23 Jul 2010

All the world's a stage

Is it just me or are we all reading from a script? I overhear conservations like this all the time; Person A: “You alright?”, Person B: “Yeah good thanks, how you doing?”, Person A: “Yeah not too bad”. We love to wheel out "not too bad", rather than actually thinking. Person A could of just slammed down to Earth after a failed skydive attempt, only to find himself rolling down a hillside straight into an open-top lorry carrying glue (it happens). He then struggles to lift himself up before jumping from the lorry onto the moving road below. Unfortunately, the momentum of the fall rolls him into a group of birds and they all become stuck (you don't think it happens? It definately happens). In a desperate effort to release themselves from the glue covered man, the birds aggressively flap their wings hoisting the man into the air. Several hours of flight later the glue finally weakens and the man is sent plummeting towards a lake. He breaks the surface with a huge splash grabbing the attention of a fisherman on the far bank who quickly wades in to drag the man to safety, “you alright!?” he asks. “Not too bad” replies the man.

Personally I’d like to see someone go off-script and just honestly answer the question. “You alright John?”. “Ah Jesus, not at all Mark, not at all. Feels like I might be dying a bit actually, like maybe just my leg is dying or something. Can that happen? Ah I dunno, but I do feel like I may not make it through the next hour. Do you think its alright to have a guitar shaped coffin..? How you doing anyway?” I mean what does “not too bad” even mean. It’s like we're saying “well obviously life is normally awful, but today it’s not too bad”. Seems a pretty negative view of things.

I also like it when people say “Have you seen the shops have got Christmas stuff in already!? It’s gets earlier every year doesn’t it!?”. No, no it does not. Please stop telling us this every year. I wonder if these people even believe the words they’re saying or whether their brains just automatically snap to the script like some kind of OCD robot, “Christmas tree in window, must tell people it’s there earlier than before, earlier than before, earlier than before!!”.

I’ll finish this with my own personal failure with the script. When I was at school my friends would use “alright?” as a greeting rather than “hey” or “hi”. So it would be totally normal for us to just say “alright?” to each other as we passed in the hall without anything else being uttered. This was our script, but turns out the world outside doesn’t really play ball with this. So when I passed a colleague the other day and replied to his “alright?” with a “alright!”, I got a look of utter confusion and horror which seemed to be saying “err what was that?? That doesn’t make sense, your line is: not too bad!”. Oops, can we go again?