim. People will cease to pay attention to the lunatics spoon-feeding each other excuses dressed up as elves in the corner of a bar usually reserved for the odd farm animal that likes a tipple.

The spirit of the bender will have shrivelled in direct proportion to your bank balance and your pressure sores will begin to itch in ways you hadn’t thought possible outside of a hair shirted monastery. What was initially a Dazzling, Generous Gesture of a beast slopes out of the bar and leaves its poor relative, Lost Purpose, behind to clear away the glasses.

The cold claw of reality grips your shoulder and indicates the door. You pick up your bag of leeks (it was, after all, what you went out for five days ago), say farewell to your new best friends and straggle back to dullardry. Mission avoided. Til next time.

Gill Mills co-presents Radio 1 ’5 Evening Session opt-out, Session In Scotland, Thu, 8-10pm; co-hosts The Loafers on BBC Choice, The-Fri, 10pm: and presents Hot Pursuits on BBC Knowledge, Radio Scotland.