spoiler alert: this post makes reference to the Feb 22 episode on CBC
After all these years, I think I'm finally beginning to understand Ken Barlow. There he was, up on the bridge over the canal, waving farewell to Captain Crumpet, the proverbial man overboard (legover board, surely? -ed). Why? Why would he kiss off a chance to sail the waterways in the company of the fair Martha, reading his and hers Proust by the fire, attending amateur productions of Equus (the musical), meeting snooty intellectuals over Pinot Grigio (didn't he win a silver medal in the slalom? - ed)
I think it all boils down to that old Woody Allen joke: I would never join a club which would have me as a member. Ken could have had everything that he says he wanted: intellectual companionship, a platinum library card, homemade gourmet meals, champagne in bed etc. It all looks good in the abstract, but when push comes to shove, it's just not for him. He doesn't want to belong to that club.
There he is sipping a Burgundy and all the while he's sneaking a peak at the Rover's Return bar mat which he stuffed in his pocket (Don't let Betty find out - ed). Ken doesn't really see himself as first mate on the SS Foxylady. That's too much argy bargey for our Kenneth. And he certainly doesn't want to be painting scenery on some two-bit production of 'Guernsey Boys'. He'd rather swan around Coronation Street, drinking in the sights, sounds and characters he's most familiar with. I think he rather enjoys being a dilettante in Weatherfield, bemoaning the lack of culture and sophistication around him while, all along, enjoying the pleasures of the Street where he's spent most of his life.
I guess he'll just have to go back to The Kabin and reinstate his subscriptions to The Guardian and The New Statesman (don't forget Playboy, for the articles - ed) until the next Sexy Siren pulls up in a narrow boat with a 'come hither' look and a bowl of leek and potato soup.