The other day, someone asked me what I couldn’t live without.
I think he was being intellectually provocative or, at the very least, he was blind drunk. You know how you sometimes meet people like that at parties? They come up to you round about 1.30am, slightly wobbly on the feet, and eyes with that unfocused gaze that comes from having nursed, all night, a deeply intimate relationship with Jack Daniels on the rocks. They lean forward, happily unaware that they’re invading your private space and then, in a haze of alcoholic vapour, they ask you what your name is.
Well, anyway, this guy at Marina’s party leaned in and whispered, “What can’t you live without, mate?”
I replied instinctively, without thinking: “YouTube”.
Drunk Guy stared at me for a bit, then blinked red-flecked eyes. “Me, too, what?”
It was my turn to blink. Mentally, I replayed the last five seconds. “Oh, no, not, ‘You, too’. YouTube!”
“Yeah, what about me?”
Just then, I felt a vacuum being formed next to me as Saffy sidled up, her legendary bosom carving out its own air-currents as it advanced.
“Hello, who are you?” she asked as she peered at Drunk Guy with interest. “You’re cute. Are you single?”
Drunk Guy slowly moved his head towards Saffy’s bosom which was currently generating its own gravitational field.
“I was jushh talking to your friend,” he slurred, “and he was about to tell me what he…couldnn…couldn’t…live without.”
“Oh, I can’t live without bee-hoon,” Saffy said immediately, demonstrating, once again, her ability to effortlessly turn any subject to herself. “It keeps me regular!”
“He…” Drunk Guy said, pointing me, “said ‘Me, too’! Which duh-zhun make senshhh!”
“No, I said ‘YouTube’!”
“There he goshhhh again!”
The next morning, Saffy said to me that it was a scandal that I was allowed out of the house unattended. “You were at a party. A man approached you. He was cute and obviously drunk! Why were you wasting time talking to him? Why didn’t you immediately send him over to me?”
“More to the point,” said Amanda, “why would you say that you can’t live without YouTube? Could you be a bigger dork?”
I replied stoutly that it was pointless trying to express how life-changing YouTube is to two women who thought ‘Twilight’ was literature.
Have you forgotten the theme song to ‘Wonder Woman’? What does Zsa Zsa Gabor sound like? On the other side of the world and missed the floods along Orchard Road? Looking for a hard-to-find Jeff Lynn album? Want to know if getting a tattoo hurts? Want to relive the opening number for the 2009 Academy Awards? Or watch a TV programme from the 70s and HMV doesn’t stock it? Not sure how to cook an omelette?
It’s all on YouTube.
I’m telling you, every class on the planet should have compulsory YouTube lesson. Forget about textbooks or endless lectures about how you should never pop a pimple. Screen a YouTube clip of the world’s biggest pimple being popped and it’ll put you off fatty, fried food for the rest of your life.
Just the other day, Mel Gibson’s rant at his ex-girlfriend was all over the news. You could read the transcripts in the newspapers all you like, but nothing brings home Mel’s madness more clearly than a quick trip to YouTube.
“That’s just strange, Jason!” Saffy announced at the end of my defence. “Why is Mel Gibson’s rant interesting in any way?”
I sighed as I pulled out my laptop and called up YouTube.
“Here!” I said, getting up from the dining table and heading into the kitchen to make lunch while Saffy and Amanda watched. Or rather, listened.
And when it was all over, they played it again. And again.
“I can’t stop listening to this!” Amanda complained. “It’s so incredibly vile and degrading, but I can’t stop listening!”
“I told you!”
“Who knew Mel Gibson was like this in real life!” Saffy said, as she hit the play button for the tenth time.
“I always thought there was something a little deranged about him,” Amanda said, adding, “Ooh, look, they have Christian Bale and Alec Baldwin’s rants as well! How clever of YouTube!”
“I told you!”
From Alec Baldwin, they moved onto 30 Rock bloopers which then, thanks to YouTube’s intuitive indexing, led them to David Letterman’s interview with Tina Fey, then to Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch.
By the time midnight came around, they were still watching. When I reminded Saffy that Drunk Guy had called earlier, she said, without once taking her eyes off a commercial from the 80s, “Oh, who cares?”