Striking Out

Determined to get my shit together this time around, I’ve started listing my lists: the shopping lists, the to-do lists, and the list of things I wouldn’t even do for money. This latter includes such diverse items as talking to beautiful strangers on the school bus and voting Conservative: at present there are more of the former than there are on the list of unelected Conservative Prime Ministers, but all that could change. I’ve a list of unlikely events which affect the balance in unexpected ways: temporal anomalies and popular uprisings on the left or right are near the top, but waking up and finding it was all a dream has to be in there. I’ve a list of years I’d be fine waking up in: 1977’s at the top – who needs to talk to beautiful strangers anyway? – and not one year from the 80s features. Naturally, there are lists based on homonyms and homophones: the list of small boats listing in the harbour in the wake of a departing liner, and the list of unusual facts about Franz Liszt, who had so many requests for locks of his hair that he bought a dog and sent clippings to besotted admirers. The analyst says that this is all well and good, but I really need to get my shit together. My list of displacement activities is, though I say it myself, impressive. I’m working on a list of dog breeds with hair which could pass for unelected Conservative Prime Ministers, and a list of motor vehicles which could reasonably be expected to follow a DeLorean through time. A school bus comes higher up than you may at first think.




Oz Hardwick





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