Tag Archives: Roy Cropper

Corrie Street Jan. 11/15

Gift of the Magi

Maybe it was coincidence that a Christmas week story reminded me of an O. Henry story. In “The Gift of the Magi,” a couple each give up what is most valuable to them in order to give something to the other.

roy in police station, coincidence of airtime in storyRoy and Gary give each other their loyalty. Having both been driven to desperation, they hurt each other. In two scenes Wednesday, each takes the blame for what happened. They do so in ways true to their character: Roy tells the complete truth, Gary lies. Their end purpose is the same, to absolve the other of wrongdoing.

The young hooligans are harassing Roy again. They brag about looking through the things in his apartment. They disparage Hayley, their worst sin in his eyes.

Gary’s family is treating him like a pariah, for becoming involved with Ayla rather than Gary-with-policereturning to Izzy as they had hoped, for having lost his job due to his involvement with Ayla, for having borrowed money from Faye to buy his son a Christmas gift and then having the bad luck to buy something his mother had already bought. Gary’s bad luck is compounded by accidentally breaking “Faye’s one big Christmas present we all clubbed together to get her”.

Gary uses Anna’s keys to go into the café to rob it. He does not know what has been happening with Roy, nor how on edge he is. Roy hears noise, grabs his cricket bat, goes bruises-garydownstairs and wallops the young man in the hoodie with his hands in the till. But he doesn’t stop there. On the street, he continues hitting him.

Sinead sees and is horrified by Roy’s violence. She is gentle like Roy, and seeing him out of control terrifies her more, perhaps, than it would any one else.

Roy is arrested and he tells exactly what happened and refuses to press charges against Gary. For Roy, his own actions outweigh what Gary was trying to do. In the hospital, when questioned, Gary says Roy only hit him once and that his extensive injuries came roy-sees-wierdofrom him falling. “I must bruise easily,” he says.

When Roy comes home, he sees the young louts have scrawled “wierdo” on the café window. Roy’s only comment is, “they spelled it wrong.”

 

Corrie Street Oct. 26/14

A Day in a Life

mr-mrs-r-cropperA year ago, Roy was in Blackpool with Hayley. This year, the hotel sends a cheery notice addressed to them both, offering a discount should they return. A lot can change in a year, as Roy says.

Putting the hotel’s unwanted solicitation out of his mind, he plans this year’s trip to Blackpool – to scatter Hayley’s ashes. He asks Tyrone and Fiz to accompany him. Why, I don’t know. Roy has unending patience if he roy-wading-in-sea a day in blackpoolcould tolerate Fiz’s fussing, flapping and incessant talking. She and Tyrone had not brought the girls, something Fiz regretted as she looked at the lovely, and very cold, sea. I don’t think the presence of two small children could have been more distracting than Fiz even if they tried.

In a Fizless moment, Roy and Tyrone watched an elderly couple come near on the beach. The old roy-watches-old-couplelady nattered at the man about being careful to not hurt himself as he tried to unfold a chair. Roy stepped up and asked if he could help. He unfolded one and Tyrone the other. Then they went on their way, leaving the couple bickering in the way that couples who have been together a long lifetime do. Roy saw what could have been, I suppose, what he and Hayley would have been doing years hence, if only.

fiz-tyrone-and-roy-blackpoolFiz, with a tray of teas, caught up with them and launched into her story about the lineup at the tea stand. She continued yammering about how fast Roy was walking, she couldn’t keep up, was going to spill the tea. Tyrone took the tray from her, thanks be to Jesus, so she had one less thing to yap about.

roy-says-he-will-not-scatter-ashesRoy sat on a bench and, once Fiz shut up, told them that, despite Hayley’s wishes, he was not going to scatter her ashes. They may not be her, but they were all he had left and he was keeping them.

Back at home, after a truly difficult day at the seaside, Roy discovers his café and flat had been burgled. Maybe a group of nasty teenage boys who have been hanging around harassing him? His photo albums and model roy-and-anna-in-wrecked-flattrains were trashed, everything scattered and destroyed. He put Hayley’s ashes back in the cabinet and went downstairs. Despite a new lock, he reinforced the door with furniture.

Corrie Street Sept. 21/14

Fly-Tipping

owen pulls lamp from dumpsterFly-tipping: dumping garbage where you’re not supposed to. A lamp thrown in a dumpster was cause for a funny small mystery in the larger story of the dodgy flooring and subsequent dodgy efforts to rectify that mistake.

Jason put the dumpster in front of Tyrone and Fiz’s house while doing the rebuilding. Owen is looking to see what is usable. He and Tyrone wonder about Steve says lamp looks familiarthe lamp on top. Neither have seen it before. Steve comes along, looks at the lamp and says it’s not his but it looks familiar.

Tyrone goes to see Jason at the yard to discuss compensation. Jason says that Roy said he’d seen the lamp before.

Later that day, the Platts prepare for Max’s birthday party. The lamp is in the kitchen. david-asks-about-lampGail says Michael pulled it out of the skip at Tyrone’s, thought Audrey might like it. David looks at it, puzzled, and says it looks familiar.

Everyone on the street has seen the lamp. Nobody knows how it ended up on the skip but it looks familiar to Steve, Roy and David. What, or who, is a connection between those three? I ran through my mental store of Street history but I could not figure it out.

Then nearly at the end, Tracy looks out the window of Barlow’s Buys. She says to Rob, Tracy sees lamp is gone from skip“Somebody took that old lamp! You know, from my bedroom.” Of course, the connection is that all three men have been in Tracy’s bedroom, willingly or unwillingly.

Years ago, David and Tracy had a little fling. Poor Roy ended up spending the night in Tracy’s bedroom due to a bet she had made. That led to her claiming that he had fathered Amy. Of the three, Steve spent the most time in Tracy’s bedroom. I guess the decor of her room is something, like their marriage, that he would rather forget.

Tracy’s words about the lamp, that “people will take any old tat”, is a lovely summary of lamp-in-skip-againmuch about her. The lamp ended up back in the dumpster, and the other mystery – of why their floor collapsed – was solved for Tyrone and Fiz. Owen was back at the skip, scavenging for usable scraps. No, not for a floor, he told them about the wood, too thin for that, against regulations even.

* CBC programming note:  On Monday Sept 29th and Tuesday Sept 30th, three episodes will air each evening.  Wednesday it’s back to the usual one. These extra episodes will bring Canada to a week behind the UK broadcast.  Thanks, Bluenose Corrie, for this good news.

Corrie Street July 6/14

Memorials

hearse-windowIt was the side funerals for Tina that I liked best.

Steph missed the real funeral because she had second thoughts about her pink dress. Then she became distraught over what to wear instead and about losing her friend. For once, Katy had a moment of empathy and common sense. Let’s have our own commemoration of Tina, she said.

toast-to-TinaSo Steph, Katy and Luke told stories about Tina while drinking beer and listening to Tina’s favourite songs. Perfect, until Luke started casting lecherous looks at Katy. Ick, especially when she returned them. It’s not surprising coming from him. He’s been girlfriend hunting since he arrived on the street, and he didn’t really know Tina all that well aside from having put the makes on her. But Katy? Maybe not surprising either, despite her having known Tina better. Katy, despite the high horse she’s on about Anna ‘selling’ herself to Phelan, sets a far lower price on herself, I think. A compliment, a can of beer, and she’s all yours.

Roy-looks-at-dead-flowersBoth Roy and Mary were on the street to see the hearse off but neither went to the funeral. Looking across the street at the memorial bouquets in front of the building yard, both were saddened by how quickly they too had died. Roy quoted from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and an idea formed in his mind while he and Mary played chess. He suggested a trip to the garden centre.

ready-to-release-balloonsSteph too thought of something. She went out to the store, leaving Luke and Katy to cozy up together. And she was back. The three of them wrote messages to Tina and tied them to helium balloons. Then from the balcony that Steph had not been on since Tina plunged off it, they sent the balloons aloft. Lovely.

Roy-and-Mary-finish-planterRoy and Mary finished up their garden box. Hoping the flowers would do what we ask of perennials: give new beauty each year and remind us of when and why we planted them. These two groups celebrated Tina’s life in their own, and fitting, ways.

So did others. Deirdre consoled Eccles. Liz, with Tony’s help, got everything ready at the Rovers for the reception. Michelle took Deirdre-with-Ecclessome me-time and went shopping.

Everyone at the funeral did pretty much as they pleased too. Rita was gracious, respectful and heartbroken. David was rude. Peter was drunk.  Simon had a tantrum. And there was a fist fight at the cemetery.  Fortunately, no one fell in the grave.

Corrie Street Feb. 16/14

One and a half minutes:  the length of time Roy spoke at Hayley’s funeral.  His words dark-cornerencompassed their love, their not so easy road toward happiness together, his devastation at being without her, and his anger at her choosing to leave him.  What his words didn’t say, his face did.

The late Sir John Betjeman, British poet laureate, said about the writing and acting on Coronation Street:  “Not a word too many.  Not a gesture needless.”  That is Roy, as David Neilson and the writers presented him during Hayley’s illness, death and maybe especially in his unintended eulogy.

roy-looking-at-coffinRoy is angry at Hayley, angry that she is gone and that she did it deliberately.  He wanted as much time as possible with her, no matter what that time might cost her in pain and fear.  He couldn’t express his anger while she was still alive.  But after her death, he could and did.  The messages she had left for him – a to-do list, the photograph album, the words of “what Hayley wanted” from the lady who will conduct the service – all increased his anger and his feeling of his life and needs being sidelined by “what Hayley wanted.”

colourful-coffinIt all boils up at the funeral that he did not want to attend.  The music of Queen, who Hayley liked and Roy didn’t.  Roy looks at the organic materials coffin holding Hayley’s body and fumes, as Fiz talks and cries about how wonderful Hayley was.  He interrupts; he’s going to tell the truth about Hayley, she was not a saint, was not perfect.

Then he looks at the coffin again, and his face changes.  The love comes back in his eyes and he talks about what Hayley meant to him.  The anger is gone, although his loneliness and bereavement are not.  He sits down, spent, and the service continues.  It ends and the final music is Hayley’s choice again, of course.  It is a choice she made for Roy:  Bach’s daffs-on-coffinConcerto for Two Violins and she had told the pastor why she chose it.  She understood Roy’s explanation of its perfection of harmonic ‘voice’ and she picked it as a reminder to him of the harmony of their two human voices.

After he has had a chance to get away from the cacophony of grief and solicitude that has surrounded him in Weatherfield, he will come back to the photograph album that Hayley made for him.  Then, and until then, he will grieve in his own way.  If he did go to see his mother, I think she is the best person he could have chosen to understand his mourning.

The actions and characters of this story are of course fictional.  But being fictions roy-seatedprovides a buffer perhaps, allowing us to absorb the realities of the emotions expressed, of love and loss, sorrow and fear, and anger over natural and human decisions.

Corrie Street Feb. 9/14

bedroomCarla and Anna in Hayley and Roy’s room, afterwards.  Their shock, realizing Hayley is dead.  She is curled in Roy’s arms.  He isn’t aware they’re even in the room.  They see the glass on the bedside table, used.  They know what happened although they say not a word to each other or Roy.

anna-puts-glass-awayAnna takes the glass and washes it.  She didn’t hear the stern warning Hayley gave Roy:  don’t touch the glass, this was my action alone.  Anna finds Fiz at the Rovers and breaks the news to her and all in the pub.  (In the pub tableau of small groups assimilating the news, especially poignant was the thought-filled sadness of Emily, Rita, Dennis, Norris and Deirdre.  They all know first-hand how it feels to lose the person closest to you.)

When Fiz goes to Roy’s, you see the differences in how people handle crises and who roy-with-hayleymight be actually of more help.  Carla and Anna knew something was up even before Hayley took her fatal drink.  Both felt Hayley had acted oddly the last time they had seen her.  Anna had some warning; Roy had told her weeks ago that Hayley planned to kill herself.  So let’s focus on Carla and Fiz.  Neither of them knew Hayley’s intentions.

Carla had an uneasy feeling from when Roy wheeled Hayley in to the factory for an evening visit.  Just out to take the air, Hayley what-I-wanted-to-saysaid, but Carla knew something was up.  With Fiz, Hayley specifically asked her to come with Tyrone and the children.  Fiz came in her lunch break, Tyrone had to stop a job he was in the middle of, and they hauled the kids out of daycare.  Baby Ruby had a sniffle so they didn’t want her near Hayley.  Hayley had to shout give me that baby, an unpleasant scene that Hayley felt bad about after.  Despite these uncharacteristic actions, Fiz saw nothing worrisome.

carla-and-anna-exchange-looksSeeing Hayley so unexpectedly dead, Carla put two and two together very quickly. She and Anna stood quietly with quick looks at each other as if communicating how best to deal with Roy and what they knew, and with Fiz.  Fiz howled about how upset she was, if only she’d known, what she’d wanted to say, she’d thought there was time, etc.  Roy felt compelled to say “sorry” to Fiz.  As if her comfort was more important than his, even Hayley’s.

carla-anna-with-royIn the aftermath, Carla was there, mentally organizing what needed to be done and carefully watching Roy. She stood quietly, spoke of practical matters when warranted, touched Roy only briefly when it seemed appropriate.  Fiz followed him like his shadow, glommed to him, saying what can I do to help, I’m so upset, and on and on.  Not for a second did she back off, listen to Roy or even truly look at him, or stop imposing her needs and wishes on him.

The irony of this is that it is Carla who is believed by others, and herself, to be no good in an emotional crisis and to lack empathy.  Fiz is thought by others, and herself, to be the roy-listens-to-fiz-cryepitome of caring and sharing, in tune with the emotional life around her.  Especially with Roy and Hayley, it is Fiz who has the longer and closer history.  But in a crisis of these proportions, I know whom I’d want around me, and I think Roy would agree:  Carla.  Fiz would make me want to jump off a cliff.

Corrie Street Jan. 12/14

It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won’t see another one
And then he sang a song, the Rare Auld Mountain Dew
I turned my face away, and dreamed about you…

the-pogues-festively-singChristmas in the Rovers, Mary sang this but her voice trailed off after the second line.  The look on Hayley’s face brought her back to the reality that Hayley indeed would not see another one.  Mary thought of the Pogues’ song when she asked Liz about Tina’s whereabouts.  Was she in the drunk tank?

cop-holds-kylieA fight had started in the Rovers and moved out to the Christmas card beautiful street. Everyone watched it, including the coppers who were there to see Sally about her snatched purse.  They arrived just in time to pull Kylie and Tina apart.  Kylie was hauled off to the drunk tank, her sparring partner Tina was not.  Tracey was there too, and quite willing to punch someone’s lights out – anyone’s – but didn’t get the chance.

hayley-roy-bus-stopLater by the bus stop, Hayley threw a handful of snow at Roy as he looked at the schedule, confirming the times of the Wayfarer.  He was distracting her with small talk, in an OCD kind of way.  While coming home from the Rovers, she had needed to stop due to an attack of pain.

Neighbours returning from or going wherever saw her lobbing snowballs at Roy and joined in and a full-scale snowball fight developed.  A laughing Hayley watched from her seat on the bench. When she was roy-hayley-look-back-at-streetrecovered, Roy extricated himself from the snowball pelting (feeling relieved for himself and Hayley) and they walked home.  Hayley said it was the best Christmas ever.  The others went on playing.

There was enough snow to build snowmen.  Sinead ran to the pub and asked for clothes, and Rita snowman-from-windowdonated Norris’ old coat.  Ches said he could find the other coat they needed.

Tucked up on the couch at home, Hayley watched her new dvd about Amsterdam.  Roy made tea and prowled the flat.  He looked out the window, and grinned.  He beckoned Hayley over to look.

snow-croppersAcross the road beside the bus stop, were two snow people.  One wore a red jacket and wooly scarf.  The other wore a beige jacket and had a carrying case slung over its shoulder.  Hayley and Roy Cropper immortalized in snow.

Corrie Street Dec. 22/13

Peter and Carla’s wedding was fabulous – beautiful location, beautifully garbed guests, carlastunning bride, gorgeous groom.  Tension everywhere, for viewers and characters alike.  Would Peter succumb to the many glasses of champagne attractively arranged right beside him?  Would he succumb to Tina, also always attractively arranged right beside him?  Turns out, no to the former and yes, or at least way too close, to the latter.

But the scene that I woke up in the make-a-fresh-startmiddle of the night worrying about was the closing minutes of the week.  Christian coming to make amends with Hayley.  He’d appeared a few times, always missing Hayley but always running into Fizz who would puff herself up into her biggest mamma Grizzly look.  Protecting Hayley from the hurt that comes with Christian.  Breaking Hayley’s confidence by telling him about her cancer.  Warning Roy whenever Christian was about.  Roy posted like a sentry hovering-royto block Christian’s access to Hayley.  Oh let him be, I pleaded, don’t you know how important it is to Hayley that she reconcile with her son.  Let her decide if that’s possible or not.

Finally she got the chance.  Roy allowed Christian to see her.  Sensibly, she sent Roy out of the room so he wasn’t standing over her shoulder like a guard dog snarling every time Christian twitched or opened his mouth.  It photos-of-kidslooked so promising, their discussion.  Christian’s apology for not understanding, for not being willing to discuss, maybe forgive.  He had pictures of his wife and kids.  Then the wonderful moment:  ‘would you like to meet them?’  My heart melted, just like Hayley’s did.

five-thousand-poundsThen he gives the caveat, the kick in the teeth.  Thing is, he got in debt while unemployed and a family costs a lot to provide for.  £5,000 should cover it, could she give him that.  It’s for the kiddies after all.  Where’s the guard dog and mama Grizzly when you need them?  Christian, I guess, had hayley-listens-to-money-requestdecided Hayley might be the answer to his financial woes, and a quick parade of the kiddies would be enough to get her help.  Even after learning she was dying, he still went ahead with his bait and hook plan.  My heart froze, just as it looked like Hayley’s did.  You are a bad’un, Christian.

Back to the wedding, for a quibble about writing.  We knew there had to be a Peter and tina-and-peterTina too-close encounter.  It came after the bride had collapsed in a drunken but elegant heap on the dance floor.  After she, still in her lovely gown, is tucked up in bed, Peter returns to the empty ballroom.  The detritus of the party is all that’s left.  We’ve seen Roy and Hayley arrive home.  Party animals Sally and Tim have had time for another roll in the hay at home.  But Tina is still lurking about the empty manor house?  Ok, she and Peter have to steal a forbidden kiss.  But Tina is not a stalker, and only a stalker would have remained after all the other guests had left.  The scene would have been more believable if we had seen extras dancing in the background, maybe through a order-of-servicedoorway in another room and heard the DJ playing “save the last dance for me” or something to indicate that, no matter how late it is, some people are still there partying.  Fizz should have been spotted, since she had been insistent earlier on overseeing Tina’s movements.  A wonderful and horrible scene with Peter and Tina, but one marred by unbelievability.

Corrie Street Dec. 1/13

Every moment with Roy and Hayley on Tuesday was perfect.  Roy learns to accept I-will-support-youanother’s choice or, as he sees it, to lie.  At Jane’s funeral, he learns that her husband didn’t like her choices for the service or share her religious faith.  But he did exactly as she wished.  Because that’s what she wanted and it was her death after all, and sometimes lying is the best thing to do, he told Roy.

Roy frets over those words and finally tells Hayley he supports her and understands her decision.  It’s hard.  He doesn’t accept it and he cannot will himself to feel comfortable with a lie.  But he tries.

so-this-spoilsIn an earlier argument, Roy had enumerated things on which they disagree so Hayley wants to explore them.  One was how to poach eggs.  Roy is of the free-form school; create a vortex in a pot of boiling water and pour the egg into it, allowing the movement to create the shape.  Hayley uses an aid to ensure the ideal shape, a metal ring that holds the egg while the water cooks it.  To show her willingness to throw off her preferences, she tosses the poaching ring into the thrift shop bag.  (Note:  neither of them would ever throw something usable into the garbage.)

He goes out for something, just to busy himself away from a very happy Hayley.  Anna only-you-can-decidesees him and they talk.  He tells her his decision and, hallelujah, she says the right things.  She recognizes how hard it is for him to understand Hayley’s choice and to pretend that he supports her.  Without knowing what Jane’s husband said, she reinforces his message: sometimes you have to suck it up and do something you don’t like for someone else’s sake – and this is that time.

Hayley-and-albumsHe returns home to find Hayley surrounded by music albums, listening to Bach’s Air on the G String.  She struggles to see the appeal.  You can’t dance or sing along to it.  She asks Roy to explain and she listens to him and the music.  Maybe if she keeps listening, she will feel its peace and beauty.  They move to another of Roy’s choices – Deep Purple with the London Philharmonic.  Roy discusses Deep-Purplehow and why that album moved him when he first heard it as a teenager.  I hope, should the album be reissued, that his words are included in a cover ‘blurb’ or review of it.  It made me want to hear it.

Hayley then gives her picks; songs that make you want to dance.  She illustrates great-funwith the music of Queen.   The death of Freddie Mercury looms over her joy in the music.  But she vividly explains why it makes her feel alive and happy.  Even Roy is unable to keep his body parts still, bobbing his head as he listens – which was exactly Hayley’s point.

The music, Freddie Mercury and Roy’s apparent acceptance of her choice to end her life allow her to express her own fears and doubts.  She Hayley-cryingcries for her life and death.  Poor Roy doesn’t know what to do.  Fortunately, he doesn’t do anything but hold her while she sobs.

Here’s a great analysis of the character of Hayley.  Thanks, Bluenose Corrie, for the link.

Corrie Street Nov. 24/13

Johann_Heinrich_Füssli-1809-detailA time for us:  that’s what Roy and Hayley want, what they need.  Instead, like Romeo and Juliet, they have intrusions.  Impending death the biggest of all.   Distractions of a business, of learning to drive.  Well-wishers and helpers, welcome or not.

Anna, handling the café and wanting to understand what’s bothering Roy.  Pushed to his limit, he tells her:  Hayley wishes to end her own life.  He needs to tell someone but Anna is not the best choice.  For sure, she will tell someone else.  Maybe normally, Hayley wouldn’t be overly furious about her roy-hayley-woodyconfidence being broken.  But these days, Hayley is quickly infuriated.

Roy decides to spruce up their bedroom for Hayley’s homecoming from hospital.  A nice idea but not a good one.  It wouldn’t have occurred to him to do it, except for Jenna bringing him tea and looking askance at the room.  Roy saw the peeling and faded wallpaper through her eyes.  Then followed a hideous time of Roy the handyman.  Thank goodness, Anna intruded again and got Owen and Gary to do the decorating.

Problem was Hayley came home early.  She found her room full of people, people never suit-to-the-drycleanersnormally in it.   Their bedroom, her chosen final space, is completely changed.  She wants her familiar refuge.

She wants to see the factory girls and her friend Jane from the cancer support group.  Roy frets about her overtiring herself.  She agrees to postpone her visit to the ailing Jane.  Jane is a new friend, one Roy does not like.  But Hayley has the bond of terminal cancer with her.  Next day, they finally get there after I-missed-seeingRoy drags his heels as long as possible.  Jane had died the night before.  Hayley would have seen her if she’d gone when she wanted to.  Jane’s death was peaceful but “she wasn’t herself”, her husband said.  That reinforces Hayley’s belief that she wants to die while she is still herself, Hayley.

Roy cannot understand.  He wants to hold her life-filled hand for as long as possible.  He roy-stares-aheadpictures, I think, the deaths we see in movies. He can’t really imagine the agony he is asking her to endure.  And that isn’t even taking into the account the real fear that Hayley has, that in her mind she will return to being Harold.  So even when together in a small insular space like their car, they fight.  Or more accurately, both try to avoid the other’s truth and angrily lash out with their own.

They are so close to each other and to their own feelings and beliefs that they cannot see you-had-only-justthe other’s point of view.  They really do need a third party to see the forest in the trees.  But counseling is not a comfortable thought for either of them.

Meanwhile, life and business go on and friends continue to butt in, meaning well.  Telling Roy he should spend all the time with Hayley that he can, not realizing that is exactly you-all-rightwhat they are fighting about.   Mercifully, we were spared Fiz’s solicitude.  In every Roy and Hayley scene, my husband kept expecting Fiz to pop up like a jack-in-the-box with an oh-dear or can-I-help.  Ha! Instead we got a Beth pop-up.  Wonderful and very scary.