Diary

Defying Odds

01 November 2007 | Diary

In the park today, a sycamore leaf came detached from its shackles, spiraled down through the air and landed neatly upon my head.

It was a moment of simple and unexpected loveliness. Rather than bat it away squeamishly I let it lie on my bonce until it chose to leave of its own accord and join its festering fellows on the wet ground.

In hindsight though, I’m not sure I like the fact that a leaf can fall on my head in such an unsolicited fashion. For a leaf to land on my head defies the odds. And one can only defy the odds so many times in life. To do otherwise defies the odds.

If I’m going to go around defying odds I’d rather it would be for a more interesting end than having an autumn leaf momentarily touch my cranium. I’d be happy winning the lottery for example or getting into the record books for the largest number of sweetcorn niblets jammed up a single nostril.

This trespass of nature was only the first reportable event to take place in the park this evening. And I was only there for ten minutes.

Sometimes a walk in the park is anything but a walk in the park. I’ll leave it to you to mix your own metaphors. It’s a piece of cake.

Of course, we’ve seen this proven several times in the past. The park is a hazardous place, filled with footballers and lonely drunks.

It’s also full of dogs and bees. “When the dog bights,” sings Julie Andrews, “When the bee stings, when I’m feeling low, I simply remember my favourite things.”

Well I certainly didn’t think of my favourite things when these happened to me. Quite the opposite.

Next, I am accosted by drunk children. “Either of you two got a light?” one of them asks. I am only dimly aware of his request since my attentions are focussed upon a pair of dogs wildly circulating the park. I’m not very fond of dogs (jumpy, growly excitable things) and I couldn’t see the humans who should have been attached to them.

There’s actually a local horror story about a man who takes pleasure in his horse-sized rottweiler jumping up at people in Kelvingrove park. The words “He’s only playing” fill me cold dread.

“Hoy! Either of you two got a light?” asked the kid again, annoyed at being ignored. I feel that the question is being aimed at me but what does he mean “you two”? Have I become so duplicitous that he can see both of me?

And then I realised that a studious looking girl had become caught up in my orbit. Listening to her iPod though she didn’t seem aware of me or the drunk and hooded nedspawn.

I told the kids I didn’t have a light but their leader continued to shout their request at the iPod girl.

“I don’t think she can hear you,” I said, “She’s listening to music”.

“Wha-?”

The kid didn’t seem to get it at all. I found this odd since he himself had iPod wires dangling from his shoulders.

The pre-Copurnican girl continued on her way oblivious to the world outside her head.

What a lovely way to live. I’m going to invest in a pair of builder’s protective earmuffs so I can ignore everyone. No more overheard train conversations for me.

I don’t know how this story ends so we’ll assume it involves a pterodactyl.



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