Sopwith Coathanger became interested in extreme dangerous sports at quite a young age. However, it was only after witnessing the utter pointlessness of a ludicrously be-shorted Antipodean poking wild animals into a state of irritable frenzy with a stick on some cheap and tacky cable TV station, that Coathanger first acquired his taste for the utterly stupid waste of a life that is putting yourself into needless peril in order to entertain the world’s couch potatoes.
He began by mastering the art of Nude Blindfolded Cheese-Grating, where one slip with the cheddar (or for the more advanced student – Parmesan), can ruin an entire career. The next stage was – of course – All-Nude Sausage Barbecuing, a dangerous ‘Extreme Sport’ that has been known to bring tears to the eyes of most male spectators.
Coathanger was nothing if not ambitious, he realised that if he wanted to move into the mainstream of TV show Extreme Pointlessness, he would – even in this age of the tacky, sordid and blatantly exploitative TV - have to compromise his integrity and put some clothes on; at least, if he wanted to break into the mainstream schedules.
In addition, realising that the TV market in poking wild animals with a stick, and even the eating of live insects, had become overexposed, he began to cast around for some aspect of Extreme Pointlessness that he could make his own.
Then one day, by complete accident, he discovered the Extreme Sport he was to make his own when startled from his reverie by hundreds of camera flashes going off in his immediate vicinity. Up to that moment Coathanger had not realised that he was standing outside a cinema where the world’s most famous film actress, Spoon Llamagasket was about to attend yet another film premiere, and that he, Coathanger, was about to be savagely beaten by her bodyguards for not paying her the required attention necessitated by her celebrity status.
It was then, as the first of the bodyguards’ punches landed on him, that Coathanger realised he had just invented the Extreme Sport of Celebrity Ignoring. From that moment on, with his own camera crew concealed in a nearby hide, Coathanger would surreptitiously sidle up to a celebrity – the more famous the better – and then, quite pointedly, and daringly, completely ignore them.
The fact of such a celebrity being ignored by what seemed to be just an ordinary member of the public soon became unbearable for the celebrity and his or her entourage. En masse, the PAs, Wardrobe Managers, Personal Managers, Exercise Coaches, Bodyguards and all the other dogsbodies that make up the contemporary celebrity entourage would descend on Coathanger and demand that he begin fawning over ‘their’ celebrity. Of course, the more the entourage prodded and poked at him, the more Coathanger would feign indifference to the celebrity, right up until the point where the entourage began to get violent towards him. Then, Coathanger would turn to the celebrity, pretend not to know who the celebrity was*, say something derogatory about them and then flee, usually chased by outraged members of the celebrity’s entourage.
The resulting footage of these escapades made Sopwith Coathanger’s Celebrity Ignoring show the most popular Extreme Sports television show in the world. Unfortunately, this turned Coathanger himself into a celebrity, which – as the number of celebrities left for him to ignore dwindled, meant that he was left with no option but to ignore himself. Consequently, as he was unable to run away from himself in time, his own entourage - enraged by the blatant way he was ignoring himself - savagely beat him to death.
The coroner recorded a verdict of Death By Accidental Paradox, and Coathanger’s entire entourage was sentenced to each serve 12 years of Hard Philosophy at a maximum security Symposium.
Coathanger’s death was a tragic loss to the field of Extreme Pointlessness, but many of his admirers are already exploring ways of doing extremely pointless and dangerous things in his memory, so, maybe the name of Sopwith Coathanger will not be just another footnote in entertainment history.
*These days, not as hard as you may think.