Youp van ‘t Hek finds it hard to get away from CDA party leadership hopeful Henk Bleker.
Avoiding Mr Bleker
Last Thursday my mobile rang. It was Henk Bleker. The Henk Bleker? The very same. I’m allowed to call him by his slogan ‘Honest. Clear. Henk!’
As I don’t know him personally I asked him how he got my number. From a mutual acquaintance, he said. Who?, I asked. He didn’t want to tell, he promised he wouldn’t. The mutual acquaintance preferred to remain anonymous. ‘But why are you calling me?,’ I asked. ‘It’s nothing special,’ he said, only he had heard that every time he is on television I change channels and this seemed to be the best way to reach me. I told Henk Bleker that I was on my way to see my doctor because I had been zapping so often I dislocated my thumb.
The thing is that I am trying to avoid Henk Bleker but I can’t. I see Henk Bleker on the kids’ news bulletin and reach for the remote. I zap to RTL4 and there’s Albert with a juicy titbit about Henk Bleker and his young girlfriend (she’ll be losing the side wheels next week!). On I go to Nederland 2 where Henk Bleker is saying he won’t be standing for the party leadership. I immediately turn to Teletext which tells me Henk Bleker changed his mind and will stand after all upon which I zap to Nederland 3 where Jack de Vries explains to Jan Mulder and Matthijs why Henk Bleker should stand, then on I go to a Belgian tv station on which Henk Bleker is talking to Jan Mulder. I seek refuge at a German broadcaster where the talk show guests all look like Henk Bleker, then return to RTL4 only to see Henk Bleker in a cameo role in soap opera Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden and, zapping onwards to a sports programme, I hear chairman Henk Bleker scored three times as a striker in the Veendam Helmond Sport match and that Henk Bleker the goalkeeper had something to explain on each occasion and it wasn’t referee Henk Bleker’s day either. I turn off the television, grab the paper and read that FC Groningen coach Pieter Huistra has been sacked and that Henk Bleker’s name is being mentioned as a possible successor.
Henk Bleker asked me what my plans were after I’d seen the doctor. I said I was going to the shops. We are having some people over. Who?, he wanted to know. I told Henk Bleker that my wife looks after that side of things but for all I knew it might be him.
Henk didn’t think so as he was on his way to RTV Noord to talk to presenter Henk Bleker about Henk Bleker. Then he would go back to Amsterdam to participate in a debate on Pauw&Witteman with Liesbeth Spies, who is laughing called ‘Hospice’ by members of the moribund CDA. So he wouldn’t be coming to dinner.
What’s on the menu?, he wanted to know. I read him my shopping list. Henk Bleker remarked it would be amusing to get something completely different, things that aren’t on the list at all. Fish instead of meat, pasta instead of rice and red wine instead of white, that sort of thing. He advised me to throw away the list and not go to the shops my wife recommended.
He also told me to watch out for Knevel&Van den Brink because he would be on it a lot, each time in a different capacity: as Henk Bleker the politician, Henk Bleker the administrator and Henk Bleker the Christian. The presenters get to choose.
I ended the conversation and went to see the doctor. It was quiet, just me and a lady in a burqa. My doctor came in, looked a piece of paper and called out ‘Mr Bleker!’. The lady in the burqa got up and followed him into the surgery.
Youp van ‘t Hek is one of the Netherlands’ best loved comedians and writers
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