‘Sometimes,’ said the man in the red plastic nose, ‘I forget what it means to be funny’ was a sentence I wrote ‘in my sleep’ and used as part of a blog in June (There is no means of testing this hypothesis, but the fact remains that the dog has three ears) which tackled the fact that I did not really understand where this line, along with others, had ‘come from’ nor what it referred to. This blog has come about because now I do.
When I set off along this path a little over eighty posts ago now, my aim was simple: to carry on writing in the way that I always had, just on a different platform. Early blogs were very much in the style I would have used in magazines. A few such pieces continue to worm their way into the blog from time to time and the overriding theme of observing my own erratic descent through middle into old age has remained the same – the whole thing is actually my attempt to swim against the flow in this respect, although, unfortunately, I am a crap swimmer, my water-wings have sprung a leak and the tide is very, very strong – but the style has now become very much more conversational, I think (don’t you?) I have started to read and enjoy the blogs of others, I have learned from them the proper way of doing things, and have even been able to respond to them now and again, in my own fashion. The blog remains the same shape, I think, but the colour may have changed a little.
Generally, the small cob-webby under-stairs cupboard in my head where such things are co-ordinated, comes up with a plan, a way to use all of the bits of raggedy paper that I carry around with me all the time, and when the time is right, the blog just spills out of my head, like nonsense from a politician. There are, however, some pieces that I write and would like to use but, somehow, they don’t quite ‘feel right’ as they are. When this happens, I have to print them up and set about them with variously coloured pens; adding, moving, scrubbing out until I think it might be ready. I don’t seem capable of doing this on-screen. The whole painstaking process of correction, excision and embroidery, which I call tantivy (an archaic word that I have just discovered has no relevance whatsoever, but there it is, I’m stuck with it now) often takes some considerable time before I either end up with something that I am happy to post or something for which I would happily buy a cat, in order to line its litter tray.
So, I have such a piece in front of me now. I printed it yesterday and I returned to it this evening with my rainbow of ball-points and my myriad hi-lighters with the intention of ‘sorting it out’, in much the same way as Donald trump vowed to sort out North Korea. I have read it through a few times now. I have scrawled lines out and I have scribbled additions between the lines and in the margins, but the main thing that I have done is to scrawl a single word across it in thick black felt pen. That word is ‘Jokes’. In short, I appear from time to time to have forgotten what I thought I was here to do. I am the man in the red plastic nose. And for that, I apologise.
Addenda: the piece I have before me is about my antipathy for ‘experts’. It’s ok, but somehow it annoys me. I have decided that I will leave it a few days until I look at it afresh – it may even take longer. It will appear in time, I think – as soon as I’ve found some fun in it. Anyway, for no particular reason, other than I just wrote it today and it is about a nose, I hope you enjoy the little limerick below:
A man with a plasticine nose
Tried to model it into a rose.
He practised until he
Produced a red lily,
Which is almost the same I suppose.