40 Years of Bemusement

Published on 20 March 2023 at 19:09

I am Matt in name and bemusement's the game. I'm roughly half way (I'm guessing) down my unpredictable descent to the Grim Reaper's death shed but my life sled is navigating my small gauntlet of Jim Bobbin' craziness and I'm losing my grip.


We don't drive the sled, it drives us. And we certainly aren't in charge of the steepness of the slope.


I know we all have the craziness; the families and friends; the relationships; life goals; our purpose; are we where we're meant to be; our place in the big picture; the natural and for some the supernatural; how we came to be – you know the general morning wonderings over our 7:30am coffee and Cheerios.


Well I seem to have arrived, like so many other bemused early middle-aged folk, at that point where I'm actually taking a bit of notice and foolishly trying to organise it (and understand it). And just when you think you've got all your ducks in a line – KABLAMMOO!!! - 4 quackers violently explode splattering your face with stinky duck guts. Leaving the other 3 limping away to regroup.



“It's the fun of life, the not knowing”, some life-weary clown will mundanely pronounce more than a few times in your life – usually in the White Hart spending the last of his rent money on a triple Bacardi and a squashed packet of Smoky Bacon.


Perhaps the greater fun actually IS knowing. Just as we know that our wise friend dry humping the bar stool dishing out filthy fridge magnet nonsense, has most likely used up his free passes and is going to stumble in the front door to be met by a vicious rendition of that classic Dolly number D.I.V.O . . . .


The bottom line is – we don't know. We just try and manage our baggage the best way we can. I don't suppose it matters if we don't understand it as long as we can contain it. And we probably use way too much energy trying to fathom the unfathomable. That's why bed at 10 often seems like a good idea.


"Honest waffle weaved from the heart"


Anyway maybe I'm just on the fringes of a mid-life crisis, not entirely sure as I've never had one but I certainly feel a twinge of self evolution. I feel more rounded even though I am no closer to finding out just what the holy hell is happening.


I have discovered, that as much as I'm generally an outsider, a watcher and waiter, I do seem to like to express my opinion but only if I've felt that it is valued or indeed necessary. So I suppose writing - or more like trialling - this blog is a way of getting my thoughts out there whether they're valued or not. People can take them or leave them.


I can specialise in waffle. Waffle it may be but it's honest waffle weaved from the heart. I know that some do enjoy my random tangents, the unpredictability of my out-loud thinking. Are they always worth the wait, cleverly thought out and educational? Of course not – even I don't know what will stumble out until it's out breathing our polluted air and trying to make sense of world just like the rest of us.



I don't claim to enlighten people with revolutionary ideas and opinions, I just think I need a place to express, to sound off, and maybe give you something to read while you're waiting for the supermarket self-scan to be free.


I remember when the self-scans first came out. There was uproar - “They'll take our jobs!” Sainsbury's very own coleslaw stained Carol would cry, during the latter stages of her 9th fag break, extinguishing the butt of her latest B&H, as tan-blasted, dinghy-lipped Tina would nod in unsure agreement and perhaps subtle hope.


“What are they getting paid for then if we have to scan and pack our kale and Wine Gums ourselves?” pensioners would quietly riot in the aisles. Scunthorpe Tesco had to beef up security at one point (generally two ex Toys 'R' Us security guards who were old enough to be the rioting pensioner's parents that struggled with opening Digestives and understanding newly released swear words that fell out of their grandkid's faces).


A few years on, and you watch self assured men fondling self-scans now; scanning with smoothness and grace, displaying a rhythm exerting effortless expertise. Oh my, they're revered like peak perky Madonna. The feeling of being able to dispatch your entire basket without the painfully uninterested assistant having to bail you out, is remarkably satisfying.


"Pensioners would quietly riot in the aisles"


And, if you can use the 'find an item' section without hearing a tut from over your shoulder, or the holy grail of successfully typing a barcode number in because those pissing raisins won't bloody scan for the umpteenth time, well, that rivals the feeling of watching your first child enter the realm (I don't have kids you may have gathered but I reckon I'm on the right lines).


I may never get my head around what we're all doing here, and we may have to accept that a lot of us are ruled by bemusement. It's probably best to be like the others and not think too much.


To be fair, I think what bemuses me the most is the way people just don't have time for anyone anymore. Sod thy neighbour. The wholesome attitude of 'Ar just f**kin tell 'em me, ar don't geea f**k.' That's the issue, maybe we should give at least a couple. I come from a time where we mostly did look after each other but now it's going. . . going. . . gone.


Maybe one day, when I'm rioting in the aisles in a VR Tescos, it will make a triumphant return.

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