Tuesday, November 18, 2003

On the shoulders of giants…..

Martin Johnson, Richard Hill, Jonny Wilkinson et al, I salute you.

To all those (you know who you are) miserable, well balanced, (chip on each shoulder) myopic ‘anyone but the English’ brigade – did you see the way the boys did the job against France?

The final whistle went ……. the boys shook hands with the French and officials, then walked off as dignified as you like. Arrogant? Triumphalist? Snooty? – That was reserved for the previous day and the Australian team’s winning celebrations. You would have thought they had solved the meaning of life, the Universe and everything (42), the way they were cavorting.

Roll on Saturday……

Foibles and other fables…..

What’s your foible? Do you have any? Eating meal components in strict order of size…. Counting magpies, fluffing cushions again and again, or endlessly checking your fly-hole is done up…….

I have lots of them – half the time I’m on planet ‘Barmy’ – the rest, I’m orbiting it. All my life it’s been one long series of obsessive routinery. Avoiding cracks on pavements, arranging books in ABC order and the weirdest of my adolescent life – walking the mile long trip to school using the very same number of steps to get there - every day. God, the pressure! Sometimes, I would mess it up "Oh my God, I’m 15 yards away and I’ve only got 4 steps to get there"…

Pretty fatal really, just outside the School gates, doing a monster ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ combo. Worse still, banging in some small mincey steplets in order to hit the necessary step quota as I nonce past the School bully....

Once home from school, try a new challenge – how about getting down the stairs in our house in as few steps as possible. I’m going for a World record, doing it in 2 – can I do it? Stay calm, control breathing, grip banister and wall ….. and go, go ,go!!!
This attempt failed. Abandoned after my Dad had to dig me out of the electricity cupboard at the bottom of the stairs…..

Earliest foible? When I was a kid, every evening, before I got into bed, I would have to
1) make sure my door was shut, to keep maniacs out (check) –
2) look in the cupboard in the wall, for hidden, knife-wielding maniacs (check) –
3) then look under the bed, for sleeping maniacs (check) –
4) get into bed, and safety (check) –
5) then turn over the pillow (check) –
6) then cover my head with the eiderdown (check)…… and drift into sle….…

"Wait just a minute…… did I really check under the bed? Did I really do that? Because, if I didn’t, then this is the night, this is the night when Mr Stiletto and his very sharp knife is hiding there, waiting, ready to stab me through the mattress….. best check – just in case"

Of course, that doesn’t mean just checking under the bed – oh no…. the entire sequence has to start again, from the beginning…. Door shut (check) – look in cupboard (check)….
And what’s this rubbish about the amazing protective properties of an eiderdown. Outsmarting maniacs by employing the eiderdown gambit? …….. 1st maniac to 2nd maniac "I couldn’t touch him, he was too smart for me"
"My God, he didn’t cover himself from head to toe in eiderfluff did he? One day, one day we’ll crack that defence, and when we do"….

Nowadays, I’m much more sophisticated …… or am I?
My current obsession is making sure that things are square – like buildings. For instance, I’ll be talking to someone – and I notice a window frame behind them, unconsciously, I will manoeuvre myself so the frame lines up with the edge of a building outside - PHEW both are square, so that's all right then….

Hang on though, just bloody well hang on right there matey boy..... they could both be wonky? Sometimes, I even squint to give myself a more focused channel to look through. And all this whilst maintaining a mature conversation with ‘Johnny VIP’……….. plot-loss.

And when I do find out that either window frame or building is not square, I actually tell someone about it .......... basket case.

I’ve decided never to go to Pisa…….

No comments: