How could I be happy if nothing happened? Where was the joy in that?
a. I was not being bombed or shelled by anyone. No-one hates me enough to bother with the ordnance, let alone the targeting.
b. Nothing broke. Neither the legs nor the washing machine nor the car nor the airbrush.
c. No-one stole anything from me or my house.
d. No-one sent me a bill.
e. The Facebook pests that perpetually swing their little axes in my face had other things on their minds.
f. I was not on the Freeway for morning nor afternoon rush hour. So none of the sirens were for me.
g. The cat did not put a dead rat on the doorstep.
h. I did not lose another pair of panties to the elastic monster.
This was a day full of the noticeable absence of stressful excitement. It left space for food and drink, hobby work, and writing. I would like to achieve an entire week of this boredom some day.
Stick to it.
And generations of Australians will know that cheery little piece of uplifting advice was used to sell insect poison. It’s not quite in the same league as ” Eine Reich, Eine Volk, Eine Führer ” or ” Manifest Destiny ” but at least it only killed flies.
But how do you know when you’re actually on it? And how do you know it’s good? And is there a time when you should hop off smartly and go find a place to hide?
Leaving aside homicide and insecticide, let’s look at kinder aspects of daily life. Take clothing, for example. We all like clothing – it makes us look good, keeps us from getting too cold or hot, and prevents us from being arrested. And nearly all of us can recognise when we are onto a good thing, garment-wise. We get compliments from the family or strangers, wolf whistles in the street, or offers from Hollywood producers*. It is a wonderful highlight of the week when we wear an ensemble that really works.
And yet – so few of us wear it two days running, or repeat the success of one day in the next. We look like kings and then like paupers. We just never stick to that one good thong. ( Freudian slip…)
So few of us will find the perfect way to drive to work – in my case the war chariot with the scythe wheels had bad suspension. We go a different way week by week, gaining only variety in our traffic jams.
And orgasms. Take orgasms. They must be counted as one of the best of the good things, yet how many of us are organised enough to have 15 in a row? Even 2 or 3 would brighten up a working day in the lunch room…but no-one seems to be willing to make the effort. I put it down to the fact that the workers can hardly be induced to wash out their coffee cups, let alone wash out anything else.
It may be a case of a good thing, but no-one wants to stick to it…or to the upholstery, for that matter…
* No, Harvey. For the hundredth time, just no.
Caffeine role…? How about the Caffeine Roll – now that would sell! I know people who would queue up for them…shaking hard.
I take coffee. I take tea. I avoid caffeinated soft drinks – but that to keep away from the taste, not the effect. I can stand caffeine in measured doses, and the standard measure seems to be the railway tank car.
The morning will see two cups of Nescafé. Another mid-afternoon, and a strng espresso after dinner. Then another Nescafé at 10:00. It is a wonder I get to sleep before midnight.
We have often been cautioned against this. Just as we have been warned off eggs, meat, sugar, potatoes, and every other foodstuff that has ever been grown, baked, or boiled. And then we have been told that the demon food or devil drink is quite all right…and the attention of the scolding press turns to another thing. I have adopted the sensible attitude that it is all a load of twaddle designed to gain money and power…and ignore the dire warnings. Unless a sandwich is filled with equal parts of dried smallpox scabs and liquid Lewisite, I am prepared to take a bite.
The Wiki entries on coffee and tea show that they come from foreign climes. This would make them suspect for those of the population that subscribe to xenophobia, but it doesn’t answer the question of whether they are healthful and nourishing in the places where they originated. Seeing as the people there are just about as long-lived as the locals here – bar the occasional revolution or tsunami – the health fears would seem to be exaggerated. And seeing as the places where they are used are generally full of citizens who are up and active – for good or ill – it would appear that the caffeine is doing a reasonable job.
Can you have too much coffee? Of course you can, and there are medical records – written in jittery longhand and covered in brown rings – that document the self sacrifices of pioneer doctors who experimented on themselves.
Can you have too little? Go a fortnight without any and then tell me, but don’t weep or scream as you do so. You will disturb my cappuccino.
How many migrants to and from Europe, Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand have had this experience:
They’ve migrated and worked and saved and succeeded in the new country but always hold a dear memory of the old land. This homesickness has been acute in the first couple of years but worn off somewhat after that – what with new careers, families, and homes. But it starts again at about 15 years and they decide to go back and see the old place.
They plan to make a big trip and see everywhere they used to live – and possibly everyone they used to know. The get on the plane or ship and float on water or air to the old home country. And are horrified to find that it is not there.
Oh, the dirt is still there, and in the case of a lot of places it has crawled halfway up the buildings…but the society and people and nation has so changed from what it was that they are strangers in a wasteland. Worse – if there has been a war go through the place – or a spate of developers – even the buildings they knew do not exist.
Their old friends are dead, or older, and do not have the last 15 years of shared memories to talk over. Only the past – and that can be as dead as the dust. They run out of conversation in 5 minutes. Even if the old language is the same, the speakers are not talking to them.
This is the thought that I took back to the UK when I visited in 1995 – from having once lived in the place in 1973. It was just that way, though there were plenty of tourist activities in which to immerse myself. Would I get any benefit from another visit? Yes, if my current interests could be pursued – the UK is a nice place.
Canada or the USA for me? After 52 years? There’s a big question. An expensive one to answer, too – especially with the fear that seeing my youth gone would age me more. I can do that right now at local prices and wearing comfortable clothes.
Or in this case, what do you do after someone makes a particularly inappropriate political posting on a social media site?
Conventional manners suggest that you just ignore it. Sex, politics, and religion being the topics that are socially awkward at parties, they are avoided by the polite. But social media is sometimes occupied by the less-than-polite. The horrifying thing is when you discover that someone you invited as a Facebook friend was willing to bring crass propaganda posts in and plaster them up. it’s like seeing fascist or communist banners unfurled at a cocktail party.
I may have done the wrong thing in the heat of the moment by responding with a comment that jeered at the propaganda. This might result in the original poster taking umbrage and cutting the connection. Awkward – it is a person I will see in the future at social events. I predict chilly atmospheres a’coming.
Well, so be it. I need no preaching or teaching from the marxists or the fascists. I can lead my own social revolution with the BGA. We do not march in the streets but we do lurk on street corners and spit into the gutter.
As you will haff noticed, my name iss a Teutonic one. It iss from the Tyrol where my Grossvater has come. He wass in Amerika from many years and I am here in Australia until now. So I haff a connection to the Old Country…in fact to several old countries.
I wish to address the libel that iss promoted that Germans haff no sense of humour. This has been the standard of jokes throughout the Western world since 1914. The Eastern world iss too serious for this sort of thing – they regard the German nations as carousels of comedy.
The libel iss false! Ve haff as strong a sense of humour as anyone. The fact that we do not haff a native Mr. Bean does not bar us from appreciating him, though ve would not vish that he was a German or Austrian citizen. After Brexit this will be less of a danger.
Ve haff many jokes – you must look up back copies of ” Simplicimus ” to see this and there are amusing cartoons of the German Imperial general staff there as well. Wise people do not laugh at them in public, however.
Vee also participate in ze jokes that ask how many people are required to screw in light bulbs. But we know the secret that they are not screw-based bulbs. They are bayonet -based bulbs, and if zere iss one thing that a German iss good vith it iss a bayonet. Zat iss why ve only need one person.
And ve are as ready as anyone to laugh at ze Amerikan President. It iss fashionable and makes us look better by comparison. Ze fact that we were not fast enough to erect a border wall around Deutschland in the last couple of years to prevent the sort of thing that he complains of iss neither here not there – but ve are not laughing quite so hard about zis.
If you vant people who haff no sense of humour, try the Swedes.
I see a comic artist has seen fit to resurrect the legend of the smallpox blanket as a comic piece in his daily strip. The strip veers occasionally to a biased and politically correct scolding thing, rather than a chuckle, but did make me wonder if there was any truth in the matter.
It turns out that there was – and it was the British military who thought to try the trick on the American Indians back in the 18th century at Fort Pitt. There is some controversy as to whether it actually worked.
In the 19th century there are stories about the trick being tried again, but again, there is little evidence that it was the actual cause of devastation. Devastation did occur, but the transmission means seems to have been accidental rather than deliberate. Not that it was for want of trying, but it just didn’t work out that way. Go google up the wiki articles and then follow the reportage trail and see for yourselves. If you are biased, you won’t see very far, but do look anyway.
Then I tried to trace the question of whether syphilis had been dropped on the Old World by sailors returning from the New World in the late 15th century. There’s been a scientific fight – probably fueled by nationalism and racialism – about that for some time, but the thought that it was a Western hemispherical disease that spread east seems to be gaining the upper hand.
And then there is the thing about HIV virus coming out of Africa, but not through the agency of any shadowy CIA conspiracy – by the simple process of sex with the natives.
So perhaps the score cards are even. But still…handle them with gloves…