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Sunday 3rd August 2003

My CNPS score has gone to pot. I don't know what's happening to me. I am well off form.
In the first two months since I got back from Australia I moved on a hundred numbers, but in the last thirty days I have managed a paltry eight.
There have been single days when I've managed more than that.
And July is the month that the CNPS Committee choose the participants for the forthcoming CNPS Olympics (it's held every four years, but only because a game of CNPS takes four years to complete).
Now I'm the first to admit that getting fifty numbers in a month is a bit sad. It clearly shows an unhealthy devotion to the game. In the past doctors argued that playing CNPS would make you blind, but they now acknowledge this will only happen to those who CNPS to excess.
In May and June I was possibly a bit obsessed with the game, partly driven by the competition with my friend Emma, partly because I was hoping to finish the game before my fortieth birthday and partly because I am a sad idiot with no friends or social life, to whom an afternoon jogging round the streets of Balham looking at number-plates was seen as quality leisure time.
So is the pitiful display in July an indication that I've turned a corner, that I have, as an idiot might put it "got a life"?
I fear not.
I fear I have fared so badly precisely because I have spent so much time indoors (where there generally are no cars - remember photos and film do not count).
In fact I am suffering so much from number-plate ennui, that even though I know there is a 214 in the very next street to mine, I have not taken the two minute walk to go and look at it.
I must return to the streets where I belong and renew my love affair with the small strips of metal found at the front and back of all licensed vehicles (registered before 2001).
Who knows I may meet my future wife out there, a beautiful and intelligent woman, who is also interested in looking at number-plates in a consecutive fashion.
Though thinking about it, this is very unlikely.

But wasn't it Samuel Johnson who said, "A man who is tired of looking at number plates and trying to see all the numbers there are, in order, is tired of life."

Perhaps it is time to kill myself.

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