Plainly I am a miserable bastard.
I am one of those wretched people who take no joy whatsoever in life’s special events but hide away, griping and sneering, and looking down my nose at the hoi polloi.
The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter back in March? I preferred to sleep in.
The Euro football thing? Past me by. Couldn’t care, didn’t care.
Wimbledon? If I wanted to watch women in short skirts grunting at each other I’d... hold on a minute, I might programme my set-top box to record that one.
Yesterday the Olympic Torch (or rather a facsimile of one of many Olympic Torches) passed through my home town of Leamington Spa. The route took it right passed my place of employment. The torch was on my very doorstep. Crowds and thronging masses lining the streets. Local celebs. Local dignitaries. The press. The police. The St John’s Ambulance brigade. The world and his dog all lined up to watch the world’s biggest Cornetto walked along streets which in a year’s time will not recall its passing. Or even care.
Was I there?
Nah. I couldn’t be bothered.
The wife had made cup cakes and they were fresh out of the oven and generously iced. I was on the sofa with a good book. The kids were playing happily together and not requiring adult involvement. The kittens had disappeared to their mysterious bolt-hole the exact location of which is still unknown to us.
This was quite possibly a once in a lifetime event happening in my own home town and I just felt nothing. Not a spark of interest. Not even a snifter of a fart. In years to come when people ask me if I was there and if I saw it I shall say no but my backside was grateful for the good scratching I gave it.
The most I have done is to check out some photos on Facebook posted by a friend who did motivate himself to go.
They are good photos but the spectacle of the event looks underwhelming. When you have seen one crowd you have seen them all. Unless they are armed, of course; crowds like that tend to impinge on the viewer far more personally. And as for the torch... well, I’ve seen it on the telly. I’ve seen it on the telly nearly every night for the last God knows how many weeks. I’m sick of it. It is of no more interest to me than one of those huge phallic pepper mills that Italian waiter’s grind over your lasagne in Bella Italia.
I’d like to put this indifference down to Olympic fatigue but the truth is I just don’t care enough about big “social” “all inclusive” events of any kind. They make me want to down tools and run off in the opposite direction. I even get some kind of secret thrill from spurning them and not being part of them. I don’t even see myself as a lone wolf or one-man-alone or anything cool like that.
I just don’t want everybody else’s bag to be my bag.
I don’t want to be part or included or one of the many.
And for some strange reason I feel bloody proud to have discovered that about myself.
Where was I when they shot Kennedy?
I was doing my own thing, Mac, doing my own thing.