Last night I was questioned extensively by a QI man trying desperately to find a mutual interest; a patch of common ground on which we could both comfortably stand. He was unsuccessful. But he was resilient.
He is one of nature’s talkers. He has a lot to say, which is fine by me because I don’t particularly. I am one of nature’s listeners. I am a listener that is until I have an opinion and then I am one of nature’s ‘my-way-is-the-only-way-what-on earth-are-you-doing-not-agreeing-with-I’m-not-listening-any-more-ers’.
I am not QI in that.
Regardless, as my companion pitched his many different interests to me with a hopeful look in his puppy dog eyes, I was forced to reply that no, I had never: seen it, eaten it, heard it, read it, watched it, or stuck it up my bum. He it would seem has a lot of interests.
An hour or so into our conversation/interrogation I did contemplate saying ‘yes me too’ when he came up with yet another thing he was interested in, just to try to give the poor guy something to work with. I do like him you see. But in the end was worried that it would turn out to be a lot of effort on my part, and who knew where it might end, so chose to stick with my trademark ‘nope’.
BUT. How has it come to pass that when I am pointedly asked ‘What DO you like then’?’ I have no suitable answer? I just shrug and mutter something about ‘not knowing really’.
I did try to reel off a list of loosely connected content, but could not put a sentence together that contained a collection of things that ‘summed me up’. There was nothing I could think of that I wished to represent who I was. (I may be a difficult person to converse with).
Of course I have listened to music, I have watched films, I have eaten food, read books an have watched the odd sport fixture (for no more than 5 minutes) but I can’t say that I am particularly ‘interested’. It is all a much of a muchness. They are not ‘me’. He was looking for ‘me’.
He talked about specialist bands and cult movies, I talked about liking ‘a bit of everything’. A BIT OF EVERYTHING. How middle of the road is that?
Exactly have I been doing with my life? Where have I been? Where are my interests? Where is the mental bric-a-brac that one accumulates by living? How come no-one (up to last night) has told me that I am in fact a boring *******?
Now I have been called A LOT of things over the years, some positive and LOTS negative, but never boring? I don’t want to be boring, I have come to terms with being odd, funny looking (in an angular sort of way), bow legged, weak kneed and terribly impatient, but boring?!
Jeez give a Joe a break yo.
My companion last night – let’s call him Richard – because his name is Richard (that’s one of his favourite jokes – rubbish isn’t it?) concluded that I was in fact completely boring and quietly resigned himself to the fact that I will not even pretend to be interested in anything, just to be less annoying and more socially functional. (I am not one for peer pressure.) He did backtrack though, saying that actually I was interesting, and what made me interesting was the fact that I am so ******** boring. I’m not sure I like him.
I will try to be QI
But I am trying to be more interested in things. From today. As a result of last night. For my family.
Today I agreed to go with my wife and children to an interesting field without shade and stand around in the 75 degree heat with hundreds of other people. The plan was (or so it appeared to me) to queue. What we were going to queue for (or so it appeared to me) was undecided.
I did enquire (because I was interested) and (it seemed to me) that we were going to risk contracting a life threatening melanoma in the brutal, blistering heat to queue with hundreds of other people for either: a) an ice-cream b) a coffee c) the toilet or d) to buy something from a lady with hairy armpits and a flowery, sleeveless dress. Either way, I was very excited. And ever so interested.
To prepare ourselves for the interesting experience we all stood around at the bus stop for 30 minutes while at the prescribed 10 minute intervals a bus turned up and refused our boarding, due to having no space for the push chair. That was quite interesting. Too interesting for me. I got off the interesting train.
QI I failed and bailed.
I did not understand. I do not understand. I will never understand. For my wife it was all about getting to the field. And the people. Enjoying the sunshine. That is a good metaphor for Wifey. She will always want to be in the field with people, talking and having fun in the sun. Living life and all that. Exhausting.
I never, ever, ever want to go anywhere near the field and never, ever, EVER want to talk to anyone. The sun burns my skin and makes me itchy. I like the sun from inside. In the shade.
A good metaphor for me is a giant nob being repeatedly kicked in the balls. By itself.
My wife and I are chalk and cheese. How on earth we are still married Lord only knows? Apart from the fact that we have kids. And I worship the ground she walks on. She is an amazing woman, wife and mother. Apart from that, we have no reason to be together AT ALL.
So I am deflated to announce that I am the kind of uninterested man that leaves his family at the bus stop, tells them he loves them and then goes home. ‘Home’ representing as far away from the field as possible. I wish I were different, but I am not. I wish I was the kind of man that enjoyed queuing. Or big crowds. Or hot days. But I am not. I am not interested.
I will however, in a bid to try and be less annoying, compile a mental rolodex of things that I am (if pushed) quite interested in, so that if called upon, I can create the impression that I have done something/engaged with anything/not been sat under the stairs for the 40 years that I have been around.
Something other than avoiding
Interestingly, my accuser did go to the field and had a rubbish time. This makes me very happy. I am QI in his personal turmoil. I sent him a text after the event to ask him how it went. I got this QI reply:
“No I did ******* not have *******fun. It was ******** ******** and hotter than a ******** ******** Kind Regards, Rich.
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