Friday, 4 February 2011


You know if I have learnt anything from Hyperbole and a Half it is that any blog post is better with pictures. Not only do they make the posts seem longer but it makes the content more creative, and funnier.

But no pictures for you.

I was wondering if I could do a series of posts on a theme. Mostly to make sure I keep posting like I should be. I'll give it a go now, and see if I can stick with it.

Things That Are Nice\Shit #1
There are times when a group of people will start to discuss their likes and dislikes. Sometimes these conversations meander into "odd things I do", and discussions of that sort. It is during these times you will hear sentences that start with:

"So does anyone else..."

Usually these end in one of a few ways.

1. Everyone confirms that they do. You find out that your individual foible is actually not all that individual at all - everyone does it. You feel relieved but also a sense of disappointment, finding out that you aren't as unique as you thought you were. The more you think about it the more it erodes away at your being, you find yourself tumbling into an infinite pit of despair over your own identity. You spend hours sitting on the floor, hugging your knees with your forearms, repeating "who am I?" over and over again.

2. One other person confirms that they do. The rest of the group may not understand but you feel a great sense of affinity for that one person. You are overcome by the pleasant feeling that there is someone else out in the world who feels the way you do, interprets the world the way you do - and you've met them. You may start to feel attracted to this one person. Perhaps this person is completely compatible with you - maybe they are the one. This is a huge mistake. Once you have finished discussing your one shared habit you will invariably find that you do have differences of opinion and do not share all of the same habits. Over time you will resent that person and wished that you had never met them - because you were better off believing you were the only person in the world that did that than finding out that one other person does - and that person is an idiot.

3. Nobody confirms that they do. The group may start to laugh at the mere suggestion, or enquire why you do it in the first place. You feel the cold pang of loneliness and, even though you try to laugh it off, you can't help feeling that the universe is infinitely expansive and you are all alone in it. You start re-evaluating friendships, resenting them even. "Why aren't they more like me?" you ask yourself, but you can never find a satisfactory answer. Before long you are a hermit, shutting yourself off from the outside world - only venturing out of your dwelling to buy alcohol and shout at traffic.

So just be careful when starting sentences with "does anyone else". It can have very dangerous consequences.

Wow that really did end up being a lot darker than I expected. I can't think of any specific instances where I have been in a scenario like the one described above, but it does seem familiar. It can be enormously satisfying to discover that you are more similar to everyone else than you realise. I suppose in our "everyone is a unique snowflake" society that kind of thing doesn't sound all that nice but you'd be surprised how comforting it is to hear someone say "oh I think everyone does that".

I just tried a Google search for people who hate the sound of scraping ice. Ever since I can remember I have hated the sound of stuff scraping on ice - getting a box out of a frosty freezer and hearing it scrape across the ice, made me shudder just typing that. Nobody else in my family has the same thing and I don't think I have met anyone else who can't stand scraping else. But thanks to the magic of Google I now know there are plenty of people who can't stand that sound. I expected as much but it is nice to have it confirmed.

I'm off to bed now, stay tuned for part 2 of the most poorly titled blog series you are ever likely to see: Things That Are Nice\Shit

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