Tag Archives: Brian Packham

Corrie Street 6 Aug. 2017

The Receipt

Brian has added another string to his bow, another arrow to his quiver. He is now a Litter Enforcement Officer. Hands on, not just behind a desk, that’s our Brian. He snags a receipt dropped on the brian-grabs-box-with-grabberstreet. Hmm, peruses its details – a salt and pepper mill.

Later, at Roy’s Rolls and needing sustenance, he spies on the counter a box for a salt and pepper mill. Aha! That’s Roy caught redhanded. Roy is grateful that Brian found the receipt he lost. He needs it for his VAT records. But Brian is having none of the accidental loss story. It was littering and there’s a fine for that. Oh, and I’ll have a butterfly bun when you’re ready.

brian refuses to hand over receiptBrian is such a silly, silly man. Roy is as far from silly as is possible to be. The two of them together are silliness gold. This little scene brings out the best in them, I think, both in the moment and in the character of them both.

To be in conflict with Roy Cropper over littering is the most absurd thing imaginable. The man sweeps and washes his front step and pavement and probably would like to clean all the way down the street. Because of his obsessive tendencies and his principles, he is the last man on earth who would litter.

brian-writes-out-fine But the rules are the rules, says Brian. He is probably so pleased to actually have the chance to fill out one of his forms in his little fine book that he doesn’t even attempt to actually think about what he’s doing, and to whom he’s doing it.

Aside from his personal stake as Roy’s tenant, there is also simply the fact of Roy. Kirk and Chesney point that out to Brian. It’s Roy, the neatest man in Weatherfield!kirk-and-ches-watch-brian-and-roy

I’ve liked this story since it started. A roving Brian, armed with megaphone, a grabber and the authority to issue fines. All his Christmases have come at once. I especially like the grabber. It is not an efficient picker-upper of litter. It doesn’t have the fine control needed for thin items like paper. A stick with a pointed metal end is what street and park cleaning crews actually use. Much easier and more efficient.

A grabber is used by elderly or injured people for objects too high to reach without climbing or too low if you can’t bend over. I like to and-a-butterfly-bunthink that Brian’s tool of his trade came from a city council official who had one unused at home. With it and a megaphone that every council office would have in its storage closet, it’s an inexpensive way of keeping Brian, the Tsar/Czar of Recycling out of the office and away from employees who are actually trying to work.

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Corrie Street 15 Jan. 2017

Christmas Vigil

Amid the turkey dinners, Christmas crackers, laughter and caroling, an outdoor vigil on Tuesday brought a belated Christmas tear to my eye.Christmas vigil by Roy, Brian and NorrisNorris, Roy and Brian camp out in Dev’s back yard. Norris wants to see Mary, and Roy and Brian join him in solidarity. Mary is furious at Norris. She refused to join them for Christmas dinner at the café. So if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad – Norris will go to Mary. And he has no intention of leaving, he tells her through the closed door.

Roy tells Norris he will bring him provisions. He does that, and he also brings himself and a probably unwilling Brian. Christmas dinner was on the table at the café. Brian was happily digging in, filling his plate. He probably had time to get a few mouthfuls in before Roy dragged him away. But even Brian knows when something is more Norris talks about what Mary means to himimportant than food and he joins the vigil for Mary without grumbling.

To fill the time, and explain to Roy and Brian why they’re sitting outside in the cold, Norris tells them what Mary means to him.

“I know I have a caustic manner. People say I sit in judgement. Yeah, I often do. It’s safer, isn’t it. To watch from the touch line rather than get involved in the field of play.

Ah, but not Mary. She lives. She gets knocked down, sometimes trampled on. But she always gets back up. She never pulls on a protective shell. She goes out into the world. As innocent as a newborn baby. I think she’s one of the bravest people I know.”shot of backyard with roy brian and norris

Mary hears what he says and her heart melts. So does mine, so does everyone’s I should think.

Christmas dinner is back on at Roy’s Rolls, with all four friends partaking. Then there’s an even happier ending. Gemma’s online plea for Mary starts to smileMary’s son found its mark. Jude saw it and comes to the café door. He meets his mother.

However, the bad thing to come out of all this is that he is going to take her away with him: to South Africa! But no, please, she can’t go. Like the twins said to her later, we’re your family, Mary.

Corrie Street 4 Dec 2016

Recycling Czar or Tsar

Brian Packham is back. A question he has for Roy: is it Czar or Tsar? brian explains czar or tsar quandaryRoy is flummoxed, and that’s a rare sight. He’s rarely had occasion to spell it, but thinks either spelling is acceptable. Of course, I googled it. Roy is right, and there are many lengthy discussion threads on the origins and usage of each. (My spellcheck chooses Tsar.)brian-and-roy-at-cafe-table

Brian is back without Julie, but with ambition to take a prominent place in the Weatherfield Council bureaucracy. At the moment he’s the Environmental Health Officer. But his aim is to revolutionize the city’s recycling programmes. Hence his dilemma: should his stationery say Recycling Czar or Tsar?

Prior to discussing the nitty-gritty of his title, Brian was flummoxed roy-with-lipstick-kisswhen he met Cathy. He expected to see Roy still single and grieving Hayley’s death. So he was astounded when a woman emerged from Roy’s flat and planted a kiss on his cheek.

Brian astutely picked up on Roy’s ambivalence about marrying Cathy. He suggested Roy ask himself why he wants to marry. Then he gave some good advice about navigating the wedding itself. It’s cathy-with-wedding-countdown-clockfor the bride, he said, not the groom. So let her have the disco, the pink wedding cake, even the wedding count-down clock – whatever makes her dream day. You focus on the groom’s speech, he told Roy. Ever the teacher, Brian later peeked to see how the assignment was going. Not well, he saw, so he gave suggestions for improvement.

The good and bad elsewhere

The problem with Tuesday’s episode was with the scenes bracketing michael-at-building-site-gateBrian’s. Michael and Anna were doing things that made no sense in terms of character history. Michael going to Phelan’s building site alone to check it out. Foolish, but maybe believable. But Anna asking Phelan to come to her place? Without telling anyone or having backup? It wouldn’t happen, not after the last time she did that. I saw, ok, it’s a way to get to the plot culmination. But clunky! They might not have jarred so much if they anna-lets-phelan-in-doorhadn’t been next to the smoothness of Brian’s scenes.

There were other great moments this week. Tracy and Peter after she says Daniel is just like Ken – a look that says ‘we’re out of the will!’ Vinny’s neighbour lady, played by Jacqueline Pilton. And Phelan watching Michael die, telling him about watching a rabbit slowly die after he had injured it.