Time to put up a fun post, I suppose – not that I make any apology for the previous one or, indeed, any post that tells how it is with regard to M.E., ingrowing toenails or the state of my herbaceous border. For the record, I do not have ingrowing toenails or even, strictly speaking (for I have just looked it up on Wikipedia) a proper herbaceous border. But if I did and they were causing me grief, I would talk about it when the spirit moved. The word “fun” is jangling around as I was today reminded of the late Andrea Dworkin’s remark: “I am a radical feminist, not the fun kind,” and what a loss it would have been to us if she had been that kind instead of the ardent and fearless campaigner that she was. And then I considered that I don’t much like the “fun kind” of anything much, really. The word itself conjures up a weekend in some dreary hotel with organised games for tired business people to try and get them bonded and generally perked up so they can go back to whatever deadly thing they were doing and carry on making money for the company they work for. Or it conjures up a karaoke night out with people who don’t like singing and have nothing in common other than the desire to get out of their skins for a space (nothing wrong with that in itself, obviously) – and in case anyone is tempted to let me know what a supercilious snob I’m sounding: yes, I agree, each to his own – no blame, no judgement, this is just my take on things and if you give me a convincing story about a knockout and uplifting Murder in the Dark weekend or a Karaoke Night Out I’ll read and enjoy.
I’m not a miserable effer though, far from it, (she says, putting on her red nose and cracking open the party poppers). Ok, maybe I am, then. But if so, then I promise you I know how to enjoy myself because while I despise Fun, I love play – real, intense, lose-yourself-in-the-moment play. It’s why I started making up stories, I reckon. It’s something I have in common with my daughter who, in the playground at school, lamented the loss of her best friend who really understood how to “make it up as you go along” rather than decide in advance to play Ghostbusters or Hero Turtles (though admittedly these would have possibilities, but only if you diverged from the script). I like play because play has soul and Fun (the way I see it) doesn’t. It conforms to the idea one has of how something should be rather than creating out of the moment something new. I appreciate funny, playful posts and those that give an uplift to the spirits. Grief, anger and melancholy also have soul and when I find those set down truthfully in a blog post I appreciate those too, and yet so often people apologise for having expressed them, feeling that they have been indulging in self-pity (not the same thing at all). Or there is the sense that the expression of something lower than uplift is tantamount to a request for sympathy. For me, at any rate, this is not the case – though it is of course a gift to know that one’s words have been heard, received or appreciated.
So anyway – but if you want to do yourselves a favour, go and visit a place of horseplay and foolery (the Real Deal), in the house of The Periodic Englishman. Say I sent you – and beware: he’s a bit of a charmer. (But don’t tell him I said that).