Just some random thoughts provoked by recent events. No, not
Eurozone crisis, or the fact that there are 7 billion of us now (although the
concept of ‘us’ is laughable in the context of the generally accepted 99-1
wealth split). And it’s not the absurd fact that Berlusconi was ever allowed to
hold any sort of political office (or any other office than that of a brothel
concierge). And so on, and so on. No, we all have our convictions and hopes in
these matters of global concern; they don’t always coincide and no amount of
preaching or arguing changes things. Maybe if I had the occasional chat with
Jesus, he’d make my putts drop, but I don’t, so He helps my playing partners to
beat me. Serves me right. Greece
So these random thoughts are on things of no significance to anyone. They serve the Beckettian purpose of helping me pass the time. ‘We always find something to give us the impression we exist’ says Estragon in Godot. So the more entertaining and stress-free that ‘something’ is, the better.
Such as the recent academic research that found that people born in August are:
a) less likely to get to the ‘better’ universities in the
, and UK
b) less comfortable in social situations.
The argument is that they’re the youngest in their particular academic year and therefore 12 months behind their classmates. What it adds up to is that you’re wasting your time reading this and, if you’re a ‘follower’, you shouldn’t be. Because I was born in August, which means that I’m congenitally thick, I don’t know words such as ‘congenitally’, and I’m hopeless when it comes to engaging others in social interactions. (On the other hand, I’m still 15 days more intelligent and sociable than my daughter, who was born even later in August than I was. Except in a different year.) (You see? That last remark was either a post-modern witticism on the nature of time and progeniture, or clear proof of my disjunction from coherent thought.) (It also gave me the chance to indulge my obvious predilection for parentheses.) (But I’ll stop that now.)
The only conclusion to be drawn from this which might have some positive value is that, if any of you are planning to have a baby, wait until January to make sure it’s born in September. I’m sure you’ll be able to find other things to do between now and then.
Random thought 2 was provoked by a FaceBook posting by my other daughter (who was born in April and is therefore much cleverer than I am – in fact, so clever that she managed to be born just 12 hours before the end of the tax year, which at the time earned me an income tax rebate). Anyway, she wrote that, the moment she hears a politician say ‘Let’s be clear about this’, she stops listening. Whereupon daughter 1 added that she has the same reaction when they begin sentences with ‘Look’. My own contribution was that, when they say ‘The fact is’ or, even worse ‘The fact of the matter is’, it’s a clear signal that what follows will be fiction. So, even given the huge intellectual distances separating us, it seems that we’re bound by quite close family traits
Speaking of family, here’s another aside which is an unashamed boast. One of my granddaughters has been chosen to have free tennis tuition at the All England Club (i.e.
weekend. She's the red dot in the picture. She’s 5 years old so I anticipate a seat in the Royal Box in, say,
2026 to see her lift the trophy. I shall, of course, encourage her parents to
be ruthless in forcing her to practise, give up school, pleasures, TV,
boyfriends. She’ll be made to eat healthy food which tastes like cardboard, rise at 5 am to get her conditioning right and run
several miles before breakfast and after dinner each day. And I’m looking
forward with great eagerness to the day when she’ll be sponsored by
manufacturers of tennis shoes who pay workers in the Far East 25 cents a month
so that they have the necessary millions to spare on stars. Quite right, too.
Enough randomness. I was going to go on about those incomprehensible souls who think ‘Second Place is just the first loser’ (Dale Earnhart) or commentators like the British guy describing a race in the world rowing championships who, when a British crew won, went all orgasmic, screaming ‘They don’t do bronze, they don’t do silver, they only do gold’. I’m not sure what he said when he had to call home British crews who did ‘do’ silver or bronze. Still, as Beckett (again) said ‘You're on Earth. There's no cure for that’.