Like two big hairy doormats in the snow

Collateral.

I’ve spent 4 minutes staring at that word and now, far beyond knowing whether it’s spelt right or wring, I now believe it never to have been a word at all. Ever.

But no, it is a word. Or I think it is. It was certainly a word the other night, because we watched it. Not the word, that would be very dull. We didn’t just write it on a piece of paper and watch it, for a while, no. We watched a film called it.

Not a film called ‘it’. A film called Collateral.

The film was pretty good, and had the following plot:

Jamie Foxx was a man who drove a taxi, and a generally nice man at that. One evening he picked up a nice lady, and she seemed to like him very much. This was a nice thing. His taxi was very clean. Then he picked up Tom Cruise, who was a BAD MAN. You could tell he was a bad man because – well mainly because he kept shooting people and not being sorry for it, but also because he had a BIG SCOWLY FACE. This is what Tom Cruise calls ‘doing’ the ‘acting’. And Tom Cruise forced Jamie Foxx to drive him around, by threatening him with his gun and his terrifying eyebrows. And Jamie would drive and drive, and Tom would sit in the back of the car, with his eyebrows. Eventually, Tom and his eyebrows lost, and Jamie and the nice lady won. Sorry if you’ve not seen it. But those who did want to see it and and don’t want to read a spoiler – look away now:

In my opinion, the eyebrows were to blame. It was the eyebrows what done it.

I realise that many people who have seen it may not remember Mr Cruises eyebrows as giving a particularly notable performance in this film. But I assure you, for me, they were the biggest thing in it. They were about 20 Tom Cruises high.

You know when you’re lying in bed and you suddenly hear a quietly dripping tap in the other room? Yeah? And then You know how, after a couple of minutes, that dripping sounds like the power of the Niagara falls forced into drip form?

It gets like that sometimes with movies too. And television. And, well, pretty much anything, I suppose. In an attempt to make Tom Cruise look older and more distinguished, they’d stuck some grey colour in his hair, you see. Then, in order to co-ordinate, they’d stuck some grey in his eyebrows too. Then they’d added a bit more grey. Then a bit more. Then they’d shaved a sheepdog, rolled two chocolate eclairs in the resulting sheddings, and stapled them to his forehead with some kind of hairy grey staple-gun.

Two minutes into the movie they didn’t bother me. By three quarters of the way through there was barely anything but eyebrows in the whole thing.

Similarly, I have a problem with the growling of Horatio Caine. See, when it started, I tried to get into CSI Miami, I really did, being a big, big fan of CSI Vegas. But after a few episodes I realised that before every third line, David Caruso made a little growling noise like a faraway lawnmower.

And then I couldn’t watch it anymore, because it all became about waiting for the ‘rrRRRRrrrrr…’ noise that signified he was about to speak.

And also because of the way he took off his sunglasses. I really, really hated the way he took off his sunglasses. Sometimes he took off his sunglasses and went ‘rrRRRRrrrr…’ at the same time. GrrRRRrr.

It’s just a tiny thing, but, like when you have a spot in a hard to reach place, or you need to go to the bathroom but there’s no bathroom to go to, it just becomes a bigger and bigger thing until there’s nothing you can think about but that.

Owen Wilson’s nose has very much the same effect on me, I have to say. I watch movies with him in, and whether he/they are good, bad or goodandbad, I just spend the whole time in a stare-out with the wonky nose.

And while I love the OC, and can’t do without, my beloved has to leave the room, because the sound of one particular actress’ voice makes him want to hit things.

There was once a song that I quite enjoyed, until I thought I heard ducks in the background. And the more I thought about it, the louder the ducks became. Kind of ruined the song. What was it called? No idea. ‘The duck song’, as far as I know.

Tom Hanks’ big smug face, of course, is a different matter. It does render me incapable of watching any film with it in, but not in the same way.

But I think it’s quite a common thing, isn’t it?

The little things that bug you? Isn’t it?

Tell me – everyone has this sometimes, don’t they?

Doesn’t everybody get consumed by eyebrows sometimes?

Haven’t you ever had a little niggle that ruined the whole thing For EVER?