Friday 20 December 2019

The Safety Shelf

You know how it is, fellas.  You've met a great girl.  Second date, third date, and you go back to her place.  There are buy-signals, but you want to remain respectful.  You've had a few drinks, but no way are you drunk.  You've just eased the tensions and are getting on really well.  In short, you're both looking forward to the fumbling.

She opens the front door, drops her keys - does that mean she's more drunk than you, or just more nervous?  She's just gone to open some wine.  You're temporarily alone.

This is the moment that you spring, nay leap, to check her CDs, blu-rays and books.  Will it be Katy Perry, Now That's What I Call Music and auto-tune merchants?  Sex in the City - 1 and 2, Maid in Manhattan, Leap Year?  On the bookshelf, tomes with airbrush soft-as-snow-porn art on the cover by authors you've never heard of: Sarah J Maas, Bethany Griffin, Cindy Flores Martinez?

If so, your heart sinks and you plan an exit strategy.  You know that, however much you think she's the one, you'll have to co-exist with a TV and cinematic diet of a gay friend that works in publishing, with an over-bearing mother, a back-stabbing boss, and a significant birthday coming up necessitating a trip to Europe.  On hard repeat, even if the faces and names change.  She'll probably expect to watch it in her PJs.  Or, worse, a onesie.

You're not asking for there to be, I don't know, Anna Meredith, obscure Paisley Underground and Lenny Kaye's NuggetsTale of Tales or The Lobster or Garth Merenghi.  Maybe just some Radiohead and Chris Nolan to show that there's common ground, a zone of potential agreement.  Some Stephen King in amongst the Helen Fielding.  '2084' by your truly would be nice, but highly unusual - I see the sales figures.

At least that's how the world used to work.  It was called the 'safety shelf'.

But now?  It's all on the cloud, via apps, viewed on a tablet, listened to on a phone.  How far into a relationship do you have to get before you discover your future is more Nicolas Sparks than Werner Herzog?  How deep do you have to wade?  How close to drowning do you need to come?

I agree with the reactionaries.  The modern world is just so much more dangerous than it ever used to be.

2084 by [Bagnall, Robert]

Thursday 12 December 2019

How many sleeps to go?

Before then: An advent calendar, how nice.

Then:  Ah, this one's called a 'chocolate advent calendar'.  It has chocolates in it every time you open a window.  Just so you know its different.

Now: It says it's an advent calendar.  Where's the bloody chocolate?

Progress, huh?