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Are the Lunatics really running the Asylum?


Any sport, for me, consists of something that occasionally provides interruption to my life. I think growing up in a “team” possibly overrode any need to take part in any kind of team activity. I’m also seriously non-competitive. I can walk away from most activities even on the cusp of winning. I’m just not that bothered. Obviously it means I can also watch a TV series and not watch the last episode, stop watching a film 5 minutes before the end or go to B&Q during a FIFA world cup final. It’s just the way I am.

So I’m beginning to get concerned. I’m probably not normal.


I can extend this thinking to the concept of celebrity, something that occasionally irritates me to bits. Celebrity seems to be something fed by the feeble which in turn stifles the good. My irritation, if left unchecked, is up there with news channel vox pop.(Vox populi is a Latin phrase that literally means "voice of the people"). Fortunately, in the scheme of things I don’t really care.

Here’s an example I’ll share. We all want our children to read. Christmas is a really good time to buy our children and grandchildren books. There’s some fabulous children’s authors writing brilliant kids books but you can guarantee a “celebrity” will bring out a book to sweep up some lovely lucre. Quality not required! We’re the daft ones. (Theodor Seuss Geisel, popularly known as Dr Seuss, wasn't a real doctor but he was a real writer)


I’m thinking about resuming my fortnightly gathering for just 90 minutes. Very good for our health. You must arrive with evidence of a negative Covid test, and strictly stick to groups of 11. Let’s limit this to two groups of 11 at any time. Periodically each group of 11 can have a big telly tubby hug; no masks, no hand washing, no social distancing required. While I’m about it lets get the press involved.

If I really did this I risk a £10,000 fine and being criticised for blatantly breaking the rules.

But if I was a celebrity footballer I’d get paid 5 times more for doing a very similar thing and so would every other participant involved. Wrong!


Are the lunatics really running the asylum? I’m beginning to imagine so.


But you, what’s your imagination like? Carefully imagine, if you can, the after effects of a mild scald. Not a blistering scald but almost. Hold that thought. Now feel that scald on your cheeks and on your shins and on the soles of your feet. For you carpenters out there I’m sure I could recreate this sensation by rubbing these areas with fine sandpaper until your skin was almost, but not quite, bleeding. Painful? Chemo side effect number 1.

Now this is more difficult. Take some of the same fine sandpaper and rub it on some very rusty steel making that very fine brown metallic dust. Gather up the dust and, with care, massage it into your mouth and gums. The taste is horrible. Chemo side effect number 2.

How about this. A bit more challenging. You have just finished a meal. You’re feeling sick. You’re just at that point of no return......it’s on the way up but if you stay perfectly still the sensation just might subside. Thankfully after about an hour it does. Chemo side effect number 3.

Now here's an easy one but a bit scary. Close your eyes really tight until you’re making a face like a baby eating lemon. Now open your eyes. If you can’t see anything at all for 5 or 6 seconds you’ve just experienced Chemo side effect number 4.

You know those nights when you feel you’ve hardly slept a wink. (Non somnolentus; did I make that up?) You actually contemplate counting sheep. You lie in the dark wide awake thinking you might as get up and bake a cake. Then about half an hour before you need to get up you fall into a reasonably satisfactory sleep. Chemo side effect number 5.

Now do this, imagine having 6 fortnightly chemotherapy sessions and each time experiencing Chemo side effect number, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Then imagine the prospect, with each session, of all these side effects getting worse. Now with supreme effort imagine your skin blistering, your gums bleeding, being sick after a meal, your eyes being painful, your vision blurry and never getting a satisfactory sleep. Feeling depressed? Chemo side effect number 6. (Fortunately I'm not at that point yet...….but I might get there yet!)

Of course there are many more nasty debilitating side effects these are just illustrative. Like a serving suggestion on a box of fish fingers.


And if you’ve got the time I can talk about the feelings you have when you realise that all this pain may still produce no gain. (Bleddy Hell I think that's a sport analogy).


I think that’s a topic for another day. A post that I may just call “Emotional Ordeal”.



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