CLARKSON (voice-over): Me and my BIG MOUTH! So one day, I had this REALLY BRILLIANT IDEA! Yup, as ideas go—this one was TRULY BRILLIANT!!!! (Clarkson is seen staring at a blank wall, scratching his head.)
CLARKSON: Now, that’s what I call—A VERY BLANK KITCHEN WALL!
You know what? I’ve lived getting on for 60 years—but never in my life have I ever seen—A KITCHEN WALL QUITE THAT BLANK!!! It’s so blank it even makes the 70s TV panel show Blankety Blank seem—POSITIVELY BLANK!
CLARKSON (v/o): And then it struck me. Yes, if I didn’t like that blank wall then I was going to have to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! But what?? I literally HADN’T GOT A CLUE!! So I decided to—CALL IN THE EXPERTS!!!
CLARKSON: Frankly, I don’t know if you’re Mr Farrow—OR MR BALL! But here’s the problem, Mr Farrowy-Bally-Thingy—I’m stuck with this literally ginormous blank wall! You’re rumored to have a 500 MEGAWATT BRAIN! So what do you propose I do about it?
EXPERT: If I were you, I’d paint it.
CLARKSON: I’m sorry, did you just say PAINT IT!!?? Oh, my giddy aunt! Are my ears PLAYING TRICKS? Did I hear you right?
CLARKSON (v/o): So much for the “EXPERTS”!
Far from being an expert, the guy was quite simply a rock-solid, copper-plated total and utter NUTJOB!
Blimey O’Reilly, I’d never painted anything in my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE!!
Clarkson is by the counter in a paint shop.
CLARKSON: So I’ve got this great big blank wall and I’m thinking of painting it. What exactly will I need?
MAN IN OVERALLS: Well, you’ll be needin’ some paint.
CLARKSON: Oy, oy! Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but ISN’T PAINT THAT SPLISHY SPLASHY SPLOSHY STICKY-WICKY PAINTY STUFF that LITERALLY GOES EVERYWHERE?
MAN IN OVERALLS: That’s right, Jeremy.
CLARKSON: And—hang on!—you’re really telling me that if I want to paint my kitchen wall—THAT’S THE STUFF I’VE GOT TO DO IT WITH?
MAN IN OVERALLS: Correct!
CLARKSON (gurns at camera): You MUST BE JOKING!
OK, if you’re so clever, what colors does this splishy-sploshy-splashy-painty stuff come in?
MAN IN OVERALLS: All sorts, Jeremy. Red, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink…
CLARKSON (gurns at camera): Euurgh! PINK! That’s a GIRLY COLOR! You’re not SERIOUSLY SUGGESTING I paint my wall in a GIRLY COLOR???!!! Crikey, mate! Next, you’ll be trying to dress me in a FRILLY SKIRT and make me PLAY WITH LITTLE DOLLIES!!!!
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but ISN’T PAINT THAT SPLISHY SPLASHY SPLOSHY STICKY-WICKY PAINTY STUFF that LITERALLY GOES EVERYWHERE?
CLARKSON (v/o): So, AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT, I ordered up some paint. But—me and my big mouth!—little did I know I’d order a TEENSY LITTLE BIT TOO MUCH!!!!!
CLARKSON (in paint shop): I’ll have 10,000 liters, please! And better make it BLUE!
MAN IN OVERALLS: Certainly. That’ll be $137,000!
CLARKSON: You must be kidding! For that money, I could’ve bought a small family runaround with retractable door handles, leather trim, a 94.5in wheelbase, maximum engine speed of 7,500rpm, and 4-piston aluminium fixed monoblock brake calipers front and rear, brake discs with 12.9in diameter and 8 speed dual-clutch transmission with manual control via gearshift paddles—and still had change for a suitably stylish jeep that fetches 62mph in 3.3 seconds, part monster, part angel—and sexy as hell! (Hands over credit card.)
CLARKSON at the wheel of an HGV (v/o): Me and my BIG MOUTH! It turns out that 10,000 liters is ONE HELLUVA LOT OF PAINT for a kitchen wall! Looks like I’m going to have to build myself a HUGE SHED—just to put it in!
Clarkson in solicitor’s office.
CLARKSON: Hold on! You’re HONESTLY TELLING ME that I have to get PLANNING PERMISSION just to build a HUGE SHED on my own land! Un-bloody-BELIEVABLE! There’s only one word for it, and that’s POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE STARK STARING MAD!!!
Clarkson in kitchen. His hands are dripping with blue paint.
CLARKSON: Why did no one ever warn me that paint would be this, well, PAINTY!!??
EXPERT: Looks like you’ve forgotten your paintbrush, Jeremy?
CLARKSON: Wh-what? Are you HONESTLY TELLING ME that to perform this painting palaver I need a BRUSH? Now he tells me! And what, may I ask, is wrong with good, old-fashioned MALE HANDS when they’re at home???!!!
CLARKSON (v/o): So it turned out that to buy a paintbrush was going to cost me YET MORE MONEY!!! Particularly as I bought 500 of them, just to be on the safe side!!
Clarkson at the counter of the paintbrush shop.
CASHIER: That’ll be $6,600, please, sir.
CLARKSON: You’re having me on!! (Passes credit card over.)
Clarkson in kitchen, looking at wall.
CLARKSON: A mammoth $249,286 later—and I’ve finally finished PAINTING MY KITCHEN WALL! JOB DONE!
GIRLFRIEND: But you’ve splattered blue paint over all my pans and plates and sinks and kitchen surfaces, Jeremy! Oh, no! Now we’ll have to buy a whole new kitchen!
Clarkson in Harrods Country Kitchen Shop, Chipping Norton.
CASHIER: That’ll be $135,833 please, sir. Oh, I forgot the kitchen island in teak. So that comes to $196,052 exactly.
CLARKSON (handing over credit card): My arse! Frankly, that’s the last time I decide to PAINT A BLOODY KITCHEN WALL! (Clarkson in kitchen, staring at wall in the twilight.)
CLARKSON: So I’m sitting here, watching paint dry. I’ve already been here five, maybe six hours. To make matters worse, call me impatient, but, dear god!—it’s TAKING ITS BLOODY TIME!!! I’ve known trips to the Arctic and back in a crappy Ford Cortina driven by a woman that have taken LESS TIME THAN THIS. Whoops!! I suppose we’re not allowed to say that anymore!!!—There goes me and my big mouth ONCE AGAIN!
Craig Brown is a columnist for the Daily Mail and the author of One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time