Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Catapults, Space Hoppers and Dogs That Look Like Bears

Now I’m settled in my new cemetery home, I have taken on the mighty task of going through all of my junk and discarding everything that I don’t have space for in my very full life. If you’ve ever been in my bedroom, you’ll know that I am just on the verge of being someone that could be classed as a
proper hoarder. I have enough stuff (only a tiny amount of which has any actual worth) to fill an entire house and still not have adequate space. Pointless things I discovered during my task include a stress ball I bought in Canada in 2002 and have never once used, a dinosaur from McDonalds that I acquired when I was still in primary school, several juggling balls, two inflatable guitars, an adult sized space hopper, a catapult, a Moroccan drum, a glass cube that has absolutely no function whatsoever, 13 odd slipper socks, and a pair of glasses that say Year 2000 across the top. (The glasses very almost made the ‘keep’ pile as an historical artifact of turn of the century fashion, but it was between them and the space hopper, and ultimately, I felt that the space hopper would prove a more enjoyable object and could maybe make me a bit of extra cash if I tape the handles down and rent it out to my mum as an exercise ball.)

One of the hardest challenges I faced was deciding which notebooks to keep and which to discard. I wouldn’t say that I lose things a lot as everything eventually finds its way back to me, but I do have a slight problem with keeping track of all my pointless shit and all too often my treasures find themselves geographically misplaced for months at a time. As a result of this, I have roughly 1,000 notebooks (only an ever so slight exaggeration), each showcasing on average about seven pages of writing before they inevitably got lost, only to be discovered years later tucked underneath the storage box of an adult sized space hopper. I think my biggest problem is not being able to differentiate between interesting notebooks that would be worth keeping (for example, diaries, although the sheer humiliation that comes from re-reading them isn’t really worth it), and notebooks that are full of rubbish (for example, games of hangman and repeated graffiti that has worryingly narcissistic undertones).

A small part of me wants to hire myself a life coach who could convince me that I don’t need a space hopper taking up vital space and I could similarly probably live without the catapult that also made the ‘keep’ pile. It worries me to think that I am only 23 and my obsession with buying junk does not seem to be faltering in the slightest. Already my CD collection is taller than my ceiling, but that’s not so bad as I think that having an abundance of CDs has its positives as well. For example, I can use them as make shift coffee tables, coasters, mirrors etc. And, the more CDs I own, the easier it is to disguise the fact that I own a Gareth Gates album, three Savage Garden albums, and more than one CD that only plays whale calls and ‘sounds of the ocean’ repeatedly for an hour and a half…

I think out of all the boxes of useless crap, my favourite find has got to be my old school reports. I always thought I was a pretty smart kid when I was younger (and yes, before you ask, I did just go downhill from there), but after coming across a project I did in year 7 where I blatantly admitted to the teacher that I’d not done the work (something I apparently struggled with my entire way through school, if my GCSE report is anything to go by), I’m not so sure. In this particular book report, I had filled out the answer booklet with the following answers:
Q. Why did you like this part of the book? A. Because the man dies.
Q. What are your predictions? A. Someone else dies.
Q. Why do you think this? A. Because it happens in a lot of books.
Q. What do you think the main point of the book is? A. That people shouldn’t live forever. I know this because I read part of the book.
Q. Do you agree? A. I agree with the main point because of what people have told me about the book.

I’m not convinced that a ‘smart’ child should be so honest about their lacklustre approach to their studies, and, judging by the “redo and see me” comment scrawled in red pen at the bottom of the page, my teacher evidently agrees. She obviously still liked me though, as later on that year I got a certificate to take home to my mum. There were several boxes that could be ticked as reasons for the award, including ‘kindness to others’, ‘excelling in class’, and ‘continuous effort’, however all of these had been left blank and instead my teacher had ticked ‘other’ and written, ‘Amy is a lot of fun!’ - I’m taking this to mean that I was crap at history and socialising appropriately with the other children, but she would definitely want to go for a pint with me.

I always knew academia would never be a significant element of my lifestyle after I had finished my required education. My approach to life has always been fairly laid back and easy-going – I think you can probably tell a lot about the things that go on in my head if you take a quick look at my internet history. My past Google searches include such gems as ‘dogs that look like bears’ and ‘how do I make my pancakes fluffy?’ My YouTube recommendations are also pretty telling – last week it suggested a video of a slow loris eating a rice ball. Incidentally, for your own benefit, you should all definitely Google dogs that look like bears. They’re amazing. Also, watch the video of the slow loris eating a rice ball. It will improve your day tenfold. It’s like yoga for the internet community. In fact, better yet, feel free to come over and watch it at my house, where not only will you have the greatest time fawning over the slow loris, but you can do it whilst sat on a space hopper listening to Savage Garden. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a fantastic way to spend a weekend. I imagine it’s almost as good as actually having a life…