But first, the bit about snow.
Wahey! I thought this morning, not rushing about. I can leave at the Normal time today, because the ice is all buried by yesterday’s shenanigans and I can stomp through the deep new snow with the greatest of ease!
Except… everyone else seems to have had the same idea, first. All the way down the main road – a distance of over half a mile – it was a sheet of shiny glass. Oh yes of course, that gigantic parade I saw yesterday; thousands of people walked home from work over the deep new snow, and this is the result. Curses! Why did I not think of that?
Back to taking my life in my hands at every step. But I made it safely, even though I went staggering up what I thought was grit but sadly turned out to be fallen berries, oops, to my favourite look-out point. This is where I traditionally stop to make a rollie (in what I realise is a highly ironic method of celebrating life) and gaze out over the city. My god, it was beautiful this morning! Not a breath of wind, every tree limned with ice, every outline sharper than high definition. Everything looked so much more profound and regal this morning: though granted, this is a good view for that – there’s the fleet of wind turbines on the horizon, the cheap pub, which is shaped like the Parthenon; the big carved column with a lion sitting on top, and the roundabout round about the column, which was lined with stuck cars that couldn’t make it up the hill. Hee.
Thus fortified, I sauntered down the hill again, tried to cross the road that is the last barrier between me and work and nearly went flat on my back in the middle of the junction. Ah, the roads are Industrially trampled down – it’s like the difference between walking on a mirror and walking on a polished diamond. I imagine.
At least I made it in – much of the team has not. And I politely eschewed a lift home from my Cellmate and stayed on to mind the phones, behold my diligence and commitment! Well, I partly stayed on because all public transport is off today and my Colleague of Cakes is unable to get into her winter boots unaided. Unfortunately, she is also unable to be aided into them without falling about laughing. Which started me laughing too. This took a while.
But on the way home – someone has been round with sand! Praise god, finally a Measure has been taken! Not much sand, it’s true, and they seem to have skilfully avoided all the steep bits on corners, but there is a patchy trail of it, with people scurrying along it single-file like ants following the pheromones to the unguarded cake. Halfway down the road, the trail ran out, but sure, there were this couple up ahead in wellies, and they seemed fine on the ice. If they can, so can I! I thought. By the time I caught up, however, the woman was flat down on the ground, announcing that she was unhurt, but this bit was too slippery to stand up on and she’d have to crawl to a safer bit. Time to bail.
The other reason I eschewed the lift was I needed to stop at many shops on the way down the road (shudder). But there it is, Christmas is coming and I need those expensive jelly beans for Saturday’s Secret Santa (everyone likes jelly beans, right?) and stamps for the Christmas cards and nibbles to go with Christmas dinner (Sarsparilla says, ‘Bring nibbles and nuts, since those are cheap’. Once again, I am the Poor Relation. Literally, haha!) And ideally, I need a dustpan, mop and brush for work since it seems we’re on our own with cleaning the office and the floor already looks like the scene of a prehistoric sea drying up. But that will have to wait, or I will be unable to move for purchases.
My, I was so cold that by the time I got to the supermarket, my mouth would not move properly. I either looked drunk or mentally disabled. Hopefully, the last dozen people to be served before me did too, however.
So it was that I made the last mile of my trip over the ice in the dark, weighed down with snacks. Well, one doesn’t want to appear too cheap. Thanks to the sums, I can now calculate the force with which I will hit the ground, should I suddenly take a header. Height of teeth from ground times height times ten metres per second per second and lets not forget the ten-pound frozen turkey on my back (with all the weather about, and rumours that it will stay till the New Year, I rate not my chances of getting to darkest Ayrshire, and homemade veggie curry, plentiful though it is, is a rather rubbish Crimbo dinner). I read somewhere that an adult falling flat on their face will hit the ground around thirty-two times harder than a toddler pulling the same stunt. The other point of note in this is that the one who now has to spend a fortune on new gnashers isn’t the one who is allowed to cry after impact.
At least my wallet was substantially lighter; though with the advent of cashcards, that’s a completely metaphorical statement. Who’da thunk nibbles and nuts could be so expensive? I haven’t even got the right sort of nuts (I assume, the sort that need a nut-cracker. Does my wee bro have a nut-cracker? I don’t know. I don’t think he knows. He advised me to ask Sarsparilla what household supplies he needs – and they don’t live together!)
I has his Christmas present ordered, however. Yeah verily, I am giving him the requested pasta cooker and a weekend’s indentured servitude in DIY, and in return I am gonna attempt to hit him up for a cantilevered chin-up bar. Methinks, we has the gender roles completely wrong here.
I was so very heartily relieved to get in without falling down! Ah, now, this is what the 99p bubbly was purchased for – very minor celebrations. Such as, Another day, and still alive!
Despite the cold. I bit the bullet and did some working out. It truly is amazing how much warmer even just fifteen minutes of this makes you. After this, my fingers were limber enough to get down to the sums!
After which, I rewarded myself with Yu-gi-oh the Abridged Series. I would not normally watch cartoons about children’s card games, but this one is a snarky rip-off, so it’s alright. No it is, honestly.
And how! Halfway through yet another reference to a particular character’s monumental ego, I had a sudden brainwave. Possibly it was the bubbly after some rather ferocious fear and exercise, always a heady combination, but there we are: I now know how to make the world a better place.
Lo, I am a bit of a morose drunk – another good reason to drink Alone! – and two o’clock on a Saturday morning can find me, with embarrassing regularity, musing on the fact that the world is nowhere near as full of wonderful and interesting people as I had thought it would be if I just got up the confidence to talk to them. Mainly because being screwed up is Catching – you get too close to somebody who has Issues, and you stand a very good chance of getting them too. This includes, being raised by them, being assaulted by them, or just plain being in a relationship with them.
Society will, of course, tell you that it is not mostly composed of batshit-crazy people who are hurting and looking for the chance to take it out on someone else; but then, Society would tell you that, wouldn’t it. Rather tellingly, it will also promptly tell you that it’s not really assault if you were wearing a short skirt at the time, which makes me suspicious that, rather than doing anything to solve all this, Society is merely going to look the other way while crazy hurt people make more crazy hurt people in a manner interestingly similar to how zombies make more zombies.
Society will also tell you that even if it was composed of crazy hurt people, shiny things will make it all better (which sounds suspiciously like replacing personal development with merely buying stuff), and also, it would help if you look more like they do on magazines: you just need willpower and commitment and our Tips (which sounds suspiciously like subverting the desire to actually Accomplish something). However, standard use of photoshop and airbrushing means that nobody looks like they do on magazines, not even the people in the photos.
Lads, it is my contention that we are being Scammed here. Keep all the sheep suspicious of all the other sheep, and they will never unite against the shepherd. (Who is not vegetarian, by the way). We are being subtly exhorted at every turn to pursue looking good and having shiny things, and I reckon that we might all be happier if we were pursuing more intangible stuff; because you can never look good enough or have enough shiny things, and so this is a treadmill that can only ever get faster. Plus, collectively the western world already has more shiny things, not to mention many more teeth, than anyone else throughout history. However, the Powers That Be seem to find it much more convenient for everyone to be crazy and hurt and distrust each other and race for the shiny things, hence the existence of the Daily Mail, because apparently if we stop, the world will too and we’ll all be flung off into space. Or something. Somehow, I doubt Consumption alone is going to stop civilisation going down the pan, though.
Which is deviating wildly from the point. Ahem. Many of us might be happier if we were sane, and practically nobody is doing a damn thing about it. Without charging ferocious hourly rates, anyway.
It has occurred to me before, there isn’t a failsafe manual along the lines of ‘How To Stop Being Screwed Up – The Bootstrapping Version For Folks Who Can’t Afford Therapy (Which is Most of You)’. Sadly, it has also occurred to me that, while I have identified (what I consider to be) a really Big need for a product, I haven’t the slightest clue how to go about making it.
However. While yelling, Screw the Yules, I have money! I had an Idea. Good thing I wasn’t drinking bubbly at the time, I would have choked to death and it would have been lost to the world forever. It is elegant in its simplicity.
Give everyone monumental egos.
While this is not in any way statistically authoritative, I have noticed that most of the people lashing out at me – and I’m not talking, ‘you’ve left your socks in the bathroom for the last time! / are two hours late! / forgot my birthday!’ style rage – seem to do so because:
a) they’re insecure
b) they’re scared of something (see under insecure), or
c) they have some sort of jealousy issue – which I have deduced isn’t actually related to me at all, because I have very little to be jealous of. So, see under insecure.
Therefore, if all these people felt like they were hot shit, this degree of lashing out would instantly vanish! The world would be happier!
Granted, there are also some people who lash out at people because they feel they themselves are hot shit, and I have come across a few of them before too. However! If I had a monumental ego, their attempts to make me feel like the non-hot version of shit for their own amusement would be like water off a drunk’s back! It could work for everyone! Nobody would ever be guilt-tripped again!
Admittedly, I haven’t fully explored all the consequences of giving everyone in the world a massive ego. Perhaps, people would not feel spurred to learn as hard as they could, because they were already hot shit, so why try harder? On the other hand, people might be spurred to learn by the ingrained assumption that they could be good at anything if only they tried it. Shyness would vanish! Paragliding would become an order of magnitude more popular! People everywhere would fulfil their potential!
And if they weren’t actually good at something, well, they’d still be happy because they’d imagine they are, and there’s already quite a lot of that about without society collapsing (look at your boss, everybody!). I myself fondly imagine that putting all this waffle on the internet is somehow beneficial, for instance.
There only remains the small problem that I have no idea how to give someone a monumental ego. However! I myself spent ooh, the first twenty years of my life (and then some) under the impression that I was a useless, unattractive and unlikeable person who deserved to be first against the wall come the revolution. Whether or not this is true, and your mileage may vary here, this has acted as a spur to some really dedicated personal development. It has also stopped me from say, taking up martial arts and DIY until my mid-thirties for godsake. It also makes me the perfect guinea-pig for my own experiment. And I can vouch for the fact that, even if I am no better a person now that I feel pretty kick-arse than when I felt like scum, I am certainly enjoying life a hundred percent more. If I felt invincible, I’d be happy ALL the time! And so would everyone else who felt invincible!
Let the experiment begin! Well, till I get distracted by some other stupid idea. If I finish it, I will turn it into a kick-arse self-help book and the world will be saved and I will be rich.
Or not. But I’ll still feel great, which is hardly a wasted life.