Sunday, 17 October 2010

Wipe That Smile off Your Face

The Chilean miners' rescue was great news, wasn't it? I know it didn't matter in the wider scheme of things, but I still couldn't help feeling pleased. At last, after enduring the attentions of shrinks for several weeks, these men were free to do anything they liked.

And they seemed really thrilled to be out again, I thought. In one of the newspaper pictures, a miner was leaping into the air out of sheer delight. In another, one of the miners' children wept with joy. On the radio, they said a third miner teased his wife by asking, 'How's the dog?' before inquiring about anything else. Everyone appeared to be happy and the miners looked energetic and healthy. Everything suggested all would now be well.

Ha. Apparently that was just an illusion. The miners' ordeal hasn't actually ended at all. Those men aren't really happy; in fact, they are wretched. What is more, they face "years and possibly decades of potential psychological problems",  according to Philip Hodson, fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Daily Telegraph, October 14).

Mr Hodson's comments reminded me of  this immortal Tim and Debbie exchange. To borrow a phrase from Tim, "They looked pretty happy to me".

And, while we're on the subject of people looking pretty happy, here are some Hungarians feeling ecstatic after their recent elections:

That's me in the pink quilted jacket, by the way, staring straight at the camera. As you can see, I was unable to contain my emotion. (They dug me - and my husband, on my left, bent double with excitement - up for the event.)


  1. It looks like Gaudy Night in Sheffield.

    Well, a more ebullient version anyway.

  2. Which leads us seamlessly (?) to the old joke about Vienna's Zentralfriedhof being half the size of Zurich and twice as much fun.

  3. Re the miners. I reckon they'll be fine, for surely they come from a "close-knit community", don't you reckon? !

  4. They'll be fine, provided they are allowed to be, I reckon, Whispering