Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Delusions of Grandeur

No this post isn't about our Christmas Decor -- that post will come soon enough, this one is just a little something to hold you over. Have you ever seen the show Keeping_Up_Appearances? This is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. A timeless classic about this older lady who certainly has Delusions of Grandeur.

Hyacinth, the lead character is the epitome of a snob, hopelessly trying to climb the social ladder and forever trying to impress her neighbors and friends. Additionally, Hyacinth likes to give the impression she’s of high social standing.

One of the most obvious examples of Hyacinth's snobbery involves her last name. According to her husband Richard, Bucket is pronounced as it is spelled. However for Hyacinth, it is pronounced "Bouquet," à la française. Despite her insistence on the more elegant French pronunciation most people usually call her "Mrs Bucket" or more disparagingly "The Bucket Woman," behind her back. The Vicar usually shouts the latter when noticing Hyacinth, then often attempts a speedy getaway before he is collared by the character. Hyacinth's neighbor Emmet is similarly amused by her pronunciation of "Bucket" as "Bouquet," although his most pressing problem with Hyacinth is that she's desperate to be in his amateur operatic society, and will "sing at him!" frequently.

She’s also a character who will look down on others, believing she is incomparably superior to those around her, and is particularly ashamed of her poorer relatives (sisters Daisy and Rose, and brother-in-law Onslow).

Her constant snobbery, boasting about wealth and connections she doesn't have, whilst repeatedly talking about her son Sheridan, all make Hyacinth disliked by almost everyone around her, including brother-in-law Onslow. However, Hyacinth's oblivious to the fact she is despised. For example, whilst on the phone, if a person hangs up, she blames a fault on the line, and cannot understand why so many people fail to covet invitations to her parties.

Hyacinth always tries to outdo her neighbors, especially the Barker-Finches of 23 Blossom Avenue, who seem to be her bitter social rivals. In one episode Hyacinth cannot bear the fact her neighbors get a celebrity to attend their BBQ, thus setting out to do the same for her function. In another episode, Hyacinth becomes jealous of a neighbor holidaying in the Caribbean, and goes to extreme lengths to convince those around her she too is considering going on an expensive holiday.

All in all its just funny -- often found on PBS, or the BBC check it out some time -- its truly worth your time. Here is the funniest short clip I could find of a scene involving Hycanth's intent to use a public telephone. Richard rarely gets after Hyacinth but in this scene he has finally had enough.

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