Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Innocent abroad

I feel more and more like an innocent abroad. I potter through my very moderate and ordinary life while other people's behaviour seems to get wilder and wilder and increasingly incompre-hensible.

Here I am tootling off to work, getting the shopping, doing my daily walk round the block, watching TV and generally being a decent, upright citizen, while the world around me becomes one huge orgy of self-indulgence and lunacy.

Every day I'm reading of men snorting cocaine off their mistress's tits, millions being stashed in offshore tax havens, binge-drinkers collapsing in near-fatal stupors, day-trippers taking selfies on the edge of 200-foot cliffs, rock stars taking daily cocktails of mind-blowing drugs, people with tattoos from head to foot, and I feel like Tinker Bell.

I feel like the newbie at Big School. Or a tourist stumbling into a harem. Or a small boy finding his big sister's diary. Or a mountain hermit who's met nobody for 20 years. I reel in permanent shock at what others see as run-of-the-mill.

I'm hopelessly restrained and incapable of excess. I have a totally non-addictive personality. Moderation in all things describes me perfectly. I don't smoke, I don't take fun drugs, I drink very little, I don't over-eat, I don't gamble, I don't squander money, I have no debts. I'm disgustingly sensible.

I'm baffled by those who can't help but over-do it. And not just over-do it, but over-do it dramatically, vertiginously, obsessively. Taking selfies of every single moment, whether it's sitting on the toilet or picking their nose. Drinking entire bottles of whisky as if it's water. Taking a crowbar to their ex's Mercedes. Such single-mindedness, such ruthlessness.

Well, I suppose it takes all sorts. How suicidally boring life would be if we were all so cautious and abstemious and no one had the urge to snort cocaine off someone's tits. So carry on snorting, by all means.

28 comments:

Ursula said...

Dear Mr Sensible,

Considering that you mentioned "snorting cocaine off someone's tits" TWICE maybe you should dig deep into your own soul.

"Every day I'm reading of men snorting cocaine off their mistress's tits, millions being stashed in offshore tax havens, binge-drinkers collapsing in near-fatal stupors, day-trippers taking selfies on the edge of 200-foot cliffs, rock stars taking daily cocktails of mind-blowing drugs, people with tattoos from head to foot, and I feel like Tinker Bell." Dearest Tinkerbell, maybe you should change your reading material, or just skip the unpalatable.

Other than that, Nick, congratulations.

U



CheerfulMonk said...

I'm afraid Andy and I are too busy playing with our toys to worry about other people's hobbies. "The quality of our lives depends on how we focus our energy and our attention." What do you read that makes you happy?

Nick said...

Ursula: You never give up, do you? Despite all your caustic comments, there's something about my blog that fascinates you. You must know by now that digging deep into my soul is my number one occupation. And skipping the unpalatable is virtually impossible in this age of instant 24/7 media and internet coverage of everything on the planet. If I could find the off switch, I'd be very happy.

Nick said...

Jean: I read lots of things that make me happy - especially fiction as I can rest assured it's entirely made up and nothing I need worry about. Music makes me happy too, for the same reason.

John Gray said...

This blog was about excess
Ursula has shown an excess of rudeness and inappropriate challenges
Perhaps rudeness is just as bad as snorting coke off your wife's tits

Rose Blackthorn said...

As I get older, the less inclined I am to drama.

Don't need it, want it or can abide it.

Nick said...

John: Well said.

Rose: Like everything else, I enjoy a bit of drama in small doses.

tammy j said...

I think you're just a very sane and caring person in a maniacal world.
maybe it's just that our numbers are dwindling!
notice I add myself in your league. hope you don't mind. LOL.

Bijoux said...

We have a terrible heroin problem here in the suburbs. So many people of all ages are dying from it. I guess what astounds me is that it's a drug that my generation thought of as something for hardcore druggies and criminals, not high school Straight A students and bored housewives.

I don't get too riled up about people's addictions. Honestly, I think most people have one, whether it's as benign as chocolate, coffee or shopping, or something that has lasting effects, such as drugs, smoking, overeating, or porn usage that results in divorce or job loss (I know a couple that just went through this).

kylie said...

Dont kid yourself, Nick. The majority of us are just getting on with our lives without too much excess but ordinary doesnt make it into the papers, does it?

Ursula is rather more blunt than I am but I often agree with her. I have long struggled to grasp, exactly, what it is that makes us so morbidly fascinated.

Today I have an answer. Maybe not THE answer but one of them. You act like you are the only "Tinkerbell".
You think that everything about you is somehow more noteworthy in it's ordinariness than everyone else. Realistically, ordinary, average, middle of the road and forgettably normal are, well, the norm. You have no monopoly on any of it

Nick said...

Tammy: Thank you. I like to think I'm sane and caring, but I'm not sure I am. Probably mad as a box of snakes most of the time. And not half as caring as I could be either.

Bijoux: That's right, when I was young heroin was something very rarified and hardly anyone used it. Shocking that it's now so commonplace.

I know, addictions are two a penny and most people have several. But I'm really not addicted to anything, unless you count compulsive navel-gazing and gossiping.

Dave Martin said...

Like Kylie said, Nick, the mundane lives most of us lead aren't sexy or exciting enough to fill column inches in newspapers or glossy magazines, so because they only focus on these extremes it makes them seem disproportionately common.
Try not reading these things - it makes life feel much nicer and it stops you questioning yourself too much.

Nick said...

Kylie: Oh, I know I'm not the only Tinker Bell, far from it. I'm aware lots of people have very humdrum, uneventful lives, probably far more ordinary than my own in fact. I may not have addictions but I have plenty of odd quirks and foibles. And as you say, it's the totally crazy things that get in the media rather than the banal non-events.

Nick said...

Dave: Agreed, a lot of us lead very mundane lives. But I think the wild behaviour the media focuses on is very common as well. There have been several reports recently here in Northern Ireland of mobs of drunken students and even 12-year-old kids running riot and terrifying the locals. Drug use generally is a massive and highly profitable business. Likewise the weirder extremes of pornography.

And as I've said before, hard not to read about these things in this media-saturated age.

Maria said...

It is so sad to see people harm a healthy body, especially in young age. Italian proverb: "chi ha pane non ha denti, e chi ha denti non ha pane" (who have bread have no teeth; and who have teeth have no bread). I have lead the "perfect" healthy life; no drugs, no drinking, no smoking, healthy diet, no tattoos, lots of sport, etc...
Now all sorts of "drugs" are pushed into my already debilitated body.
We are young once so do not waste it. Greetings Maria x

Nick said...

Maria: Sorry to hear you're on all sorts of drugs. Luckily the only drug I take is for my blood pressure. Other than that, everything's in fairly good order.

I hadn't heard that saying. I think it means that other people have something you want but they can't use it or don't know how to use it? Like people who're young and fit are jeopardising their fitness with harmful habits? And the old wouldn't jeopardise their fitness but are less fit anyway? Very true.

Maria said...

Or look at it this way : When we are young and healthy we do not have time and money to enjoy life; then when we are old we have lots of time on our hands (and perhaps also the money) but now we do not have the health to enjoy it.

Nick said...

Maria: Very true! I'm glad I've done so much travelling while I had the chance. I've been to Canada, the States, Australia and all over Northern Italy. Even if I get seriously decrepit, I could still go on a cruise. My mother went on two cruises in her early nineties!

Rummuser said...

No thank you Nick. And welcome to the club. I get to read some of the stuff that you read about but not quite all of them. Certainly not the more exotic ones.

Nick said...

Ramana: I can't see you snorting cocaine somehow. Snorting with laughter perhaps. I know you uncover some pretty wild stories yourself, which you sometimes share in your posts.

Cro Magnon said...

I've just been looking at pictures of racegoers at Aintree. Jeeze what a bunch; they seem to cover most of your worries all in one place.

Nick said...

Cro: You're right. Just peeking at the Daily Mail photo gallery, some of them look pretty far gone! And with the strong winds, a lot of underwear unexpectedly on show!

Wisewebwoman said...

Wow Nick, I find you show a complete lack of compassion/understanding for the addicted personality. In this often sick and sorry world it is a form of escapism for many and then they can't get off the treadmill. There are so many reasons for it. Not least of which is childhood abuse of one kind or another. Unexpected wealth, aimlessness, lack of imagination. I could go on. I've dealt with many, all with different stories. All heartbreaking. Some dying in desperation, unable to stop.

Nothing to do with wealth or licking drugs off breasts. That is merely the symptom.

Dig a bit deeper, please before passing such Tinkerbell judgements.

XO
WWW

Nick said...

www: I didn't mean to be judgmental about addiction. I'm very aware of how hard it is to kick such an entrenched craving for something. I'm surprised I don't have at least one serious addiction, as most people do. I remember how my maternal granny was always hooked on cigarettes, even when she was in hospital dying from a heart attack. Sorry if I implied that an addiction was some sort of personal choice rather than a deep-rooted compulsion.

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

I was around in the '60's ... I went to all of the clubs in London and was never once offered a drug or funny fag !!! I guess you had to be looking for it. I think that I'm a little scared of all of the excess and shy away from it. I did smoke until i was 40 and then realised it might kill me so i stopped. i like a glass of wine but try not to overdo it and often give it up for a few months. As you said Nick, we are all different and the world would be an odd place if we were all the same. XXXX

Nick said...

Jacqueline: In my early twenties I got in with a crowd who took every drug they could find, but apart from a couple of joints and LSD tabs I was never seriously tempted by drugs. I also find that sort of excess too scary to engage in.

Ms Scarlet said...

I'm with Ms Roses. I've had my fill of drama.
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet: I don't mind occasional drama, it can be stimulating. But those people who create non-stop drama around everything that happens to them are utterly exhausting.