Friday, July 21, 2006

High In The Morning 

““There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment,” according to the influential French footballer and photographer Thierry Henri Cartier Bresson,” I said in this morning’s team meeting.

I immediately felt tremendously clever and witty. It flew straight over everybody else’s heads, of course. Idiots. They stared at me like I’d farted.

Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, was giving a motivational talk on seizing the moment, not putting off until tomorrow what you can do today, and so forth.
“As the influential American philosopher Homer puts it,” she said, writing on the whiteboard as she did so, “Carpe Diem. Seize the doughnut.”
Mike and Terry fell about laughing, then Stella herself joined in too.
I didn’t, obviously, because my joke was far superior and had been completely wasted on them. The more I didn’t laugh, the more they did. It was almost as if the joke was on me.

“What’s brought this on?” I asked afterwards.
“Brought what on?”
“All this ‘Do it now. Seize the moment.’ And trying to be funny.”
“Nothing, Tim," said Stella. "I’m just a decisive, funny kind of person.”
“Oh,” I said, picking marmalade out of my elbow.
“My friend Becky says there’s never been a better time.”
“A better time for what?” I asked.
“Oh for God’s sake, Tim. You’re never happy until you’ve squeezed the joy out of everything by over-analysing it to death, are you?”

I finished off my toxic coffee-style drink, then pointed out that the ‘over’ in ‘over-analysing’ was tautological.
“If you analyse something to death,” I suggested, “then it’s a given that you’ve over-analysed.”

She didn’t have an answer for that.
I licked the marmalade off my finger nails, shook a constellation of toast crumbs off my shirt and returned to my desk, satisfied that the intellectual high ground was well and truly mine.

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