I’ve pretended to be stupid for so long that I no longer have to pretend.
I think I used to be clever, though it might be my stupid brain tricking me into believing that, but early on I started pretending not to be. But I started pretending to be stupid in the name of entertainment and whatever you say you are that’s what people think you are (this is usually how clever people trick you into believing they are clever - generally they are not, they have just realised that most people doubt themselves so they can use that to their advantage).
And then gradually over the next thirty years, like the guy who pretended to be mad in Colditz (thanks to whoever it was who said this on Twitter), I actually became stupid.
I wonder if I can reinvent myself as clever again, or if my love of making jokes about bodily functions means that there is no chance of me slipping into the echelons of the intelligentsia, even as a fraud.
The clever me is in there somewhere and maybe he pops out every now and again and maybe that’s more of a surprise and thus more effecting when it happens.
My brain only has a few decades left as a functioning organ (and it’s likely that after two or three decades it will be operating on an even lower level than it does now). And the journey that led to its existence took exploding suns and billions of years and impossible luck (so impossible that I am fairly certain that I am a fictional character who only believes he exists because that is how he was programmed). Perhaps I should respect my brain a bit more before it returns to being a useless mulch.
Or perhaps using my brain for childish jokes and subversion is actually the greatest use of all.
It’s amazing to have access to this organic computer for as long as I’ve had it and I can only apologise to it that I have used it for such flimsy purpose. But I am not even in the top half of brain wasters, so don’t feel too bad.
But it might be nice to be clever again. Just to know the facts I did when I was 16. Maybe there’s time. Or maybe I will just keep wiping bums and play Wheel of Fortune on my iPhone.
Today I became the bloke behind someone at Waitrose and if the old lady who was in front of me has her own self-obsessive topical podcast then I suspect there will be a sketch about me in it this week. I was trying to negotiate my trolley into a position where I could empty its contents and keep an eye on my daughter sitting up in the little seat (and how I envy her being in there - I remember loving riding in the supermarket trolley and that first pang of existential dread when it was decided I was too big to do so - I was 28 years old when that happened). The woman was standing parallel with the back or her shopping, her trolley in front of her, waiting for the person ahead to move on.
I misjudged the space I had to operate in and bumped into her. Maybe a tiny bit harder than very softly. I may then have bumped into her again as I tried to extract myself. But it all happened very quickly because I was all set to apologise for my clumsiness, but before I could she rather snootily told me that I wasn’t able to rush her along and that I’d have to wait until there was space to put my items on the conveyor belt.
I tried to tell her that it had been an accident and that I was ready to apologise, but she just reiterated her position. I mean it may not be a surprise to find a posh person in a Waitrose in Hertfordshire, but I found it annoying that she didn’t even give me a chance or a second chance just to say sorry. I was at fault (though she was standing a bit further back than technically necessary, but I don’t want to get into victim blaming), but a raised eyebrow and an acceptance of my apology (assuming it was to come) would be more than enough.
Look I’ve got a small child and if you’d bothered to look at the bags around my eyes then you’d have known I had a less than two week old kid at home keeping me awake at night. Of course I am going to bump into things and of course I know how supermarkets work.
I thought about chastising her, but just weakly defended myself and let her go smugly on her way. Can’t wait to see her POV on this.
A remarkable final RHLSTP of series 11 with Sara Pascoe is now up here
vimeo - https://vimeo.com/238633686
itunes - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/richard-herrings-video-leicester/id922855595?mt=2
But don’t worry. Series 12 starts broadcasting next Wednesday. It’s almost like we planned this. We didn’t plan it.