Tag Archives: humanity

Becky says things about … the human brain

O sweet and graceful listeners, let us speak of the human brain.

I’m a big fan of the brain. There are many things that that lump of moist cauliflower is good for; namely, and in no particular order:

  • coming up with sassy comebacks to impertinent comments
  • knowing not to eat things that wouldn’t agree with us, such as exposed wiring, or brick

  • remembering all significant dates in the world wars, or the dates and fates of Henry VIII’s wives, or the crucial cinematic progression of important Disney films between 1938 and 1952
  • recognising mistakes and rectifying them accordingly, such as ensuring that you write ‘kind regards’ and not ‘king retards’ in an email to the CEO of a multi-national company (NB. the human brain occasionally falls short on this one)
  • understanding when it’s appropriate to greet someone with a polite, palm-tickling handshake, and when it’s appropriate to use another form of greeting

  • being able to apply the correct sentences to correct situations, such as ‘I’m so incredibly happy for you’ at a wedding, and ‘I am deeply, deeply mournful’ at a funeral, and not the other way around
  • keeping you entertained with hilarious jokes

But sometimes the human brain doesn’t cooperate. Sometimes it gives up, or sabotages you, seemingly deliberately, out of spite or apathy.

I was recently in a very important meeting where I was a trifle out of my depth. I was being asked questions that really tried to fly over my head, but my brain was somehow managing to net them and fire back reasonably intelligent responses. This was a textbook example of teamwork: my brain and I were happily working together, and we did a small high five every time I responded to a question with actual words that made moderate sense and not complete hogwash.

And then a difficult question was thrown at me. It’s okay, I thought, my brain’s got this. It’s ready with its pen and pencil, scribbling down an answer, and my synapses will take but a milisecond to transmute an answer to my mouth.

But instead of filing a response into my mouth, my brain sat back, crossed its arms, shook its head, and proceeded to tell me this:

I tried desperately to clamber over my uncooperative, starved brain and fumble for an answer, but my brain stood up and plonked its fat behind on the question, and instead of words coming out of my mouth, there came…

…nothing.

Nope, not a thing. For seconds, I stared dumbly at the asker of the question, while my brain stopped telling me I was hungry, and instead helpfully started pointing out that

Finally, after what seemed literally weeks, I slapped my brain quiet, and gave a response that made it very clear to everyone in the room that I had no idea what the question was:

The human brain can also be pretty ruddy irritating when one is trying to get to sleep. Why, why, when a brain can literally spend all day saying ‘I am just not going to do anything today, you’re on your own, you pitiful creature’, does it then suddenly come alive the minute you get into bed?

Here is an excellent example of the acrobatics my brain can do when I’m trying to get to sleep:

God I’m tired what about boats in a nice turquoise sea oh that holiday to Austria in 2002 was lovely I wish I had a dog not been to the Hart’s Boatyard for dinner in ages mmmmmm scampi I wonder what the temperature is in New York right now Christ space is massive what about that guy who jumped out of a rocket that’s mad I must start running again and get a massage what’s that tune in my head I think it’s Mozart I really should take moisturising more seriously ahh those house parties we used to have with alcopops were great where has my youth gone ooo if I could have one sandwich right now it would be salt beef with mustard must get some kitchen towel tomorrow God I love flowers especially blue ones

When you’re brain is doing that to you, you may as well try to get to sleep like this:

See, look, here’s a prime example of the human brain not cooperating: I’m trying to think of a brilliantly inventive and amusing way to end this post so that my lovely listeners will think ‘God, she’s a terribly comical wag, that Becky’, but all my brain is saying is ‘I can’t think of a brilliantly inventive and amusing way to end this post’. See? So unhelpful. And there’s literally nothing I can do about it, so I may as well just jack the whole thing in and go and make myself a cup of tea.

I’m sorry, faithful ones, but don’t blame me for this heinous anti-climax, blame my stupid lazy human brain.

 

Bimble wallop.

 

Oh shut up, brain.

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Filed under Embarrassing Revelations, Life eh?, The Beauty of Life, Thoughts and Musings

Becky says things about … whatever happened to 2016

O abandoned listeners, I’ve got a really good reason for producing only a measly four blog posts in 2016. The reason is that 2016 kidnapped me and threw me into a darkened cell with no nourishment or natural light and pelted me with the corpses of baby bunnies until I was stunned into silence.

And I know you believe me. You believe me because that is just the sort of thing that 2016 would do, because 2016 was a dick.

2016-1

Listeners, I really want to believe that 2016 just cocked up. I want to believe that, at 11.45pm on 31st December 2015, 2016 stood in the wings of the Present and muttered ‘Don’t cock up, don’t cock up, don’t cock up,’ but unfortunately, through incompetence and lack of experience, made a complete balls up of the whole thing.

2016-2

The thing is, 2016 didn’t just cock up. 2016 knew what it was doing. 2016 was a malicious, calculating badgerfart and, even though it’s left us with an almighty hullabaloo, it’s gone now and we’re well shot of it.

But where did it go, dear listeners? What happened after the evil genius skulked off through the pyrotechnic blaze at the stroke of midnight?

I’ll tell you exactly what happened. First of all, it refused to high-five 2017.

I like to think that an old year high-fives a new year as it passes the mantle in that fraction of a second that their paths cross.

2016-3

2016 sauntered past 2017 without high-fiving because 2016 was an arrogant weasel.

And poor old 2017 – who received a cold hard stare when it asked during its interview whether there was any truth in the rumours about the job being a ‘poisoned chalice’ – crept past 2016 like a condemned man on his way to the gallows.

2016-4

And while everyone was trying to gee up 2017 and make it welcome and convince it that it wouldn’t be that difficult to undo the irreparable and potentially catastrophic damage wreaked by its hellish predecessor, 2016 strode into the Great Green Room of Years Past, sat down in the biggest, reddest and squeakiest leather chair, crossed one leg over the other, and lit an enormous spliff.

After a few minutes, 2015 and 2014, who were awkwardly sipping tea and nibbling bourbons, plucked up the courage to speak.

2016-5

2016 made no acknowledgement of their presence, but merely tilted its head back and exhaled a languid plume of smoke that contained the ashes of our hopes, dreams, and the Great British Bake Off. 2014 and 2015 held their breath and wished they’d never spoken. Eventually 2016 looked straight at them and gave a slow smile.

2016-6

An audible gasp went round the Great Green Room of Years Past. In a dusty corner, 1347 slowly shook its hooded, scabbed head. Old 1347 has had some bad press for unleashing the Black Death that killed off nearly half the population of Europe, but, you know, it’s had a long time to think about what it’s done.

2016-7

2016 leant forward and poured itself a glass of scotch and cast a cold eye around the Great Green Room of Years Past, smirking disdainfully at 1929 and 2008, who skulked in the corner clutching the remains of livelihoods and life savings. You see, 2016 thought it was a bad-ass. An unbeatable, immovable tyrant, gobbling up and terrifying all in its path.

Slumped wearily against the wall, 1914 and 1939 drew on damp cigarettes, their eyes ringed with the guilt of shattering the world twice over. They viewed 2016 with the despairing wisdom that comes with age and experience. Slowly, 1914 rose to its tired feet, shuffled over to 2016 and looked down at it like a wizened old gangster over a school bully.

2016-8

2016 paused, held 1914’s gaze for a few moments, then looked away.

And so 2016 remains, like a despised, despotic aunt who never leaves her room and occasionally yells unreasonable and hateful demands down the stairs.

But what of 2017?

2017, dearest listener, is shitting itself.

I feel for 2017. 2017 has been sold what it thought was a brand new Aston Martin, but has quickly realised that it is in fact an old Astra, the tyres are flat, the windscreen is cracked, and someone has puked all over the back seat.

2016-9

We must be gentle with 2017. It has a lot to learn. It has two choices: shrug its shoulders and roll with gay abandon into the doomish cesspit created by 2016, spray shit up the walls and then hold up its hands and say ‘Weren’t me, guv’; or, it can learn from its heinous predecessor’s actions, roll up its sleeves, and try to clean up the mess.

 

2016-10

I will say this to 2017: if you lay a finger on Julie Andrews, I’ll rip your throat out.

 

 

 

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