Friday, April 07, 2006

Such Great Heights 

I’ve been hard at it studying for my Sudoku ‘Level:Bastard’ exams. It’s making big demands on both time and brain, but I’m hoping it’ll pay off dividends in the long run. I think it’s been beneficial for me to do one thing every day with a logical explanation.

“I thought you’d given those up for Lent,” said Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, this lunchtime as I filled a sheet of A4 with random numbers written in a new notation I’ve stumbled upon called ‘up to nine dots in a square’. Well, it’s new to me anyway. You’ve probably been using it for days now.

“No,” I replied. “You’re thinking of the lady at the gates with the dreamy soft white baps.”
“What?” said Stella. “The sandwich lady has given up Sudoku for Lent?”
“No. I’ve given up the sandwich lady for Lent.”
“So what’s she given up then?”
“Buggered if I know. Drinking before teatime? Channel Five? Chasing cars? I’ve not seen her to ask.”
“Oh,” she said. “Right.”

She observed me quietly for a while with a puzzled expression on her face. Eventually she asked “So why do you still do Sudokus if you don’t have to?”
“Well, because…” and I couldn’t really think how to answer. “Just because.”
“That’s not very logical, is it?” she said triumphantly.
“I couldn’t care Leicestershire,” I replied, but she’d already wandered back to her office to count her cherry stones.

I returned to my page of sprawling dotted squares and tried to remember where I was up to. In my vaguely hallucinogenic state of sandwichlessness I saw Venn diagrams with measles, a spot the ball contest on a hopscotch grid, box headed children with faces full of freckles, town planning maps as drawn by four year olds, and SpongeBob SquarePants.
I reached a clearing in the tangled bramble strewn woodlands of my mind when I heard Stella distantly exclaiming “Nine!” by the rhododendron bushes and the rest, as they say, is wisteria.

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