Life’s Great mysteries

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Just because I have labelled this post the way that I have doesn’t mean that I am going to start bandying about sweeping spiritual and philosophical treatises along the lines of why are we here? What is our purpose? Where are we, as a species, going?


Other, more incoherent, and mind boggling mysteries occupy my teeny, sleep-deprived brain.

I figure that there are universities filled with eager minds dwelling on this kind of stuff and serious, corduroy  wearing professors ruminating about these very questions as they smoke pipes and stroke their well manicured beards. Stephen Hawking has devoted every neuron of his amazing brain to these big questions and seems to be doing pretty well without my help.

So, here is a list of the mysteries that I think need solving. Maybe Scooby-Doo could help? I have – because of Darling Son – been watching rather a lot of Scooby-Doo and they seem to be rather adept at solving mysteries:

  1. Deodorant My right armpit seems to sweat more than my left armpit and this has been troubling me. Is it because the right side of the body sweats more than the left? Is this because I am right handed and I naturally (not that I am saying that left handed people are evil – some of my best friends are left handed) use the right side of my body more, so it sweats more? Or is it because when I aim the aerosol at my right armpit I am using my left arm and am not as good a shot with that arm? I dunno, maybe Plato could have figured it out but I reckon the ancient Greeks didn’t mind a bit of body odour.
  2. Car Lights When I leave my car (which is a relatively modern contraption) and I blip the remote to lock it and I forget to turn the lights off they will remain on until the battery dies. It emits a slight blinking sound, telling me I have done this, but wouldn’t it be simpler to just turn off the lights when I press lock on the remote? In what possible world would it be advantageous to keep the headlights on so that your car battery dies?
  3. Mr Tickle‘s Arms Mr Tickle is definitely one of the best Mr Men. The ability to use his super long – and super stretchy – arms to tickle all and sundry is, we can all agree, hilarious. However, there is something that has always troubled me. How do his arms know where to go? I have read the books and seen the animated shows and he stretches his arms through windows with ease; no groping around trying to find the right opening. So, this leads me to the following theories: 1. He has supernatural ability – like telekinesis – that enables him to fondle his way through open doorways and the like. 2. He has eyes on the ends of his fingertips – how freaky would that be in a children’s character? Talk about giving your kids the fear. Finally, on the subject of the Mr Men, why isn’t Mr Strong a triangle? Stands to reason, doesn’t it?
  4. Foreign Place Names Our nearest metropolis is Geneva – a seething, gang-bangin’ cesspit full of depravity, low-lifes and crazies (oh, okay, that is a massive exaggeration. Geneva is about as threatening as a poodle puppy). But over ‘ere, the Swizzers call it Genéve – as do the French – and so they should; it’s their city and they’re allowed to call it whatever the hell they like. But: why is it different? What gives the English the right to call it Geneva? What gives the French the right to call London, Londres (which sounds a bit too like a 24hr convienience store for my liking). I don’t get it. Wars were fought for less. Paris is Paris everywhere…as is Marseille…Lyon…Dijon. The French have got the right idea: this is our gaff and we’ve written our own labels so sod off. I can totally understand why a poor Swizzer, used to waking up to the soaring Alps reflected in Lake Léman (or Lake Geneva for the imperialists) arriving, dedraggled in Slough and thinking: I am going to rename this shitehole Chartrés before I top myself. But, even though it is Slough, it seems a bit rude to start calling stuff what you want. It’s a bit Prince Phillip, I think.
  5. Toaster Settings Waiting for bread to toast is up there with watching paint dry or grass grow (or maybe an episode of Springwatch) as Olympically boring things to do with your life. I know I should be multitasking while this is happening – like whipping up some muffins or sorting socks – but I end up watching the bread toast despite myself. So, what is the bloody Christ-on-a-bike point of the dial on a toaster? Some people like it slightly toasted (I class myself in this upper echelon of toast officianados), some like it medium toasted and some like it a bit burnt; christ knows why, who likes burnt food? But setting 1? Why? To warm your fingers after a cold walk? Melt butter? What about setting 10? To make charcoal for drawing? To create carbon for some maniacal purpose? Imagine if you had that on a kettle? Setting 1: my water is tepid, ideal for washing my goldfish. Setting 10: fuck me, where’s the water gone? It’s barmy.
  6. Phil Mitchells Attractiveness Back in the day, when I was young and taut, I used to watch Eastenders…and like it. I found it oddly compelling more as a way of making me feel better about my life than actually enjoying it as a drama. Like any ongoing project it goes in phases and I stopped watching it because it became a little ridiculous, some storylines boomeranged back with different characters, some of the characters had personality transplants, the whole construct seemed to creak under it’s own weight (no one owns a washing machine, no one uses the Tube, house prices are completely static, no one has friends outside the Square) and I found it got just a bit dour. I think that soap writers confuse positive storylines with comedy and rather than dole out some much needed happiness and good fortune to a family in a cohesive story arc, they make a couple of characters indulge in quasi-comedy scenes for brevity. They’re missing the point. Anyway. Phil Mitchell (King Tut of Albert Square) seems to have this animal pull over all women and I don’t get it. He’s quite ugly, has the physique of a wrestler gone to seed and seems a deeply unpleasant man…yet he manages to attract all women in the Square. WHY?

That’s me. I have an appointment with an oven and a scouring pad. Joy.


6 thoughts on “Life’s Great mysteries

  1. Do you know, I sweat more on the right side than the left too. Or glisten, or whatever the more dainty female equivalent is. Weird.

    When I was younger, I always felt uncomfortable about Mr Tickle’s arms – not because of the ‘knowing where to go’ thing, but because they always seemed to be able to reach much further than looked possible when his arms were by his sides. Are they stretchy?? It troubled me. I was also troubled by the fact that Mr Strong could lift things like barns up over his head even though his arms weren’t actually long enough to reach above his head at all.

    I probably need to get out more.

    1. I am also one of the few grown-ups who loves the New Mr Men and not the old one with Captain Mannering or whatever his name is doing the V/O.

      Also, how the hell are you finding the time to write a novel in a month?!?!?

      1. Well, I don’t have a boyfriend. Or a life. So I have plenty of time…

        And I think I would be stretching the truth a bit to call it a ‘novel’, I’m really just typing my thoughts for an hour a day, but I figure it doesn’t really matter, no one has to see it.

  2. There’s definitely something fishy about the right side of the body. That’s the side on which – once a month – my female cousins and I are all treated to a hairy nipple.

    (Too much info?)

    Oh, and new Mr Men? Class.

  3. About the foreign place names… SO TRUE!
    How shall anyone know that Colonia is Köln in spanish, or that Biel and Bienne are actually the same place! it’s so confusing!

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