Tuesday, 2 December 2008

From pollution to evolution

Today, we're going on an adventure. One of the little adventures that make up my daily life. Hopefully this'll be amusing, because now that I think on it, it is sort of funny.
My toilet broke last week. Wouldn't fill at all, I was chucking buckets into the cistern. Awward. However, some nice men came to fix it on Friday morning, which was good, but when I asked how they told me that they had, and I quote, the magic touch. Fine, I approve of magic and... touching... um...
But I did kind of want to know what they did, fearing this might happen again. Sure enough, Friday evening I notice that while my toilet was full, it was also filling constantly at a very slow pace.
At around about this point, I get a phonecall asking if I'd like to come to dinner, which was a very kind offer that I did little justice to by having a small drink and seriously believing I'd become the living embodiment of rock.
Saturday morning tried to freeze me as I wandered to my lonely little car, but I fought back and made it home. The fog was rather pretty on the way back. Stumbling in at 9 in the morning and preparing for a shower, I notice the slight hissing from the toilet.
Well, being a modern man, I'm going to have to learn to fend for myself, aren't I? And I'm a university graduate, after all, so I'm at least a little intelligent, surely something like highly skilled, highly paid labour in which I have no training shouldn't be difficult?
I discovered, that day, that I am no plumber. I should never, ever plumb. I should not, in fact, ever attempt anything more complicated than applying Toilet Duck to my porcelain throne.
Once I'd gone downstairs and turned the water off, stopping the gushing torrent that was spewing forth, I decided it was time to drive home, have a bit of a shout at the motorway and feel thoroughly embarassed.

But now the water's back, I have tea and I can attend to the giant pile of... washing up...
Damn it.

If you're in the mood for something a little more in the style of the normal blog,
I seem to have scrawled this while sitting in the Parish last Wednesday. That's a good place for writing in, I think.
You get a unique view of the world from behind a desk. Everything's so much more... ordered. More structured. It makes me think about people a little, I suppose.
Animals. Animals had a pretty good plan. Carry on beneficial traits through selective breeding, carry on living a pretty relaxed existence. They build themselves up to be good at eating plants or animals or people or whatever, then they just roll with it. They know what they're going to be doing from birth, there's the plan right there, there's no thought about what their career aspirations are, what their long term goals are. No. There's the next meal and avoiding predators.
But not people.
In many, many ways, civilisation is the best thing that could have happened to us. We've got medicine and writing and Vodaphone. Thing is, it's made us all completely insane. You're an animal and you're hungry. If you're wild, you hunt or forage. Domesticated, you shout at your owner. People, though, we question it:
And I really that hungry?
What am I in the mood to eat?
Can I be bothered to cook?
Do I have enough calories left today?
We question our most base instincts. I don't think we're too far off of managing to get rid of (or at least suppress) instinct altogether. I mean, it's actually sort of doable with a little mental effort. People go on diets, take vows of celibacy, all sorts of stuff and they actually feel stronger for it. They feel more powerful, morally superior, more... alive for having made that effort. It's like humanity lends itself toward masochism.
We've got all this technology and all these little habits that block out those little signals that come from your head. I don't know how good that is, really. I mean, I'm all for self control and maturity, but maybe it's actually good for you to cut loose every once in a while and just... live life in the way your body was built for. Maybe overindulge every once in a while, laugh a little too hard at something that wasn't really that funny, lounge around and stare at the ceiling for the sheer, unadultered hell of it.
I've stopped listening to a lot of my old inhibitions from back in my college days. It's been terribly liberating.

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