The Year of Living Dangerously

11/Jan/2008

Sign in the paper shop window:

FOR SALE – ANTIQUE COMPUTER DESK.

. . .

Fun With Amazon Rankings

DR G:  Oh my god. You're NUMBER ONE!

SHAUNA:  What?!

DR G:  Number one in…. Books most likely to be pulped by April!

SHAUNA:  Books most likely to prop up wonky bookshelves!

DR G:  Books most likely to be used as emergency loo paper!

Etc etc etc.

I've weaned myself off the lunchtime pilgrimage to the wee local WH Smith, as it's just too soul-destroying seeing the same four copies there day after day and fighting the urge to scream to all the shoppers, "SOMEBODY. PLEASE!"

. . .

Call it OCD or call it being an idiot, but for the past few years I've been enslaved to a Heading Off To Work ritual of 1) kissing Dr G three times then 2) grabbing a tissue from the box on the shelf in the hallway and putting it in my right pocket.

Once you start these things it is hard to stop. I wasn't even conscious of the routine until one day I turned back halfway down the road because I'd forgotten The Tissue, convinced that without it I'd be mown down by a garbage truck or Gareth would leave his lunchtime beans on the stove and perish in flames. It's not even that dramatic, really. It's just that – my days have been okay while ever I've had three kisses and a tissue… so why mess with the formula?

We've been painting the (evil, bastard, neverending) hallway lately, so The Shelf has been moved to the living room. Today I was running late and huffed in the manner of a martyred corporate slave, I just don't have TIME to take another three steps to the living room! So I left without the tissue.

The old heart was clattering as I slinked down the street, wondering which speeding car would leap off the road and into my arms. I regarded every tree suspiciously, waiting for the falling branch. But then I arrived safely at work and I felt quite exhilarated and devil-may-care. I might try it again tomorrow.