Alright, before we go any further, I want you to answer one thing: are you any good at Pokémon battles? Obviously if you say ‘no’, then you can get off this page immediately. That’ll be the end of it, I will not pursue you, I will not point and laugh at you. If you say you have a bit of battling ability, then I’ll have to cast a suspicious eye over you. Can you back that up? Did you make your fair share of other children cry, in playground Link Cable battles? Are you Mewtwo, or Mewpoo? Machoke, or Majoke? Hitmonchan, or Hitmonsham? You get the idea.
We’re at that time again, fellow lemmings, time that I left my job to get a new one. For a start, I can tell you that I’ve never subscribed to this whole theory of never leaving a job unless you’ve something else lined up. I suppose there’s that mature fear where you’ll turn out to be a wee bit less of a tantalising employment prospect than you had thought, which is always a hefty blow. Not to mention it makes the mortgage payment look about ten times bigger.
But you can’t tell me that you just become immediately unemployable on the Friday afternoon that you finish up. The last job I left, no sooner had I given a fairly rubbish speech than I was out the door and in a car, booting to the airport for a drunken weekend in one of my favourite cities, Liverpool. When I got home on the Sunday, I was able to sleep through the Monday while the other plankton had to go to work. It was great – I felt like Ferris Bueller.
I’d better declare something to you right now, so you know just what type of creepy sleazebag you’re dealing with here: I’m an absolutely world-class stalker. I particularly excel in the digital sphere, where I can find people’s entire life stories based off the smallest detail, like a plug socket, or the type of knitting used on their socks, all from the grainiest photo.
And I don’t have any of your fancy image recognition computers either, you know, where some smug, well-hung Fox Mulder PI can say “Enhance by 20”, and the computer somehow not only understands the verbal instruction but gets the photo resolution high enough to get the killer’s full gimp suit reflected in the whites of the victim’s eyes. No, I’m talking about the good old-fashioned method of having a hundred tabs open on your browser and combing through your mark’s entire online history.
They always manage to get you, do advertisers. We think of advertisers as snake oil salesmen, wearing suits that almost seem to shine. A lot of them tend to look incredibly young, perhaps on a Patrick Bateman morning routine, except their demeanour is impossibly sleazy. They’d never in a million years make a sale, you’d think.
And yet some of them, the best ones, the only ones worth a damn, they prove incredibly adept at delving into your psyche and, crucially, making away with your hard earned cash. Think of a younger, much less foul-mouthed Ricky Roma and you’ll get near to the stereotype.
Do you plan everything in your life? I certainly don’t. Life is at its most fun when it’s unplanned, spontaneous. I truly believe this can be applied to all facets of life. You may have found yourself holidaying with some awful people who try to plan everything to the letter. Distressingly, they bring in the use of something called an itinerary. I know, sounds like something for itinerants, but it’s worse than that. At 10 AM, we do this, at 12 noon we do that, it’ll involve walking 100 kilometres a day and if you wanna sit down and rest your little booties, forget it.
No psychiatrist has ever managed to catch me and pin me to their long sofa yet, and if I valued my continued liberty to live my life outside of an asylum, then I’d better keep it that way. I will give you one psychological nugget (surprisingly not the best type of nugget out there) though. Not because I’m terribly arrogant enough to believe you really care what’s going on in my head, not at all. It’s just to give the police a bit of a clue if ever I’m wanted for murder.
Simply put, I am introverted to an incredible degree. Anyone with any level of introversion will recognise at once the idea of recharging one’s batteries after social interactions. Being introverted doesn’t mean you have to be a shrinking wallflower, a strong and silent type or even, God forbid, a boring prat. You can be the life and soul of the party if you like, but you better believe you’ll need that recharge period, that blessed bit of alone time when it comes.
So how do you know when you’re old? You could go off physical signs, but they can be misleading. After all, unexplained pains in muscle and joints? I’ve had them all my life, or at least since I turned 18. It tends to happen to me only after nights out, which only adds to the mystery.
But in reality, although I read about people turning 30 and suddenly getting all kinds of aches and pains, I just have to wonder how decrepit they are. What, do we all just collapse past a certain age? I don’t know, I’m in my 30s now and I feel fine. Having grey hair is another obvious symbol of elderhood, but again, I’ve confounded follicle science by having greys since I was 15. And you could never accuse me of being 16 going on 60, could you?
My last stint at running a city went rather badly. I cared little for the opinion polls, which were grossly misinformed. The pollution and crime were natural by-products of a bustling, modern city. You never hear people criticising Las Vegas do you? My decision to genocide my townsfolk is what really did for me. After having been tried and very nearly convicted of crimes against humanity, it was decided that I would avoid 1,008 years in prison if I promised to never run a town of people ever again.
I needed some group to bully in order to fill my days though, so I took the midnight train towards Cunnyton, a hopeless little berg located far away from human civilisation. So far away in fact that I’d be the only human sod there, a fact brought home to me by the strange cat who began Gestapo questioning me on the train. I swiftly informed him that I was the only totalitarian around here and that he should watch himself. Never saw him again.
I have to wonder what it’s like for those famous people who have completely outgrown their friend group on their way to greatness. It’s happened to me a lot, actually. That is, people around me go on to find success and meanwhile I’m still finding farts funny, especially when I wake myself up with them.
There must be some dreadfully awkward scenarios where the superstar becomes temporarily embarrassed; after having been whisked away into the world of fame and fortune and adulation, they suddenly have to re-face their old childhood.
All those embarrassing moments, when the ordinaries treated you like a peer, all coming back to haunt you at once. Take noted treacherous Sassenach Graham Norton for example. He’s actually from the same neck of the woods as me, but he’d never tell you this himself. In fact, if you transported him right now to my hometown, you’d probably hear the screams from space.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations(2008)
Try as I might, I’m never going to be accepted into the inner circles of polite company, and I think I’ve finally found the reason why: I’m not a coffee drinker. You mustn’t get me wrong, I actually do enjoy the taste of the stuff. I’ll even do you the favour of eating a coffee-flavoured chocolate sweet every now and again. It’s just the coffee culture that I can’t get on board with.