Sunday, May 14, 2006

Idiot Slow Down 

“Here are two opposing statements,” said Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader on Friday. “Which applies most to you?”
She had her serious face on, the one she wears after a morning spent nose deep in Self-Help For Needy Managers books. We downed keyboards and listened.
“One: ‘If in doubt, don’t do it.’ And Two: ‘If in doubt, do it.’”

The room fell quiet. Time slowed to a crawl.
I could see Terry’s hand twitching to reach for his dictionary, his instinctive reaction to nearly everything these days.
Mike let out a silent one and kept glancing at his screen to check how The Sims were progressing without him. Entire civilisations were flourishing.
I stared out of the window. Neil, my former team leader, was zig-zagging back and forth around the grounds, arms outstretched, a grown man impersonating a child impersonating an aeroplane. He looped the loop then crash landed on the croquet lawn, picked himself up, looped the loop, crashed, looped, crashed, and so on.
"They ask me where the hell I’m going, at a thousand feet per second? Hey Man, slow down."
He was wearing one of those counter-Naomi Klein T-shirts. In bold capitals across his chest it read “No Libido.”

I suspect it wasn’t quite the stimulating debate Stella had had in mind.
I coughed and said “Number one. Most of the time, anyway.”
“Thank you Tim. Anybody else?”
Tabs, who was walking past our room with an armful of photocopying shouted “Two!”

“Because if you don’t do it now,” I continued, “you can always do it later. But if you do it and then realise it was rubbish, you can’t go back and not have done it.”

Tabs put her head around the door and said that when you keep putting things off until later, you’re never able to re-create the original moment that inspired you to think of it in the first place.
“So everything you do can, at best, only ever be a pale imitation of what you might have done if you’d had the balls.”
I don’t know if she was taking a swipe at someone, but it felt like it.
“And chances are,” she went on, “you’ll just do nothing anyway.”

“I agree with what Tabs says,” said Terry. I think it may have been him.

Mike said “Are you all on fucking drugs?” and returned to knocking streets and towns and lives down in earnest. Then the dinner bell rang and you couldn’t see him for dust.

It was kind of Radiohead to come and play for Girlfriend’s birthday at the Empress Ballroom, Blackpool later that evening. Our friend Steve came along too and it was great to see everybody together again.

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