It often occurs to me that we’ve not exactly nailed this ‘being human’ malarky. Many humans are irritatingly clever and busy themselves with scary cerebral stuff, like particle physics and playing the violin. Others knacker about with less pressured pursuits (she types, whilst simultaneously pondering a rather smashing pair of shoes that are gracing the next open tab). Even if you spend your waking hours negotiating your way to the next can of Special Brew, you are engaged in some level of exerting activity even if it’s arguing with the bloke behind the counter over a missing 5p. As a species, and regardless of our IQs, ability to do great shit with our hands or propensity to spangle ourselves inside out, we are always trundling towards some poxy bloody goal or another. What a bunch of self-propelling dumbfucks we truly are.
We appear to have developed a batty sense of responsibility to our own longevity. As though some big scary intimidating evolutionary Nana has been standing over our shoulders wagging a long liver-spotted finger and scolding “The devil makes work for idle hands! You mustn’t waste your days! What WILL the neighbours think?”. And thus we’ve all collectively worked ourselves bandy and ended up with an average lifespan of bloody seventy. All the clever buggers and their test tubes and scalpels have ensured that we live so bloody long that we have DECADES to fill with achievements, activities and plain old tedious ‘trying not to end up living under a bridge’. How exhausting to think that I might still be churning out the codshite that resides in my brain in another thirty years time! I might just bludgeon myself to death with my iPad now and save everyone the tedium of me ranting about how young people don’t know they’re born, the cocky little bastards. And they wear stupid trousers. And look like fucking deviants with those haircuts. What IS the world coming to??
I’m digressing again. Apols. It’s another depressing fact of the human condition that we actually give two arse-bending fucks what other people do and what other people think of us. It’s this social conditioning that is supposed to keep us in line and prevent us from robbing grannies or calling people cunts when they don’t hold doors open for us. Personally, I think it wouldn’t do us any harm to reign ourselves in less. Certainly, I would’ve felt BRILLIANT today had I told the prat who queue-jumped in front of me to complain about the temperature AND strength of his hot chocolate exactly what I thought (which was, incidentally, “you’re a man in your fucking thirties wearing Des O’Bastard Connor’s cast-off knitwear and you’re complaining about your hot chocolate at 4pm. You’re either a plain old bone fide fucking moron OR a lazy, whiney, self-important little prick. Which one is it?”). Instead I sat seething and hoping for the spontaneous combustion of his shitty v-neck. He probably wouldn’t have felt so good, but he’d have certainly thought twice before he pissed people off by returning a perfectly adequate beverage again. Win.
When it’s a Bank Holiday Weekend (despite the clue clearly being in the title) so many of us go completely batshit mental and fling ourselves head first into B&Q in a mass panic at the idea of actually having some down-time. All across the country the sound of shouting, crashing, bleeping, hammering and whirring would have you thinking that the whole nation has been taken over by an uprising of glow-stick wielding, gurn-faced industrial ravers. The world would be a better place if we all just calmed the fuck down a bit and spent prolonged periods of time doing arsehole-all. Make like a sloth and hit the sofa with a lovely soft blanket, some snacks and the mindless entertainment of your choice.
Sloths don’t worry about shit. In fact, they don’t even worry about taking a shit – the only time they head groundwards is for a poo, even though every time they hit the ground they get attacked by predators. Making life-changing decisions don’t even factor in Sloth-land, Largely because by the time it took a sloth to make the decision to have a Costa Coffee and then get there it would have been razed to the ground and turned into a Tesco Extra. The wonderful wonderful sloth could watch every episode of Friends back-to-back repeatedly and still have a lovely chortle when the episode where Joey can’t speak French comes on. They truly are testimony to the fact that not pressure-washing the green shit on the patio won’t bring about the end of the world. Honestly, just have a day off. If you’re thirty five years old, you have around another thirteen THOUSAND days on the planet during which you can clean the skirting. If you were a sloth, you’d only have another few years to live and even then you’d probably spend the time just having a nice smiley dangle upside down.
Sloths only have a lifespan of about forty years, but is there another creature on the planet who looks like they give less of a fuck? We could learn a lot from sloths.