Monday, 7 September 2009
LIZ JONES: These ugly one eyed yokels aren't doing themselves any favours
So I'm relaxing in a fabulous New York penthouse sipping Perrier when I get the call from one of my hundreds of lackies back home. 'One of the filthy locals has fired a shotgun at your pewter mailbox', she says. 'Call the police at once, Sooty', I reply.
Great. I better jet off back home to Exmoor. I pray there are still first class seats available on the next plane out of JFK.
Back at my vast country house, a young lady officer has been dispatched to deal with the vile hate crime against my letter box. She asks if there's anyone who might dislike me enough to shoot my property. 'Almost everyone in Britain', I say. 'People get very jealous of my expensive clothes, BMW, and whimsical lifestyle. I can tell you're envious, just standing here taking notes in my beautiful hallway', I observe.
She doesn't reply. Probably a lesbian, overcome with lust having noticed my Gucci perfume.
I suppose the atrocity could have been carried out by one of the many hairy, inbred mutants that live in these parts. Oddly enough, a local publican became quite vexed by a column in which I savaged the culinary experience offered by his establishment in the Daily Mail. The loathsome place didn't even have Beluga caviar - what was he expecting!
Apparently, a few local men had reacted equally inexplicably after I wrote, hilariously, that 'men with their own teeth are a bonus' out here in the sticks. I'd also described the people of Exmoor as mostly 'toothless', and the area as 'faintly Amish'. Really I don't see what the fuss is about - if I was some backwards country type and a high-flying young columnist gave me and my little village some valuable column inches, I'd thank her.
But instead of thanks, I get snide remarks from green-eyed local women in the supermarket. The other day I was there to buy my usual very expensive Claret and the finest Italian ham, when I heard a group of the old hags gossiping. One accused me of not even trying to join in, another said I was ‘just like Michael Jackson’.
A pox on your shabby, poorly maintained houses, I thought to myself. If immaculately coiffed locks make me the deceased King of Pop, pop me in the ground full of prescription painkillers. And if attending the fashion show of a local designer (one of the more cosmopolitan, less asthetically disgusting locals) doesn't count as 'joining in', I don't know what does. I even donated a whole day with me at London Fashion Week and lunch at the Ivy as first prize in the Dulverton raffle - not easy, given that I'd have to sit with a foul bumpkin for an hour or so in a beautiful restaurant, with the all the other diners staring at his dung crusted finger nails, wondering if he was my 'friend'. I dread to think! Thankfully, nobody bought a ticket.
Come to think of it, these grotesque local 'people' owe me a life-long debt of gratitude. I've given a whole host of the little weavels jobs on my expansive land: I employ a local gardener, tree surgeon, equine vet, two chiropractors, an equine podiatrist, a holistic shearer, an ecologist – oh, and a Somerset firm built my manege, where I allow local girls to exercise their ponies, free of charge, no less! They should be paying me to be seen on my property - I would have given my right arm to be allowed within ten feet of a glamourous London career woman when I was a girl!
Despite my charity, I'm treated like a stranger at best, and an intruding, patronising, rude, egotistical, shallow, insensitive, superior, arrogant outsider at worst. Far from the Exmoor's image suffering because of my derisive, insulting columns, it's these gossiping women and shotgun wielding maniacs who are really to blame. I wish they would all just shove off and move somewhere else, leaving me to enjoy my lovely farm, and sleep with my horses.
Maybe it's boredom or inbreeding that makes them like this. Perhaps they're not even human, having spent so many years working with animals and manure - maybe they've morphed into the countryside and devolved into wretched beings of the earth, distrustful of rich and successful women like me.
I just don't understand these narrow-minded country folk sometimes.
Liz Jones's fabulous new book, The Exmoor Files (critically derided even by The Daily Mail) is available now in The Quail's bookstore.