Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Brick Wall

You often hear people use the expression “It’s like banging your head against a brick wall.” The implication, of course, is that the activity you’re engaging in is futile and getting you nowhere, and so should be abandoned. Surely, though, this depends.

If, for example, your intention is to concuss yourself, then banging your head against a brick wall is actually a pretty efficient way of doing it, and therefore you should be applauded for your efforts and for your use of the expression. (Indeed, in this case, if you are trying to self-concuss but are getting nowhere with it, a better expression would be “It’s like head-butting a blancmange” or “It’s like banging someone else’s head against a brick wall.”)

Another problem I can foresee is that not all brick walls are equal. My own are fairly substantial and so if you did bang your head against them, you probably wouldn’t get anywhere, thus validating the expression. My neighbour, however, has a crap brick wall with bits missing and large gaps where the cement should be. If you banged your head against that you’d no doubt be through it in less than two minutes. Co-incidentally, my neighbour is also a homosexual. Perhaps, then, there’s some correlation between having a crap wall and going cottaging in public lavatories.

I definitely believe so. One reads, for instance, of Joshua and the Israelites besieging the walls of Jericho. Those walls were so crap that all the Israelites had to do was circle them seven times and blow a trumpet and then they fell down. The Bible, of course, doesn’t say that the inhabitants of Jericho were arse bandits, but it surely can’t be mere co-incidence that the Arabic for Jericho is ariiha, which means “fragrant.” QED, I think.

If your walls are crap, you are gay. So if we say “It’s like banging your head against a homosexual’s brick wall,” it means that the whole enterprise is very worthwhile. (Except, I suppose, if you’re gay and it’s your wall.)


K. McEgan. said...

Noting fragrancy and sexual deviancy.You are fond of moisturizer arent you?Don't worry Amnesty Int respects your lifestyle choice.Explains the lack of action on the Cate front.

Joe Slavko said...

Cate is a mere distraction. It is now Natalie down the gym who commands my attention. She is destined to be mine.

K. McEgan. said...

Whatever happened to Christine?Hope it isnt 16 yr old Natalie.Why not revert to Islam?Four wives.

stevem said...

Last month I was invited to a fancy-dress party. Most people were planning to dress as Punks or New Romantics, but that's
rather dull so I thought I'd make an effort. I could have gone as a Cool Breeze or the Dawn of Hope or something but since being
appealing to women is no longer necessary I decided I'd go to the party as a 1980s computer journalist.

It was clear that this challenge would require some work. I retrieved a few magazines to investigate. Most of the stuff was fine but there was one particular author whose material I just couldn't understand; his articles made no sense at all. Every single time he would start with a sadly misinformed and exaggerated premise which would lead inexorably to an irrelevant and contemptibly false solution. How can it be possible to mention the last king of Rome and get his name hopelessly wrong? And how does it apply to acoustic couplers? What has middle-kingdom Egypt got to do with hacking hotel telephones in Cuba? I couldn't understand how this drivel could be considered any kind of effort at all. This was obviously not a proper journalist.

I obviously had to lower my standards. Embarrassing and awkward as it was, I had to make myself think similarly.

"I am a 1980s computer journalist. I write utter shite for a living. I live in a hole and am so unappealing that even blokes don't
fancy me."

I repeated this to myself hundreds of times every morning for over a week. Gradually, but certainly, it worked. One day I actually imagined it applied to me. I no longer guessed what Billinge was like, I knew it; I had even lived there. I didn't care any more
about accurate history or my pseudo-scientific calculations being out by a factor of a million. I now understood how a pound of feathers was a different weight from a pound of gold. Temporarily I was even a fan of Imperial units.

Truly I was hatched from an egg and I'd never seen an arse.

A couple of days after an unpleasant incident in a country pub they let me out of the trauma ward and I started to assemble the costume. I was swiftly escorted out of a charity shop in Reading but the woman in Basingstoke, although not grasping the entire concept - she thought I was planning to dress up as some kind of clown - managed to get me the trousers and the shabby hat for 50p. The shoes were much harder; apparently you can judge a man by his shoes. Luckily, after a lot of searching, I found an Eastern European second-hand joke shop on eBay and they were prepared to order a pair for me. They sent me a really convincing jacket too but it fitted too well; they dispatched a replacement just in time. Of course my hair was a problem as I have some, but since I couldn't turn back now I had it all shaved off and they stuck on some kind of unconvincing wig.

I looked good that night; I was so convincing that I wasn't allowed to get into a cab. I was rather impressed when everyone on the train moved to another carriage. I could see them all pointing at me in admiration. For once in my life I mattered.

Annoyingly, after all that effort I never got to the fancy-dress party. I was beaten up by a handful of tramps in Reading who said I was disrespecting them. Maybe I should move to Hertfordshire?