Gettting Better

Surely like many other arrogant idiots, I used to quietly believe that I was the subject of an on-going Truman Show-style conspiracy in which all of my friends were actors and events were orchestrated entirely by a director in the sky.

I even imagined what the marketing campaign for The Robert Wringham Television Programme might be like in the real world. Billboard effigies of my face surely loomed over cities. Interviews with the actors who play my friends would appear in magazines. Longterm characters such as my parents would be A-List celebrities while images of new friends would feature on the sides of busses with taglines like “Will she be the one to steal his heart? Tune in at 8pm for a crushing season finale.

My mother’s anti-natal screenings would have been the first broadcasts. Years later, people would tune in to watch the ongoing decay of my festering corpse. Bill Oddey would present this part from the Springwatch hut but live webcam footage would be available online too.

I imagined the scriptwriters gathered in their meeting room, devising new plots, introducing cool new angles (“a monkey sidekick!”) and snuffing out unpopular characters (“People are getting tired of Dan Godsil. Let’s kill him off.”).

But then I came to the conclusion:

It’s just too big an operation isn’t it?

It wouldn’t just be about engineering situations immediately around me. All local radio would have to be fabricated; they would have to censor any movies that refer to my TV show or realworld events; and they would need to have created an entire artificial Internet for me to play around on. It would be a simply gargantuan task for very little reward. Who would want to watch 24-hour coverage of my life on television? I spend most of my time gawping out of airplane windows, picking my bum.

It’s just too big an operation isn’t it?

This may seem obvious now but with an ego like mine and with such photogenic friends it was difficult not to at least suspect this to be the truth.

Now I am free of such paranoia. (Either that or the continuity department of the production company have succeeded in selling me their deception but it’s best not to think about that).

I also used to fear triple-lidded manhole covers. This came about as the result of playground folklore. The kids at school liked to imagine that stepping on a triple manhole cover would result in bad luck. For some reason the idea stayed with me (while others did not – I’ve never cared about stepping on pavement cracks or opening crisp packets upside down) and until recently I have avoided them at all costs, dodging or pirouetting over them.

Not any more though. I have converted a negative into a positive. Instead of avoiding triple-lidded manhole covers I actively try to step on them. I’ve convinced myself that they bring good luck instead of cause cancer.

It’s all about perspective.

There was a time when I would flick the light switch six times before entering the bathroom. Just in case. What if I stopped and then an spoon-wielding madman hacked my family up? I would never forgive myself. But I have stopped and my family remain unhacked.

I am rapidly becoming a poster boy for the well-adjusted. If you don’t believe me, just use your iPod to listen in to my thoughts like that guy did on the subway yesterday.

I’m not a nut. I’m a legume.

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