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A miner case of real life setting in.

IT'S the biggest lie ever told to a gullible world. "They all lived happily ever after."

What a load of bunk. I'm only willing to go along with a couple of words in that ridiculous sentence, namely 'they' and 'all'.

As for the rest - tell it to the birds. (And they'd have to be pretty darned thick birds, at that. Baffled budgerigars, pecking numbly at the bottom of a rusty cage.) There is no happy ever after. Not in the real world.

Case in point: The 33 Chilean miners who were rescued from their desert entombment after 69 days.

It started off as a heartwarming, fireside yarn, with themes of bravery, tenacity and human dignity, unbowed by adversity.

There even seemed to be a happy ever after. Life was going to be so much better, once they were free of their hole. For a while, it was.

The miners emerged into a dazzling world, where champagne and canapes were offered, and fame and fortune beckoned.

Their world had been a mine. Now they could boast: "The world is mine!" That was a year ago.

As you may have guessed, it has all gone hideously wrong.

Nearly half the group are suffering health and psychological problems, and are unable to work.

All but two of the miners have launched a pounds 10 million lawsuit against the State.

Mario Sepulveda, one of the group, said: "It's not true what they say, that we have made lots of money.

"Many of the miners are not in a good situation, they have lots of difficulties."

Sepulveda added: "All those people promised us many thing in the moment.

The media let us down."

He's wrong about that. It wasn't the media's fault. The miners were let down by life. As are we all... eventually.

Life is like a wicked cad in a silentmovie melodrama.

Top hatted and monocled, he flirts with us at first. Flashes a dazzling smile, kisses our hand. Offers pretty baubles.

Then, before we know it, we're tied to the railway tracks, waiting for a train to trundle our bones into bread-crumbs.

That's not what happens in the movies, of course. Like fairytales of old, cinema plays a cunning trick on us.

Most flicks end before the plot gets REALLY interesting. All we see is Jennifer Aniston marrying the man of her dreams, then the credits roll as she walks up the aisle.

But what happens after the credits? That's when the debits begin.

If Hollywood had any nerve, the studios would take stories to their true conclusion, instead of fobbing audiences off with a fake finish.

Imagine it. Jennifer Aniston stars in 'Boo Hoo - I'm So Sad.' Where Aniston gets wrinkly, Aniston goes grey, Aniston discovers hubby in bed with a younger, juicier Jen'.

Then the recriminations. Divorce. Second marriage. Second failed marriage.

Bitterness. Loneliness. Dull nights at home, watching EastEnders. Terminal illness. Death.

Now, that's my idea of a fab romantic comedy! Yet, for some reason, I can't get Spielberg on the blower...

Ah, who cares? I don't need that LA LA Land movie deal. I can always use this column to bring a more realistic conclusion to my favourite flicks.

Here's a couple of classic films I've already improved with that final flourish of abject failure...

Winnie The Pooh (The not so Disney version): Christopher Robin pushed Winnie The Pooh, now wheelchair bound, into the doctor's clinic. The bear of very little brain looked rather glum. (Tiddley pum, tiddley pum.) "Well," sighed the doctor. "I can't say I didn't warn you. I told you to knock off the honey. Now you're too fat to walk and..."

"And?" said Christopher Robin and Pooh, together. "It's just as I feared," said the doctor. "Type 2 Diabetes." Pooh groaned. "Have you heard any news about Eeyore, since he went into the Priory?" asked Christopher Robin.

"Drowned himself in his own tears, I'm afraid," sighed the Doctor. "I warned him not to come off Valium so quickly."

* Grease - The Musical (50 years later): Danny Zuko retrieved his teeth from the glass by the side of the bed, then began to sing in a wavering voice: "I got chilblains, they're multiplying, and I'm losing control (of my bowel movements)."

He stopped. His heart just wasn't in music, anymore. Though he remained passionate about Sandy.

Picking her up, he spun his darling in the air, then clumsily dropped her. Danny sighed, and wandered off to find the broom. Brushing up his late wife's ashes would be a tricky job...


IT STARTED OFF SO WELL: Miner, Mario Sepulveda, after his rescue and, above, meeting Chilean President Sebastian Pinera
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Aug 7, 2011
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