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Iain Maciver: Telling the wrong joke at the wrong time can be a real slap in the face

Many men would have felt like doing the same thing as Will Smith but that doesn't make it right. Photo by Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock
Many men would have felt like doing the same thing as Will Smith but that doesn't make it right. Photo by Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock

Did you remember to put your clocks forward on Sunday? Did you know that next Sunday is Second-hand Car Salesman Day. That’s the day the clocks go back. Sorry, car dealers. You probably thought that was inappropriate. Don’t hit me, please.

Talking of hitting, he shouldn’t have done it. Will Smith shouldn’t have smacked Chris Rock across his boat race even though he was fizzing because Rock took the mickey out of Will’s missus Jada.

I know many men would have felt like doing the same thing in that situation. Heck, I’d probably have felt like doing it. That doesn’t make it right.

There is no way anyone, never mind a comedy actor, should wallop someone for telling a joke. That is going too far and it is not going to help Smith’s comedy reputation.

That slap at the Academy Awards may not help Chris Rock’s career either. He’ll be more careful now. Once slapped, twice shy. If someone else knocks the bejaysus out of him, it may just become the thing to do.

Richard Madeley Rocks the boat

Poor guy. Not just because of being whacked by the 6ft 1in Fresh Prince but being assaulted again – verbally this time – by none other than Richard Madeley.

The Angel Of The Morning laid into Chris Rock on breakfast telly on Monday saying Rock was the most unpleasant celebrity he’d ever had the misfortune to meet. Madeley claimed Rock had been rude to him before an interview. Ooh, and you being so very polite, Richard.

Comedian Rock is thought by some to be somewhat demanding and too big for his boots. When he appeared in Glasgow a few years ago, Rock demanded no mobile footage of him should be taken. Some poor guy took out his phone at the SSE Hydro to check on a family member in hospital and promptly had his device confiscated by Rock’s burly security people.

Rock’s sore mush is because of Smith’s wife’s alopecia. People say you shouldn’t joke about others’ medical conditions, but I’m not so sure that is always true in every case. At the risk of being sexist, as well as conditionist, it is usually not such a big deal for men of a certain age to lose their follicles.

When us guys start to lose the thatch, many just shave it all off. Probably looks better anyway. Others are more affected by it. A friend of mine went bald years ago but he still carries around an old comb. He just can’t part with it.

Feeling like doing a Will Smith

Many of us on Lewis may have also felt like doing what Will Smith did and thumped whoever allegedly started a humungous heather fire at Achmore on Saturday morning.  Thick acrid smoke has plagued our lives since as the emergency services have battled it. I never thought I would say this – why isn’t someone praying for rain? You must have done enough of that over the winter.

As if Covid wasn’t bad enough, the smoke’s now affecting the workforce. It hit my friend, Jane. She had a lot of time off recently so she was apprehensive about telling her boss. She phoned him up on Monday and he whinged: “What now, Jane?” She said: “I have a wee cough.” He sighed and said: “You have a wee cough, eh?” So she goes: “Oh, thanks boss. See you next week.”

Crews tackle a wildfire at Achmore, Lewis. Supplied by HM Coastguard

Despite the Scots’ former fearsome reputation, we are too timid as a nation and Stornowegians more so than most. What with Covid and this infernal smoke in the air here, it is worrying to have some twit cough near you. People should be told straight not to cough near anyone. A near cough can be dangerous. So when you see someone coughing, tell them to far cough.

Finally, I must say hello to Jean Harper. Jean is in Inverness and she wrote in last week with some very kind words about me. That was good of you, Jean. Thank you. I was going to write a note of thanks to you but I got diverted at the Post Office when I went to get stamps. Just as I was about to leave the window, I realised that I didn’t have any envelopes either.

So I spoke through the grille and said to the assistant: “Excuse me. Do you keep stationery?” She began to wiggle and said: “Yes, but when I get bored I like to dance around a bit.”


Iain Maciver is a former broadcaster and news reporter from the Outer Hebrides

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