…in which I take a vow of silence
….for a morning…
Last night I watched an episode of [H]ouse, where the patient has Munchausen’s syndrome. For once, House is slow on the uptake. It’s Cameron that spots the suspect behaviour of the patient: chasing diagnoses; agreeing and inviting invasive procedures; multiple doctors; multiple hospitals, manipulative personality….
All this got me into diagnostician mode and I had a long hard look at myself. I managed to whittle it down. I’m not a chimera; I do not have (non-existent) mirror syndrome; I am not harbouring a secret identity, medical past or agenda.
I decided this when I woke up and couldn’t speak. So I thought I’d better not keep trying. I wondered how the school run would go – but the kids started whispering too, so it was pretty slick and silent.
Then I went to ASDA and realized that I must generally think of witty quips that I spontaneously share with my fellow shoppers as my own silence was putting me off – I mean – the main purpose of the trip was to buy a batch of weightwatchers frozen dinners to offset the lack of training going on due to the laryngitis.
And I forgot to buy them.
I managed to spend £65 on lots of fresh fruit, peppered smoked mackerel and wholegrain breakfast cereal and various other low fat high protein things in subconscious response to my new pullup advisor who also did a “If it tastes good, spit it out” YouTube film which was gross but inspiring nevertheless. I never want to see another Pringle.
So, my morning of silence – what did I learn? Well, ASDA have just put in a new batch of self service checkouts that you can even take your trolley through. (For transatlantic readers, do not worry. A trolley is, what I believe is known as a “cart” on your side of the pond. And a trolley over where you are is what we call a “bus” here. Don’t fret. I was not driving a bus through the self-serve checkout!)
So that was great – no need for human contact! But then I thought – oh no – automation is ruining society and taking jobs from people! Then I had a sudden flashback to India – where I once bought a coke from a coke stand.
There were two men working there. You paid one man for a ticket. You gave the ticket to the other man and he gave you a coke. Inefficient, certainly – but two people had a job. If it was here, you’d have a vending machine and two unemployed guys.
The other lesson I suppose was to do with shouting at children to make them get ready faster. Today I just gesticulated and whispered and we were ahead of time without the general counting down, yelling of “TEETH” and suchlike.
The last lesson is that I REALLY like talking. I should listen more. But I REALLY like talking.
So after lunch, I did a lot of that.