Poor Andy Murray wept at losing his Wimbledon Final. Bless! He even remembered to apologise to the worthy winner, the gorgeous Roger, for raining on his (victory) parade.
Has the dour Scotsman undergone a change of character? Or, as I suspect, has he suddenly been beset by the Murray version, thus far latent, of the Usher Gene? Let me explain.....
The Usher Gene runs in my family. It apparently originated (or, perhaps "flowed" might be a more appropriate verb to use in the circumstances I am about to describe) with me. It generally only affects the female members of my family,
leaving the male members alternately mystified or miffed. It manifests itself in a number of inexplicable ways, the less embarrassing of which I will doubtless return to in future "blogs. For the present I will concentrate on the propensity
of the Usher Gene to afflict its carriers with instant tears at the drop of a sentimental hat.
A couple of examples, perhaps, are called for. Firstly, the Christmas edition of Blue Peter,
the one when they bring a troupe of young carol-singers into the studio, all woolly hats and stripey scarves, carrying lanterns of the kind I've never seen held aloft by any modern day carol singer. I usually manage to hold in the inevitable tears
until the very last seconds, when the camera hovers over the crib scene and the silver Blue Peter badge appears in the top right hand corner of the screen, just as the carol-singers reach the last heart-rending note of whatever carol they happen to be singing.
My grandchildren have been known to watch the Christmas episode with one eye on the screen and the other on me: "Are you crying yet, Nanna?"
Then there's the final scene of "International Velvet".
You may know the bit I mean, when the heroine returns with her gold medal from the Olympic Games with a letter for her guardian (who is the Velvet of the original National Velvet story - please keep up, won't you?!) which starts: "You never got to keep
your medal....." Cue tears, Usher Gene in overdrive.
On one occasion, when we were watching "International Velvet" for the umpteenth time, my family replayed the final scene, just minutes
after the end of the film, to see if I would still end up in tears. I did.
My Algerian son-in-law, when he joined our family eight years ago, did not understand when his new wife,
the Middle of the Darling Daughters, wept her way through a TV programme (I can't remember which one, it was probably something like Junior Masterchef - always bound to get the Usher Gene working.) Then he found himself at a family gathering where all
three of the Darling Daughters, plus my lovely sister and I were all present, listening tearfully to an emotional speech by a family member. He gazed round from one to the other to the others, then was heard to mutter: "I think I get it now." Probably
just as well, the Usher Gene never totally leaves the afflicted and it's best to be prepared if you marry into the family.
So if my suspicions are right and Andy Murray has belatedly developed
a similar Gene, then we had better all watch out for his lachrymose efforts when Wimbledon turns Olympic. Once unleashed, there is no stopping the Usher Gene (or its Scottish variants.) Pass the tissues, someone, please....