As delivered this morning on Steve and Laura at Breakfast (with Vernon standing in for Steve) on BBC Radio Bristol:
What makes you mad?
The cartoon character Popeye was portrayed as a down-to-earth sailor man until something, usually the dastardly activities of his nemesis Bluto towards his sweetheart Olive Oil, pushed him to the edge. At which point he would shout 'I can't stand it no more', neck a can of spinach and come out fighting.
Well it seems as if the people of our region have a lot of things that are leading them to say 'I can't stand it no more.'
Whether it is the presence of undesirable activities in Portishead, or the absence of desirable facilities in Hartcliffe or football-related issues that have driven Hallam councillors to resignation - it seems like you are all up in arms. And if those don't do it then traffic hold-ups or parking problems will often be the last straw.
My mind wandered to the Michael Douglas film Falling Down in which an unemployed defence worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.
And then I thought of Jesus - well I'm a vicar you'd expect me to. In the Bible he sees the money changers and pigeon-sellers in the temple courts blocking the space where traditionally strangers were allowed to enter - the Court of The Gentiles. And he can't stand it no more. Animals are whipped and tables are over-turned.
Gentle Jesus meek and mild. Oh come on.
Christians, a wise old clergyman once said to me, should not be in the business of shouting for their rights, but of shouting for the rights of others.
So, to end with the worst sentence I have ever constructed. What can't you stand, no more?