Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Turning And Turning In The Widening Gyre...

I have no idea why that title popped into my head. Something to do with circles perhaps. Or perhaps the drugs are causing excessive flashbacks to third year English. In any event, there’s a big prize on offer (and by ‘big’ I mean cheap) if you can tell me where it comes from.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth…

Last week at work, I happened to overhear a troubling conversation between two women, the gist of which surrounded the relative merits of a particular member of the opposite sex. Let me just stress at this point that I was hanging around the entrance to the ladies toilet not to eavesdrop but because there’s a notice board nearby and I desperately needed to brush up my knowledge of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 after a nasty altercation with a stapler. (If you think I look bad you should see the stapler!)

Anyway, the conversation included a lot of words that I couldn’t repeat in a family newspaper - let’s just group them together as ‘blank’ - and were being used to augment a story about an unfortunate man and his so-called inappropriate behaviour.

“The blanking blank just blanked off with her without blinking a blanking eyelid,” said woman no.1, clearly a tad upset. “And he took the blanking sports car that he said was our special blanking indulgence after we both turned 40 this year.”

“Sounds like a blanking mid life crisis if you ask me,” added woman no.2. “Blanking men have only got one blanking thing on their minds at that age.”

Damn right, I thought to myself. Top. Quality. Pizza.

The use of the words ‘mid’ and ‘life’ left me somewhat bewildered though since, as a healthy 42 year-old who plans to live until the age of 180, I could not see how it applied to my age group. Even the flippant use of the noun ‘crisis’ seemed dramatic in the extreme since I know this should only ever be used for situations involving incalculable distress or mortal peril. Like losing the remote control for the TV. Or getting a staple stuck in your ear. (Don’t ask.)

So I decided some in depth scientific research was required to discover whether this phenomenon was real or not. Then I decided that this would probably take a while so I asked a friend instead. As he tied the balding strands of his hair back into a ponytail he confirmed that yes, the condition is genuine but it’s absolutely nothing to be concerned about. At least I think this was what he said because it was a little hard to hear over the noise of all his gold neck chains clanging together.

Apparently what happens is this. A man wakes up one day and realises that he has devoted his life to doing something he hates. Let’s say he’s a banker. He worked hard to become a banker learning the difference between deposits and withdrawals and spending many a happy decade spouting inappropriate jokes – “I’d like to balance HER cash” - to his fellow banker chums. After turning down yet another loan application because the customer refused to give up a child as security, he decides enough is enough. He wants a completely different job. Something fun and exciting that involves drinking heavily and sitting around in his boxer shorts all day. In short, he wants to be a writer.

However, despite the obvious alcohol and fashion perks, there is a middle aged writer out there somewhere who has just discovered that HE wants to do something different. It’s all so easy for the readers, he thinks. They can put his writing aside and go play “piercing for dummies” with a stapler whenever they want. But I have to sit here and finish this blanking chapter so I can meet my blanking deadline. Why can’t I just write up something easy and repetitive? Like loan applications?

Experts have termed this syndrome the “vicious circle of life” but thankfully it’s something I won’t have to deal with for another fifty years or so. Plenty time then to get another tattoo. And grow my hair.


At 30/5/06 7:26 pm, Blogger DC said...


WB Yeats - The Second Coming

" ... the falcon cannot hear the falconer

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold

The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity

The blood dimmed tide is unleashed uopn the World

A big slothy thing sloths towards Bethlehem"

It's about War & warns that we never learn from the past.

Send me the " Special Prize " now please.

Top marks in English for DC methinks.



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