Ed suggested: Grab a book, any book. Open at random. List the first five words or phrases that are suitable for opinionating on. Opinionate on them.
The closest book to hand was The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, quite simply the funniest, cleverest and yet silliest book ever written. I opened it – randomly! - at chapter 23, which is a short chapter explaining the world from the point of view of dolphins. Obviously. From it, I’ve picked the following five topics: the wheel, New York, the impending destruction of the planet Earth, football, and mice. Let’s see what comes out, right? If it’s crap – blame Ed. It was his idea.
The wheel: I’m all in favour of the wheel. My car has 6, including steering and spare, and my hamster used to exercise in one before it died (it has exercised less frequently since then). Big Wheels at funfairs are always good, and – on that note – I do love the song that goes “big wheels keep on turning…”. Wheel of Fortune was always good when
skiving off sick from school. Yes, I think I can honestly say I’m glad they invented the wheel. I can’t think of anything negative to say about it.
This is a good start: my opinions are occasionally positive!
New York: I heart NY, I really do. I went there last summer and I could honestly live there. I’m a city person, but until I went to New York, my opinion of cities was pretty much based on Glasgow. Going to NYC was, for a city person, what it must be like for a caffeine addict tasting a double tall capuccino for the first time after a lifetime of instant coffee. When I arrived, I did what most tourists do on stepping out on to a New York sidewalk for the first time – I looked up. NYC is tall. Very tall. And loud – the hustle and bustle of New Yorkers and tourists is heavily punctuated with the honking of dozens of horns at any given time, despite the incredibly stern-looking NO HONKING signs all over the place. A ride in a yellow cab is a must: it’s pricey compared with the Metro, but it’s worth the extra money for sheer entertainment value. Like a rollercoaster crossed with dodgems, only with honking, swearing, and a driver whose name contains 14 consonants and no vowels whatsoever. Plus, the cabs are air-conditioned – New York is warm and sticky in the summer, and the heat and smell of the subway cling to you like a cobweb does when you’ve accidentally walked into one. Ohhh – and the bagels and coffee are out of this world – as is the Brooklyn Bridge at night. You can see the famous Manhattan skyline like in the opening credits of Friends - and, if you have friends like mine who are in the know about such things, you can go see the actual apartment building from Friends!
The impending destruction of the planet Earth: Whatever. I get irritated by Green People who tell me I’m killing the earth by spraying something to get rid of the smell of cat before the landlady visits. I know it would make a difference if everybody stopped spraying things and everybody recycled, but is everybody going to? No. So why should I suffer bad smells, walk 5 miles in the rain when I’ve got a car, and deprive my shopping of carrier bags, while the majority of people enjoy said luxuries and the planet continues to die anyway? There are more immediate problems (than the death of the planet, yes, I realise how ignorant this sounds now that I’m seeing it written down) to deal with, so why don’t you just carry on doing your bit for the environment, I’ll carry on doing mine (i.e. not polluting rivers, not burning down forests, not knowing what asbestos is etc.), and the earth will hopefully still be around by the time we croak it. If not, sure what odds? It’s not like it was ever going to be permanent. Sometimes you just have to accept the inevitable. Let it go.
Football: Sexy guys run around a big field wearing shorts and sweating a lot. They kick a ball. Sometimes they spit, which is not nice to watch. Less sexy guys sit in front of their televisions yelling at afore-mentioned footballers (who CANNOT HEAR YOU). They also sweat a lot, mainly because they’re overweight, unfit, and in a cosy house with the central heating cranked up, as opposed to on a field in the rain. Football is a kids’ game for the playground, or a fun pastime for adults in the park. It is not a subject for endless debate and tactical discussion, and does not deserve to tie up billions of pounds of our country’s economy. Harsh? Tell the homeless guy or the starving child how much Beckham (or latest footballing ‘genius’, whoever he may be) was sold for. Does it make sense? Pah. I repeat, pah.
Mice: Creepy wee critters, but harmless. McLovely amused me greatly last night by informing me, with genuine concern, about a new breed of supermouse that has invaded his house. He keeps some traps in a cupboard in the utility room, and one has vanished, leaving behind only a confusing smear of blood. The only possible explanation is that the mouse has entered the cupboard via a very small hole at the back, the trap has snapped shut on its tail, and it has bravely dragged itself along the shelf, pushed open the cupboard door, jumped out, shut the door behind it and gone off to warn its family about the Cupboard of Death – with the trap still attached to its tail!!! McLovely is indignant. “I mean, how on earth did it open the door, never mind drag the trap behind it?!” he kept demanding crossly. I just thought I’d take this opportunity to warn readers of this new breed of mouse. Maybe they have superpowers, I don’t know. Just be on your guard; take some kind of preventative measures. Get a cat. Avoid cheese. These are just a few helpful suggestions. Whatever you do, just be aware that they’re out there.
I don’t know if you noticed, but I was in a very good mood at the start of this post, left it for a few hours after the New York bit, got quite depressed in the meantime, started to write, and was fairly stable by the time I finished. Writing is so theraputic. It’s unfortunate for the “Earth” and “Football” categories, but sometimes you just have to rant.
Well, that was fun. I speak for myself, of course.