I was reading this book the other day and (well a comic book actually in which the main character was a dog in a raincoat that ended up running from both the police and a hitman-dog in a black suite that smoked cigars. Nice bit of action with pictures as well, what more could you ask for? This was Sam’s idea of an appropriate read on the plane to prepare his brain for coming to Oxford and then it became my getaway from pretending to read Joyce’s ‘A portrait of the artist as a young man’. Unfortunately it looks as if he has hidden the book somewhere and so I can’t give you its name but anyway) in it the dog type things were talking about how many interesting stories they had that could be told in an evening amongst friends. You know, like when you’re all sitting around talking about something and one of you quite casually, even though inside they’re screaming with delight for a chance to tell everyone this, says, ‘Yes I somethinged when I backpacked around Africa for three months.’
Or in my case I could say, ‘Yes I somethinged when I hitchhiked around south of France for two months with only two hundred pounds.’
See, I had to do it. I just couldn’t stop myself. When it comes to bragging about stuff we’ve done it seems we really can’t control ourselves at all.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine about this really really cold cottage that they once lived in. I stayed there for only one night in May and nearly died. By mid January her and her boyfriend both had severe colds and had to move out of their place to go and live with their friends or parents and only went in the cottage a couple of times to get some things. One would go in wearing clothes suitable for arctic adventurers while the other one would stand outside shouting, ‘talk to me, sing, sing with me come on. You fall sleep in there and you’ll die…talk to me.’
Considering all this I thought this must have been a time in my friend’s life that she would rather forget but to my utter surprise at the end of it she said, ‘Well at least we can always say, ‘That year when we lived in the cottage…’ So there you have it, she had nearly died of pneumonia but it was ok because now she could casually drop her year at the cottage into a conversation with someone and supposedly impress them!
I wonder if we would still do all the things we do now if we weren’t allowed to tell anyone about them.
For example, if you were given a choice between a whole day of bungee-jumping, sky-diving and swimming with sharks or sitting on a very comfy sofa with baggies on, eating ice-cream and watching videos and either way no one would ever know anything about any of it, what would you choose? Be honest.