Wednesday, February 25, 2009

7 Things

This short piece is in response to a request from Caffeine Goddess whose blog you really should read. You can follow her on Twitter, too.

Some of this is fiction, the seven listed items are fact (with some fiction rolled in to keep the thread going). Enjoy.

"Okay, I admit there have been some inconsistencies. But it's nothing major, get over it!" I eyeballed the doc over the oak desk; his fingers are tapping the green leather blotter, glasses slipping halfway down his nose. He inhales deeply, the grey nostril hair quivering like a cell's flagellum, and then speaks in his deep baritone voice.

"That's okay, we just need to check a few facts, make sure we've covered all the bases. Once that's sorted out you're free to go. Hmmm?"

"Sure. Yeah, sure." I reply. "Let's get on with it." I sit back. I know it's time to fill in the gaps. I don't want to stay in this sterile place any longer than I have to. Doc's pen is poised above his jotter; it's almost as if he's about to perform a surgical procedure rather than take notes. I close my eyes and start.

The following is taken from the notes of Doctor Michael Slater, MD on January 31st, 2009.

1. Before I got into my present career - that's a copywriter in the world of advertising - I had a number of career choices. I did kind of fall into this job, but I'll come to that later. I trained as a baker and chef after school. I enjoyed it, it was creative and I've always loved to cook. However, the wages and hours of the job were not compatible with my life. Who, at 19, wants to start work at 2am and finish at 2pm, only to have to find time to sleep, eat and socialise? Not this one. I took myself off to University and got a degree in Environmental Management. After graduation I moved to Bournemouth, Dorset and shared a house with a graphic designer. Through her, I got a gig writing for an English Language School and Bournemouth University's first website. I ran a design business for four years and then hauled myself back to London to make it in advertising. 9 years on I'm currently on an extended break from work. What happens next is anyone's guess. I do still help friends out with concepts and ideas and do a number of email newsletters to give me some spending money. You can hire me too.

2. I once wrote a novel of 120,000 words. It sucked. My friends were too polite to tell me that, but I read it myself and thought it amateurish. I'd like to be able to write something that compels someone to pay money for a book, but I'm not sure it's in me right now.

3. Considering I've done work for almost every car manufacturer in the world (except VW - come on guys, ask me!) I used to be a 'road protester'. I have camped in a tree, stood in front of diggers and probably broke the law several times over. In spite of my own ideals, I realise that I can't stop people driving and that any money I spend from earnings is always spent on better causes. In the past 5 years I've had over 200 trees planted in Scotland to help rejuvenate the ancient forests, even digging some holes myself while on honeymoon in the Highlands.

4. I hadn't used a PC until 2000, when, at my first job in London they sat me at a PC. I'd ever used a Mac and, too embarrassed to admit it, spent a considerable time trying to get it to move from a blank desktop screen with no shortcuts on it. In frustration, I started pressing keys from the left-hand bottom corner; the second one was the Start key. I probably blushed at that point and felt a right idiot. I still prefer Mac, but I'm not a Fan Boi in any sense. It's just what I started on and what feels most comfortable. If you love PCs, good for you.

5. I don't suffer fools. Gladly or otherwise. Some people probably think this makes me an arrogant twat. They are probably right. [Doctor's handwriting is illegible, but a comment is made at this juncture. We can only surmise it's not a positive one judging by the number of exclamation marks.]

6. I'm allergic to bananas. And glucose sugar (such that you find in fondant icing). I can eat sugar, but my skin is allergic to it. [Doc notes that these allergies have been certified by medical professionals. Another illegible comment appears after. No exclamation marks this time.]

7. I've been blessed by the Pope. Even though I'm not interested in religion, I was visiting the Vatican in 1994 and couldn't get in because I was wearing shorts. However, a kind person informed me the then Pope, John Paul II, blessed all visitors on a Wednesday morning at 5am if they were in the basilica. So, I got up very early, went along and had my head patted and some Latin mumbled at me by an old guy in robes. [Doctor's notes suggest he believes this to be an hallucination of some sort or an expression of a deep-seated love for religion. We know the Pope did bless a large public congregation on Wednesday mornings and that the subject spent almost two weeks in Rome in 1994, so there is no reason to believe he has made this up.]

This concludes the interview with the subject. The full transcript of the conversation has been lost, but we still have the paper published by Dr. Slater in Clinical Psychology 2009, titled "Enquiring the Inquiring Mind". Copies are available in the College Library, please ask at the Reference Desk.


  • Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.

  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post.

  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.

  • Let them know they’ve been tagged

Sincerely, I don't have 7 people I know who haven't been sent this request, so buck stops here. Why? Well, it's taken me almost two months to actually get around to this and in that time I think everyone has been sent this. Repeats are just so cable television I can't bring myself to stoop that low. Apology over.


purplesimon said...

This is in response to a New Year request and it's taken me this long to get around to writing this. It's never going to win any awards (not that the rest of my writing will either!) but I hope it gives you some sort of insight into my life.

Who knows, it might end up being the only post this year. No, really it might.

purplesimon out...

Ray said...


I really, really, really like this. Really.

Firstly, I do enjoy memes. Probably because I am nosy and rather voyeuristic.

Secondly, I enjoy a good story.

You, my dear bloggy friend, have done an excellent job combining the two. Very well done!

├ůsk Dabitch said...

I liked the way you made it part of a story like that. Don't make things too easy on yourself!

KarmaLennon said...

I like this! I love finding out new facts about people. :)

First, I want to read this novel. :)

And I sort of got blessed by the Pope once. Well in technicality. I was in the square when he did the blessing so maybe that counts??

purplesimon said...

Ray: Thanks so much babe! Must catch up on your (so far) excellent efforts.

Dabitch: Never like to make things easy when difficulty can be added in huge dollops.

KarmaLennon: No, you really don't want to read it. I posted the first chapter here:

purplesimon out...

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