This interview is taken from a British dating show on which a convicted murderer appeared as a contestant. It’s interesting to see the similarity to the way gammas talk total nonsense about themselves.
How would you describe yourself?
John Cannan: ‘I think a ruff would suit me. Tights and sword, I can see me on some bridge, on some galleon, being a pirate – yes, I can handle that. Yes, I have a dislike of inflated egos – people who are, they look at me – “I’m great”, type. I don’t like that, I can’t handle that sort of inner weakness.’
That kind of pretention?
JC: ‘Yeah, I don’t like that at all. I just like just normal, average people.’
What do you look for in a person? What attracts you?
JC: ‘I think apart from the physical side, again I think somebody who’s pleasant, who’s natural, who’s relaxed, somebody who’s calm – just pleasant, someone nice.
You’re not worrying about if they’re career orientated?
JC: ‘No; no, no; no, no. As somebody who’s career orientated myself, I couldn’t blame them for that. No, not at all.’
Do you admire any famous people, past and present?
JC: ‘Yes, I’ve admired a few. People like Gandhi, philosophers like Bertrand Russell. Present day people like Prince Charles, who’s socially aware. Physically, somebody like Stephanie Beacham.’
JC: ‘No, it’s actually… I think she’s in Dallas, or from Crest or something. No, joking apart, somebody natural, nice, pleasant, somebody with character, a little personality.’
JC: ‘Practical, yes. Just somebody normal – somebody who’s easy and relaxed to be with.’
Now what about TV comedy programmes, is there anything that you like?
JC: ‘I’m a little bit dry as regards humour. Dave Allen, Benny Hill is OK.’
How dare you say Benny Hill?!
JC: ‘It’s a bit slapstick, I know, Benny Hill is OK – or he used to be, not so good nowadays, but he used to be. Yeah, that type of… mainly dry humour.’
Now, do you have any ambitions for the future, or do you feel like you’ve achieved your ambitions already?
JC: ‘I’ve achieved them. Basic, financially I’ve achieved them.
So you’re just going to curl up and keel over then?
JC: ‘No, no, not at all. I’m just looking now – I’m in a sedimentary period, where financially and career wise, I’ve achieved what I’ve wanted to achieve, I’m just now looking for what, the next thing to achieve.’
I’m always suspicious of people who use words improperly, such as the use of the word “sedimentary” when he meant “sedentary”. Keep in mind that the man was completely unemployed at the time. And on what planet was Benny Hill ever “dry humour”?
One thing I’ve learned over half-a-century on the planet is that the small things matter more than most people believe. Even the smallest error that reveals a pretense can tell you a great deal about an individual.