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Our Crack Tongue & Groove

wolfcomment.jpg Wasting your time with werewolves

If you go down in the woods today and you find a big surprise, I guarantee it won’t be a sodding werewolf.

What is the collective noun for werewolves? A howl of werewolves? A lunacy of werewolves? A knackered-settee of werewolves? Whatever it is, I did not stumble over a bunch of them recently, and, more pertinently, neither did anyone else. This fact did not stop a US TV production crew invading a pub I was in a few months back however, with the sole purpose of interviewing people about werewolf sightings in the region. (And while we’re on, what is the collective noun for TV production types? An intern of runners?)

Anyway. I’ve got nothing against werewolves, per se. In fact I own several DVDs (DVDs? Ask your parents, kids) that feature werewolves clambering over unconvincing logs in non-specific East European locations. (I’ve even got a copy of She-Wolf of London for goodness sake, a truly dire 1946 film that, despite the promisingly lurid title, is notable only for its lack of lupine action.)

There were loads of them, US TV production types that is, hogging several tables with their cameras, clipboards and those big furry microphones (which seemed particularly apt given the subject matter). It turned out that they were doing a shoot for Animal Planet, a channel I’d heard of but never watched, but one, I assumed, which featured programmes about, you know, actual animals, and not made up ones. (And before we go any further, can we draw a line in the sand here: Werewolves, like leprechauns, goblins, and those Ryanair seats you see advertised for £14.95, DO NOT EXIST). And they were frantic, these US TV production types. One harassed woman with a clipboard was in full meltdown mode as she tried to sort out hotel arrangements on her phone; another was fretting about a “key witness” who had not turned up; and a couple of beardie locals in woolly hats were being interviewed, on camera, about something they’d witnessed in Chopwell Woods (they should have asked me - I’ve seen stuff going on in Chopwell Woods that would frighten werewolves). And not once, NOT ONCE, did anyone question the weird logic of what was unfolding: all that time, all that effort, all that money, all that “but we definitely booked five rooms and not four”, all of it, ALL OF IT, built on the lie that werewolves actually exist.

Since that day, I’ve scanned the outer-reaches of the digital channels to try and catch the programme, but, alas, it has remained as elusive as the mythical beast itself. While trawling, however, I did subject myself to the dregs of reality TV. Are you aware that there are whole channels devoted to people decorating their houses? You can actually sit, for hours on end, and watch workmen rip cupboards out. Werewolves might not exist, but zombies certainly do, and they’re all watching Extreme Kitchen Makeover.