Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Early Christmas Shopping Update

Mrs. Wilcox and I will be going out shopping this weekend so I thought I'd take the scientific approach and make a list of gifts for my friends on the street.

(One of Glacia's favorite movies/books and CERTAINLY one of her favorite scenes)

For Jamie, A Volleyball
Claire receives a call for a pick up at the train station, unfortunately the train goes into a tunnel before all the details can be taken. Steve says it's best to just ignore the call because it's unlikely that the caller will still be at the station by the time a minicab gets there. Jamie overhears and offers to go out to pick of the fare himself, ignoring Steve's warning.

Well thank God he did - otherwise he might miss the opportunity to spend 15 minutes driving his ex-girlfriend who slept with his dad, triggering the rather Shakespearean events that befell the Baldwins.

Yes, Leanne is back in town with a sassy new hairdo and no longer sporting a tea towel or Guernsey cow in front of her. She does look fabulous I must say.

She's hesitant to get in the car but Jamie tells her it's okay and they have a chinwag on the way back to Weatherfield. Turns out, she didn't know that Janice is in France (Glacia sighs and genuflects) with the plumber.

Leanne says she's going to get a hotel, but before she goes off looking for a place, she asks Jamie to tell her all the details about Frankie and him. He gets a bottle of plonk and they talk at his place. He explains that while he doesn't forgive her, he's just exhausted from hating all the time and he's trying to let everything go.

They talk about Danny and Frankie, etc and he ends up offering her a bed at his place instead of the hotel. He says that he only got himself in the house and that soon he might start talking to a football. (What? Okay, like Corrie Canuckers have been suggesting, why didn't Sean move into his place? I guess because then there'd be no room for the wicked ex-girlfriend.)

Leanne agrees and tells him to go get another bottle of wine and when he leaves she does that smirky thing that I kind of hate.

For Kelly, A Polish/English Dictionary
Cause looks like she might have only one mate soon.


The Connors hire a new machinist, the lovely Vicky all the way from Warsaw, and not Walsall in Birmingham as Fizz thinks. Vicky gets settle in and after introductions she gives a big, 'Hey girlfriend!' to Kelly - at which point the gals know that Vicky has come in from the evening shift.

Sally, Jo and Fizz try to find out how much she is earning and corner her outside of the bathroom. Liam sees this and accuses them of trying to bully her out of her conkers and lunch money. They explain that they are worried that she is making less than minimum wage and he tells them that it's none of their business and that their own wages haven't been affected. True, they agree, but for how long and what happens if htey want a raise or if one of them is made redundant. Liam tells them to get back to work.

Kelly, meanwhile, is getting a lot of flack about working the cheap night shift. She is unable to live with the guilt and tells Karla that she can't do the late shift anymore.

Karla yells and says that everything in British industry was okay until that bloody Charles Dickens came about with his stories ripe with class inequality and social injustice.

Okay, maybe she didn't say that, maybe it was more along the lines of, 'Oh bugger.'

For Sonny, A Crates and Barrel Gift Certificate
In case he has to make any more stand-in jewellery purchases.
cb gift

Michelle is getting ready for her BIG date with Sonny to a fancy restaurant. There's been all kinds of guessing as to why the big occasion and while Liz feels that Sonny is going to propose, Steve feels that he's going to dump her.

She is looking all extra shiny when she appears at the restaurant in what appears to be a nightgown. (Oh, that's what the kids are wearing a dresses these days...yes.) Regardless, she looks fab and Sonny is well pleased.

He asks her if anything is wrong and she just says that she's not used to fancy schmancy high falootin' restaurants and he tells her not to worry because she's the best looking woman there. (I don't doubt!).

She's still looking a bit stressed and he finally gets her to admit why and she tells him that she thought maybe he invited her out to take their relationship to the next level with her moving in with him. He seems surprised and she beats herself up for even saying anything.

He responds, 'If I seem surprised it's just that I'm shocked that you think I'm that brave. That I would take that risk even though that's what I want.'

Okay, I'll stop right there and say that for me HANDS DOWN that's the smoothest line of the year on Corrie. I was transfixed the minute he said 'that you think I'm that brave.'. Omg...he's like butter!

Then doesn't he get down on his knee and propose using A NAPKIN RING HOLDER as a stand in ring...which just popped my harlequin romance fantasy bubble. I think it would have been better to just propose without the ring...surely she knows he's good for it.

Of course Michelle says,'Yes' and they scurry home to tell all the good news. She hangs on to the napkin ring holder with loving admiration and I have to wonder, 'Did the restaurant add it to the bill?'

Michelle tells him she can't wait to tell Sean because 'Won't his face be a picture?'

Oh wait, I know that picture!

Yes, Sean is surprised but does a very lovely job of being happy for her. He even offers to get be the pageboy in a sailor's suit. (I could look for an image, but frankly, it was just far too easy.)

When Steve hears of the engagement, he explodes and tells her that Sonny is gay and he is gay with Sean.

There's an interesting reaction from Michelle as she tells him off about spreading rumours about Sonny and her best mate Sean (is there anyone on the show who DOESN'T consider Sean their best mate?), we can see there's that glimpse of 'oh dammit' in her face. Like she believes what he's saying but just doesn't want to admit it.

I wonder why? Did she pick up on some chemistry between Sean and Sonny? Is she doing the math on Sean's mood swings? Or did she find Sonny's 'Big Busty Sean' magazines under his bathroom sink.

Finally, For Liz

Because my love, Lycra and middle age ponch should never be in the same room together.


Debbie said...


Anonymous said...

Kym Marsh was excellent last night. You could tell as she was denying Steve's accusation that a whole variety of emotions were running through her head. I never had any opinion of her as an actor until last night.

If Steve really cared about Michelle, he would have taken aside and quietly given her the news that her fiance is having it off with her friend and perhaps she may want to discuss this with him. But then, it's all in keeping with Steve's immaturity regarding women, isn't it?

Anonymous said...


I second EVERYTHING you just said in your comment about Steve & Michelle.


Great update! I was so shocked to see Leanne that I yelped, thus disrupting an important feline nap (the 14th nap of the day is the most important, as you probably know). She does look Faboo, doesn't she?!

Also, I wonder if Kelly is realizing that the girls might have been right (kind of like how we all look back at things like NAFTA with clearer eyes than we had at the time)...

Poor Michelle. And I'm sorry, that was such a craptastic thing for Sonny to do. If he had actually been planning to propose, he would have bought a ring and brought it along. This was a seat of his pants reaction to her blurting out about moving in together. He's a user and a player and I hope he gets hit by a bus. Or a car falls on him while he's changing a flat. Or he gets electrocuted as he dries his sexy, wavy hair. Pfft!

Michigander Fan

Anonymous said...

The "Pfft" accompanies the international sign language for, "I am so done with this jerk".


Pantagruelle said...

I thought it was really impressive that they brought in a Polish worker. Once again, Corrie is near the forefront in tackling a relatively new social issue. Since England joined the EU, there has been a flood of workers coming from eastern Europe, especially Poland, because they can now work across borders and immigrate more easily due to EU trade agreements. When I was in Stratford this summer, I tried to order "ale" at the Shakespeare hotel, and the waitress didn't have a clue what I was talking about, even after repeating myself three times. Almost all of the service industry workers in Stratford were immigrants who barely spoke a word of English but were working within days of arriving in the country (as one person even admitted). It's not that I'm against immigration per se, but it's really damn lame when workers don't speak enough English to understand the word "ale" despite working in a pub. The migrant worker issue is becoming more and more of a headline, precisely because so many of them don't speak English, just like Vicky, the new factory worker. If England doesn't do something soon, it's going to have a crisis on it's hands. Can anyone say "reasonable accomodation"??? It's great to see Corrie addressing this issue head-on.

kowy said...

I thought the same of Shiny Michelle's 'dress'.

I used to have a nighty like that. It was my "Woo hoo...gonna get some" nighty.

Sonny is a slime-ball. Michelle and Sean need to see that, and soon.

Also, Mr. Shatnerian and I agreed last night that if were to have a bit on the side (like Sonny does), it would be a rich, hollywood type so that we can make up for our cheating with lots of expensive presents...and free movie passes.

Jacqueline said...

I'm just going to say it. If I were Michelle my thought process would, 'Oh dammit, that bastard!' Then my next thought would be, 'Mind you, that is a mighty big house....'

Debbie said...

Sean has been a real dick, but I know what it feels like to see someone you have feelings for who is in some instances is returning those feelings, up and commit to someone else. And it feels crappy. So, I couldn't help but feel for him here. Even though he is being a huge dick!

Whitehorse Fan said...

So the kids are wearing silky nightgowns to go out now? Wow. I am so out of the fashion loop.

Sonny has been created really well. He is a dead ringer for men I have known who are charming and sweep women off their feet while hiding a slime ball core.

And I agree whole heartedly with you John, about the Michelle and Steve comments.

Whitehorse Fan said...

And, I was wondering about the references to Leanne's new found fortune. I think this occurred while the hockey play offs were on, and Mr. WHF and I weren't yet committed enough to Coronation Street to tape Sunday episodes.

Why is she wealthy?

Whitehorse Fan said...

And, I was wondering about the references to Leanne's new found fortune. I think this occurred while the hockey play offs were on, and Mr. WHF and I weren't yet committed enough to Coronation Street to tape Sunday episodes.

Why is she wealthy?

Jacqueline said...

Pay off from Danny to bugger off and keep her mouth shut about the 2nd will. (Mike's will)

Debbie said...

Somehow I don't think Corrie is going to come down on the anti immigrant worker side regardless of what language they speak. The truth is that immigrants have a hard time being socially eccepted for a number of reason that people in the new country will think up as an excuse to hate people.

So what if they can't speak the language? Immigration has done wonders for North America. The UK will only face a crisis if the population is willing to be stubbornly ignorant, reactionary and hateful.

Whitehorse Fan said...

Well said, Debbie.

And, it seems to me that the problem is not that there are people coming into the country looking for a better life, but that there are employers, such as those on Coronation Street, who exploit their ignorance of the law and their desperation to work by paying them, for instance, less than minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

I too wondered about Sean being Michelle's best mate... doesn't ANYONE on the street have a best mate they've known more than three months?

Was Steve supposed to be drunk, stupid or both at the bar?

Leanne's back, and there's gonna be trouble...


Jacqueline said...

I thought the point of Vicky was that it's because she doesn't speak enough English that she has to take the crap job.

I've lived in Toronto since 1984 and during that time, yes, I've had to repeat myself on occassion to cab drivers, waitress, etc. I think if someone is willing to leave their home and go through the hassle of moving to a new country, and work hard to make a new life for themselves - I can extend a bit of patience.

Really, I've never NOT got to where I'm supposed. I've never NOT got that pack of smokes. Okay, one time I ended up with two heaping plates of pierogies instead of a side dish, but it makes for a great story at parties.

Debbie said...

And perogies are delicious!

Jacqueline said...

Which is why I didn't send them back.

Pantagruelle said...

So you sympathize with Vicky, a character we don't even know, more than with Sally, Fiz, and Haley, who expressed legitimate concerns that Vicky's willingness to work for less than minimum wage could potentially undermine their ability to continue to earn a decent wage? Obviously the Connors are wrong to exploit her, but the point is that bosses do exploit migrants, which then affects working-class Brits too.

So you think it's ok for Vicky to fill Janice's job (hopefully she'll come back soon), but would it be ok if Vicky started working in the pub with Michelle and Violet, despite not knowing any English besides "hi" and "I don't understand"? Can you just imagine what would happen if Les came in to order a pint and Vicky didn't understand the words "lager" or "bitter"?

That's what Corrie is beginning to get at by introducing this character, I think. It's not just about immigrants seeking a better life (which is perfectly legitimate if they are qualified), but also the social impact that such immigration also has on working-class Brits. Corrie has always been a show about the working class and has always sympathized with them. Their jobs and lifestyle are affected by immigration too.

Jacqueline said...

Okay, my BEST waitress story.

I went to Via Olivetto's up on Bloor street with an Italian friend of mine. The item on the menu that I wanted I knew I wouldn't be able to pronounce so instead of doing the pointing at the menu, I asked my friend to just order for me.

The waitress comes and she is this lovely thing with stunning black hair and an aura of the romance of Italia to her.

My friend orders my item and she stops, looks at us and in the thickest Irish brogue I've ever heard says, 'Jay-sus, what now? Sorry, it's my first day on the job and I don't speak any Italian.'

Jacqueline said...

No, I don't think it's right that they are employing people underwage, that's not the point.

The point is the language issue. IF she is earning the same as the other girls, then what is the problem if her English isn't that great? I live in a city of immigrants, I've seen first hand people who take jobs and have language issues. Yes, it's difficult at first, but within months, even weeks, I've seen their English blossom.

If Vicky did get a job at the Rovers, she'd be picking up terms such as 'lager' and 'pint' within days.

If the working class of England is supplanted by immigrants it would be because of unethical lower wages....not because of their language skills.

Debbie said...

First, we don't know if Vicky is making less than they are during the day. If she is, that problem reflects on the Connors. Second, Vicky is qualified to do the job.

If you want to pin the issue of unfair pay on the employee than you better start with Kelly, Joanne and Becky. They started undermining their own wage. It is a complex class issue. They can't really afford to turn down more work when it's on offer. But, they are shooting themselves in the foot.

if Janice looses her job for vanishing to France, than yes, it is totally 100% OK for Vicky to fill it provided the Connors pay her fairly.

Could she work in a pub? Yes, it would take her 2 days to learn the words necessary to do so. Do you really think that difficulty ordering a pint is a case for reasonable accommodation? No, Les wouldn't like it, but he is an ignoramous and I wouldn't want to paint all working class Britons as such. Also, Les would have to adapt.

Yes, Corrie has always been about the working class. You may not like it, but Vicky - and all her polish sisters - is now part of the British working class.

pip said...

I know it goes without saying but the Connors have to be the worst employers and businessmen in Weatherfield. They treat their employees as if they owned them and don't give a crap about office morale. Is there any chance at all that a knight in shining armour in the form of Danny Baldwin might show up at the gates. I know he called them all silly names, but at least he had some respect for his employees.

As for the immigrant issue. All I can say is, don't blame the victim. If these people are brave enough to take a position that requires them to learn English on-the-job as quickly as possible then kudos to them. People are always complaining that immigrants don't learn the language and don't integrate into society. What better way to learn and to integrate than by interacting with the locals?

Pantagruelle said...

That was my point from the beginning. It is a language issue. I live in a city of immigrants too (Montreal, not Toronto), and I've seen lots of people who have been here for decades and don't learn the official language (French, not English, according to the law). I wouldn't move to Germany, Japan, or Poland and expect to find work if I didn't already speak German, Japanese, or Polish, or hadn't taught myself first. Nobody learns a language in a matter of days or weeks. Yes, Les is an ignoramus, but as we saw in his reaction to Haley (which was completely and totally unacceptable, by the way!), he often expresses out loud the kind of intolerance that everyone else is thinking deep down. Manchester doesn't have the kind of multiculturalism that Toronto and London have, which is why someone like Les would have a problem with being confronted with it. But Toronto-style multiculturalism isn't necessarily the the idyllic paradise that people make it out to be where everyone lives together and gets along happily. The whole reason why reaonsable accomodation is in the media more in Montreal than in Toronto is because Montrealers tend to lean towards interculturalism (integration and assimilation to the majority) rather than multiculturalism (a big tossed salad of different cultures) like in Toronto. Manchester, from what I saw of England, leans more towards interculturalism and integration rather than multiculturalism too, which is why the factory girls are going to have a problem with Vicky not speaking English (the writers could potentially have a field day with that, as they already showed with the Warsaw reference that Fiz didn't get) and (possibly) being paid less too. It's not that either interculturalism or multiculturalism is necessarily better than the other, but each philosophy grows out of the specific environment, and people in Manchester aren't very likely to adopt the Toronto approach.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the introduction of Vicky is intended to show the problems of immigration. She doesn't speak English. She'll learn enough in time. If I moved to Poland, I'd have a tough time, too. I can't even pronounce the name of the Polish vodka I buy.

I think the issue is, as Debbie and Jacqueline point, the willingness of an employer to pay less for equal work and the willingness of the employee to accept a lower rate of pay. Employees without unions only have so much leverage that they can use to their benefit. Accepting lower pay will lose them a lot of that leverage. But that's true of workers of all origins.

People have always been nomadic and always will be. There will always be societies with native born citizens and more recent arrivals. And it will aways require adjustments from everyone.

There's an old joke the Americans have about immigration that I've always liked:

Q - What's the definition of an immigrant?

A - The guy behind you at Ellis Island.

Debbie said...

"Manchester aren't very likely to adopt the Toronto approach."

You may be right, but just as you say that we can't compare Manchester to Toronto, you can't compare you emigrating from Canada to someone else emigrating from Poland. The circumstances to cause emmigration are vastly different.

No, immigration is not idyllic in Toronto or Montreal or Manchester or New York City. There will be problems and ignorance no mater what the official and unofficial immigration policy is for a city or province. But that doesn't mean we are to accept and welcome those problems. They prevent a city from working and moving forward.

Language should not be a barrier for a newcomer to jobs, advancement, sercurity, and success. Immigrants will learn the language skills they need to live wherever they choose to live.

John, that joke is great.

Pantagruelle said...

I'm not saying that we shouldn't work towards welcoming immigrants and confronting the problems that interculturalism and multiculturalism pose. But I am saying that language is an essential factor to getting a job and carrying it out properly--maybe not for stitching knickers or driving a cab, but I certainly wouldn't want to see a doctor who couldn't communicate with me with a near-native level of fluency that would help assure that there weren't any mistakes made or miscommunications. Governments need to recognize the qualifications of immigrants--it's pitiful that people who hold PhDs from other countries end up driving cabs when they arrive here because their PhD isn't recognized--but at the same time, it's not realistic to assert that language isn't essential to performing one's job properly and communicating with fellow workers and clients or patients. Nobody wants to have to play charades every time they go to the bank or the doctor's office or even the pub.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your excellent update! I had just tuned in when my son arrived in telling me how horrific his comute was and how he hit a huge patch of black ice (like I don't worry enough) so needless to say I missed the first half of the show.
But I was appalled at Steve's behaviour yelling at Michelle in a pub full of people that Sonny is gay. I felt like slapping his face hard! What a creep! If he truly cares for Michelle and her feelings there is a hell of a lot more sensitive ways of telling her.

papasmurf said...

Some trivia for you. Thunder Bay, muticutural hotspot that it is, has the largest Finnish community outside of Finland.

There is a whole generation of people who moved here from Finland after the war and never learned English but have thrived and been a valuable part of our community.

There is a neighbourhood that has banks and stores and restaraunts where Finn is spoken. There is even a great breakfast place here called The Hoito that used to have a rule that the staff had to speak Finn to work there.

The point I am making is you can maintain your ethnicity and thrive, even without speaking the local language.

Thunder Bay is a cool little town.

Jackie said...

ummm, this is completely off your immigration topic, but when did Jamie start driving a cab???

I have missed a few episodes in the last little bit, but last I was aware he will still working for Penny?

Jacqueline said...

He started driving a week or so ago. It was during a quick conversation with Steve.

Debbie said...

Muy muy, mit a kulu

I dated a Finn once ... once.

Anonymous said...

Re - the YouTube clip. I couldn't watch it until I got home. Little did Miss Schlegel realise that Mrs. Wilcox was intending to give her Howard's End.

I really need to watch that movie again. Or read the book again.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Connors, they really have taken the factory down to shabby, haven't they?

Mike ALWAYS showed up in a suit. He came from nothing, that was obvious, but he always looked classic and acted like he was on top and would always stay there. "I know the rag business, me."

Even his skanky ex-wife Linda the supervisor wore a suit, and his silly son who slept with Linda wore a shirt and tie. So did Nick, for the 24 seconds he worked at the factory.

Danny was the same. Looked good, took care of himself, was always the bossman. "Don't trouble yourself, mincemeat."

Meanwhile, Liam is acting the boss man wearing Alan Alda's old army coat from M*A*S*H, and crap t-shirts and making it up as he goes along.

I always get the feeling the Connors ask Amber for business tips just before they walk in the building every day.

"And don't let Sally push you around man. Sean's a right cow, and he's never really at the dentist..."


Whitehorse Fan said...

"I always get the feeling the Connors ask Amber for business tips just before they walk in the building every day."

If only they did.