Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I'm Basil Fawlty!

I've always been a big fan of John Cleese, beginning with Monty Python and later in his movies and TV appearances. Of course, I also love Fawlty Towers, and tonight I finally broke out the DVD set I received for a holiday present. While watching some of the special features about the real-life hotel manager in Torquay, England, who was Cleese's inspiration for Basil Fawlty, and then the first episode of the series, I realized that I am Basil. And it's not necessarily a good thing. He flies off the handle at any perceived slight, he gets frustrated when being berated by his wife for not doing something she asked him to do, he hates requests from guests, and he mistreats the hired help at his hotel. That sounds so much like me at work it's almost scary. Luckily most of my co-workers think I'm funny when I'm upset, so that helps avoid potential problems. While I'd like to think I could change my ways, I'm not sure I want to. One of the funniest moments in the first episode of the series is at the end, when Basil is furious that he can't continue to abuse a crooked hotel guest (because the police are hauling the guest away) and he can't persuade a rich, classy couple to stay at his hotel. All he can do is clench his fist, rage at the potted plants outside, and go inside and break something. Cleese used to do this sort of thing on Monty Python as well, and I always found it hysterical. Maybe I need to start doing that at work. After a help desk phone call that ticks me off, I can just hang up and shake my fist at the phone while referring to the caller as a "toffee-nosed snob."

Or I could try therapy. No, I like my first idea better.

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