Friday, July 20, 2012
Get Your Act Together
Every so often one comes across a person who is so exquisitely irritating that the compulsion to wince and pelt off in the opposite direction is overwhelming. It might be the aggrandiser or the low-talker or the wine wanker that sends your synapses into self-destruct mode. For me, it's the malingerer. You know the type. The guy who always has a headache or a limp or the flu. They whine and shuffle and self-medicate and require inordinate, nay greedy, amounts of sympathy and attention. They are the scourge of the modern age.
However, it pains me to report that some weeks ago, I became The Malingerer. No need to bore one with the details, but suffice to say that the locus of the trouble was my spine. Now, the shirkers, the skivers, the festerers of the highest order will know well the plaint that I ashamedly uttered many times over the last four weeks. Something along the lines of: "I can't. My back's too sore." Each time this loser's lament left my lips I felt a sense of creeping nausea. Who was this dead beat I'd become? Even The Youth were being sucked into the vortex of self pity. "Is your back alright?" enquired the two-year-old with the sincerity only a novice could muster, for he is yet to learn the scorn that is rightly accorded to the spongers of this world.
With a misguided assumption that the back would recover after a little highlands air, we headed to the Mountains for the holidays. No need to elaborate but to say that The Air did not do its job and one had to call on the services of some ridiculously compliant side-kicks to administer massages, deliver copious amounts of red wine (I mean COPIOUS) and fawn over the simpering idler.
During this period, the Husband spent a gratuitous number of hours on the iPhone, which one can only presume was whiled away by looking under D for Divorce Lawyers. Or perhaps tweeting to his thousand-or-so followers that his wife has turned to the Dark Side and must now be disposed of post haste before she became a liability. One of his followers, known as The Queen, had tweeted back in sympathy, "And the Lord said 'Let There Be Gin' and it was Gin O’clock." It appeared that everyone else was getting on with life and I was living my own little version of Koyaanisqatsi, everything catastrophic and in slow motion.
Over the ensuing weeks some sensation did return to my spine and I currently take the form of a homo erectus as opposed to a primate. But my days as The Malingerer will never leave me. And during my hours reclining in a supine pose I channelled Dante’s Divine Comedy and considered his idea of Purgatory – a place for those too lazy to repent – hoping that my resistance to true malingering would save me from that fate. But I found most solace in the old scribbler Mark Twain, who ventured that, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”