From calling off a wedding to having a poo, there’s nothing like a brazen IGNORE to allow initially insignificant business to escalate into full blown nightmare, just to give your day (by which of course we mean life) purpose.
Deadline of three months? Drink coffee and watch Only Connect until you suddenly realise you have 37 minutes in which to research, interview for and write up a 2800 piece on the history of the Lathe for Machine Tool Weekly (and if you’re wondering why you’re doing this in the first place, see post No.31). There is no better way to imbue your extraordinarily dull commission with all the immediate magnitude of a haemorrhaging eyeball. Every PR you frantically telephone will hear the rabid urgency in your voice and the assumed significance of What’s Going Down Here will blow up like ankles on a long-haul flight.
Because urgency is acutely catching, people. Others want in on the sense-of-purpose gig. Lathe-experts are literally being physically hefted out of their beds by ruffians employed by PRs for specific from-bed haulage purposes and onto the phone to offer last-minute Lathery comment because this situation is now SERIOUS. An APB goes out on all (three) Lathe-operator organisation websites. Emergency Lathe-spokespeople are mustered. Families of Lathe-operatives risk starvation as machinery lies abandoned, such is the stampede to contribute before time is up! Soon, forty-six people are swept up in your shit storm. And loving every moment of it.
At pains to further labour this point, which of these conversations is more interesting?
(a) I switched the iron off and went to Tesco
(b) I thought I’d leave the iron on until I’d returned from Tesco. And unpacked the shopping. And written a sonnet. I burnt the house down and am now as homeless as …well, the two people who live with me, actually. Except the one that died of his injuries.
Ladies, isn’t it just vastly more satisfying to shave your legs when they look like something pulled from Mumford and Sons’ plughole? Leg shaving is a faff and doesn’t feel necessary until it starts feeling *medical*.
On a daily basis, leg shaving can never be classed a bona fide crisis situ until you are in a taxi with a recently-met Handsome Young Man you spontaneously decided it would be ace to have sex with. You’ll suddenly remember that bristling beneath your 40 denier is the sort of thatch that would give Richard Keyes’ forearms an inferiority complex. At this point plotting how to discreetly dehair or incorporate keeping your tights on into some hot sex stops being vanity and starts being a character-building situation to be passed onto the grandchildren. Anyway, your soon-to-be-naked comrade probably isn’t noticing that behind your pouty, sexy exterior the words: ‘fuckfuckfuck I seriously hope he’s got a Bic lying on the sink or his ex left some Immac knocking about’ are going on, as he at this moment is urgently planning how to hide the Nicklebackrecords he left on the side before going out this evening.
People in soap operas have long understood the power of the last-minute, crisis-engendering reveal. If you can avoid sharing the fact that you used to be a man from your 19-stone, balding mechanic, Australian fiance until, say, the honeymoon night, things prove way more invigorating than if, at the end of date two, you decide to divulge the information that a Serbian doctor rather than your DNA provided you with your vagina .
Important information. This practice of crisis-generating avoidance is not ever applicable to: administering mouth to mouth, injecting Insulin, addressing your financial situation if you are the country of Greece and turning off Robbie Williams.