The Children of the Ketchup Revolution


Here’s the story of Superman, joy, and umbrellas.

I think a person being carried away by an umbrella is probably the biggest gulf in emotion between a person watching an event and a person being involved in an event. You see, for me, it’s utterly hilarious, but for her, she’s thinking, ‘Oh, cripes – POWER-LINES!’ You never saw that happen to Mary Poppins, did you? She was, basically, a blimp, and we can’t control blimps. ‘Tonight on Sky News, Mary Poppins dead at 52, electrocuted on a power-line. In retrospect, she probably should’ve got a bus.’ Buses aren’t magical, though, are they? Unless you cover them in flowers, but around here, those flowers would probably get nicked. I must stress, I didn’t actually see anyone get taken away by an umbrella, but I did see someone come close, and it was somewhat amusing. There’s just something inherently funny about a woman shouting at an umbrella…

Yes, The Day After Tomorrow continued its parody in the North East of England for a second week in a row. The young woman left the same building I did and went down the same road. It was a coincidence, I wasn’t following her. I don’t tend to stalk girls like that. I mean, erm – at all. I don’t stalk girls at all. Ahem. She was struggling with her umbrella from moment uno. Her walk was staggered as the vicious wind howled and filled up her umbrella, dragging her forward. She did manage to keep her feet on the ground for a considerable amount of time; I was actually quite impressed. But there was one fleeting moment when she was on her tippy-toes. Well that’s when the poop hit the hurricane. She started flapping the umbrella around and swearing at it. “GOD DAMMIT, YOU BASTARD!” I thought it was best to leave her alone.

She gave up with the umbrella, and threw it on the floor. And she walked off! Poor umbrella. That’s an overreaction if ever I saw one. It’s like somebody flicking your ear and your retaliation is to shoot them in the head. There was a part of me thinking, ‘Ooh – free umbrella!’ But then I remembered it was useless in the high winds. But then the thought occurred to me that other people might have the same thought I did. I didn’t want it to ruin anyone else’s day, but what are you supposed to do? Hand it in at the police station? I don’t know. I wouldn’t know what to tell them. “Do you know who this belongs to, sir?” “Oh yeah, The Penguin – he had a tiff with The Riddler and threw it away.”

I felt bad for her. She was very tiny. But I still can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if she had actually been lifted away. I mean, what the hell would you do in that situation? The incident occurred next to a huge glass office block. And the windows don’t open. She may have ended up going through one. “Will you stop calling me about bloody insurance! I don’t want bloody insurance! I’ll buy your insurance when pigs fly!” “Would a flying woman suffice?”

I’ve never been an umbrella man. That’s umbrella man, not umbrella, man. Like some hippy. I don’t know if hippies believe they are umbrellas, but that’s not the point. I’ve always used a hood. I actually quite like rain. You could call me a rain man. That’s rain man, not… Oh, never mind…

I don’t know if it’s just me, but even at the grand old age of 24, I still enjoy kicking puddles. And walking through them. Like a joyful toddler. I certainly wouldn’t do it if anyone were watching. It does lead me to an interesting question: How many things do we do because it’s what society expects of us? Nobody would kick a puddle in the middle of a major town centre. But in the comfort of solitude, how many of us would? It’s like picking your nose. Everybody does it, in the bathroom or wherever. But nobody does it in the middle of Tesco.

Heck, I was on the bus coming home, and many roads were flooded. As the big tyres of the bus ploughed through the water, I looked down and smiled as the big waves enveloped the pavements. Watching pedestrians dive almost in slow motion to escape the watery hell. A slow motion dive like I’ve seen in countless Hollywood movies or like that time last week when I had to save my sandwich from hitting the floor.

Of course, to see all this from the bus window, I had to clear the condensation off it. Which I did. But I also drew a smiley face. We’re all children at heart, aren’t we? We never grow old. I saw an elderly man last month try to jump over a wooden bollard. The smile on his face was infectious. I mean, he failed miserably and his right hand was quick to comfort his lower back, but it didn’t matter. It mattered to his wife, mind, who gave him an almighty glower. And two minutes later, she was kicking the leaves on the ground. And who doesn’t do that? I’m still partial to a ketchup sandwich, which is a British delicacy I’ll leave to your imagination…

There’s a lot of serious news in the world at the moment. Depressing. It’s important to remember that joy will always prevail. “Oh, kicking a puddle, how juvenile.” Oh, sod off. At least I’m smiling, you posh tart. “Oh, you need to leave the leaves alone, man, they’re the embodiment of Mother Nature, a warm blanket over her precious soil.” Oh, get off the weed and get a job, you hippy. “Oh, I’m a nutritionalist, and I can tell you that your uncivilised ‘ketchup sandwich’ is rather bad for your ticker.” Oh, sod off. We all gotta die, someday. I’ll die with ketchup in my veins, God dammit!

Always looking on the bright side of life isn’t trying to shield oneself from the horrors of the modern world, it’s simply trying to make the horror bearable. People have had a go at me in the past for having this attitude, but if we silence the joy, then all that’s left is the evil. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in that world.

This attitude even led to one of my most favourite discoveries.

We all play the ‘how far from my car can I press the central locking button on the fob for the car to unlock’ game. Once, I tried unlocking a car from about 50 yards, and it worked, but from about 100 yards, it completely failed. But then I held the fob up to my head, looked at the car, pressed the button on the fob, and it worked! Do you think the serious folk in society would ever have made such an important discovery? I think not. Superman has his laser vision, I have ‘unlocking’ vision. Which I think you’ll agree is much more useful.

Take that, Superman…

English film and stage actress, singer, author, theatre director and dancer, Dame Julie Andrews (b. 1935), once said: “Have you noticed how nobody ever looks up? Nobody looks at chimneys, or trees against the sky, or the tops of buildings. Everybody just looks down at the pavement or their shoes. The whole world could pass them by and most people wouldn’t notice.”

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the archives page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
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Hark Around the Words
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