A question I get asked a lot: ‘What was your degree in again?’
I don’t have a degree; I’m not a graduate. I’m as thick as a plank. I did badly at school, worse at university, and dropped out as soon as I could summon the courage. Then I moved to London with two friends, a sleeping bag and a guitar and didn’t look back.
My lack of academic prowess is masked effectively by the fact that I am a compulsive reader. I read everything. I don’t remember much of it, but gradually, in the same way that cliff faces are formed by the steady assault of ocean waves, I start to do a convincing impression of an intelligent person.
It works in my favour, but it’s not the real thing. To illustrate the depth of my Homer Simpson stupidity:
The company Carex sells two types of handwash. One is a plastic container of handwash gel with a dispenser pump. The other, on the right, is a refill bottle. The refill bottle is about 50p cheaper, but has no dispenser pump.
Here’s what I did with Carex containers for most of my domesticated adult life until remarkably recently: I would buy a refill bottle, and pour the contents from the refill bottle into the old, empty container with the dispenser pump. It takes ages, handwash gel flows so slowly!
I had an epiphany just a few months ago: ‘Wait, why don’t I just screw the dispenser pump into the refill bottle?’
I’m the smartest guy you know. But I’m unedumacated. I think it’s time to put that right. I intend to get myself a degree from the Open University, in the career-accelerating discipline of English Literature. I start in February, wish me luck, I’m going to need it.
The arts – not so much a way to make a living, more a way to make a living worthwhile.