I did something I rarely do: I bought into my office’s lottery syndicate. The Euromillions jackpot was something like 120 million Euros.
My normal response to a lottery syndicate invitation is a glib remark about stupidity and taxation. But this time I had a vision of Monday morning: sitting at my desk, wondering where everyone was.
Just as well – We won! I just bought a four storey house in Hampstead, and a thirty foot yacht.
Ok, not in this world, but the episode of Horizon about infinity I watched a few days ago suggested there’s another planet much like this one, with a guy just like me, who really did win 120 million Euros, and now owns a house in Hampstead and a thirty foot yacht.
This idea is both comforting and alarming. If, in an infinite universe, everything that can happen must happen, there is also a world in which I lose 20 televised games of chess in a row to Wayne Rooney.
Suggs to be you
Suggs, the singer in Madness, was in the audience. Suggs is a bit of a hero of mine. I’ve loved Madness since I was a tiny child. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t welcomed Madness vibrating the air particles around me. I’m not the type to get starstruck, but I confess that once I’d spotted him, I checked up on what he was doing every few seconds.
And get this: he chain-smoked throughout the gig. I know! Madness. It’s against the law, right? Smoking is evil, and smokers are psychopathic killers. Anyone who smokes indoors deserves to be horse-whipped.
A security guard prowled around the audience, sniffing the air like a bloodhound at a crime scene, beady eyes swiveling towards anyone who had the temerity to lift their hands to their mouths.
But he didn’t see Suggs, who was barricaded by a circle of people eager to shake his hand.
After a few minutes of this, I couldn’t take my eyes off Suggs. What a guy! This middle aged bloke is about a thousand times cooler than all the kids in the room. He’s an icon, and he doesn’t give a toss about the smoking ban. What smoking ban?
Anyway. Towards the end of my friends’ band’s set, Suggs went to the bar and bought a round of drinks. Struggling to pick up several pints of beer at once, he tapped the bloodhound security guard on the shoulder, held out his cigarette and – I swear – mouthed ‘Hold this for me.’
The security bloodhand stood in open-mouthed amazement for a few moments, then whipped out paper and pen for an autograph.
Suggs is single-handedly winning the battle against the Man. And suddenly I felt ashamed of being, like everyone of my demographic, an obedient, submissive pussy.
I mean what I’m saying, I just have a sarcastic-sounding voice
I have to say that all the time. Earlier, when I said indoor smokers were evil, psycopathic killers, I was being sarcastic. It’s hard to detect sarcasm when you write it down, but if I’d said it out loud, you wouldn’t have missed it.
Do I have a sarcastic tone because I’m so frequently sarcastic, or am I so frequently sarcastic because my sarcastic tone demands it? The question is posed sincerely.
I went into a shop in my neighbourhood and bought something. While the transaction was lazily conducted, I had a nice chat with the lady who worked there. It was just me and her in the shop; we had a good natter about nothing at all.
It made me feel good, talking rubbish with a middle-aged (Turkish?) woman. I left the shop with my heart full of joy and goodwill and a sense of belonging. North west London is my home, and I enjoy sharing it with so many different people from all around the world.
London feels like the capital of the world to me; it’s a microcosm of humanity. Even after 11 years, it’s a thrill to be here. Nick Griffin wouldn’t understand. Imagine a diet where you subsisted on just one food group.
Anyway. My subconscious fucked me up within moments of leaving the shop. There was a guy walking straight towards me. There was room for us to pass each other without pausing, but here’s the thing: on the ground in front of me was a smeared pile of dog poop, and a pool of vomit; the combined effort of Friday night binge drinkers and Saturday morning dog walkers. An inconsiderate bunch both.
My subconscious clocked the guy, clocked the repulsive obstacles, and assertively placed my body on an evasive path from the latter, forcing the former to either stop or step through it.
I’d gone from being a good guy who chats easily to people and makes them laugh to being a guy who makes other guys walk through shit and puke instead of stopping for three seconds to let them past.