Here’s the story of a dizzy world, mistakes, and bootleg chocolate.
The mistakes we make rarely cause World War III, at least not in this universe. There is, of course, a possibility that there exists a multiverse. That, for every decision we make, an alternative universe is created where a different choice was made. You might very well believe that your choice not to scratch your butt this morning on the bus, for fear of embarrassment, only resulted in a mildly irritated backside. However, in a different universe, the decision to scratch may have brought about World War III. While you cannot be held accountable for not doing something that caused the apocalypse in a parallel universe, you should at least be mindful of the fact that even one, tiny decision can have huge ramifications. The moral of the story? Scratch your butt. Otherwise, you may very well destroy another Earth. I am aware that this means we could be condemning our world to destruction but I don’t know, I think it’s had a good run…
“Apocalypse Now, Then”, Said the Friendless Virgin
Now, you may be wondering what kind of apocalyptic scenario could possibly arise from a butt scratching, or indeed what kind of man worries about his parallel self. I guess it’s like that movie Coherence. You see your parallel self living a much better life than you so, naturally, your first thought is to murder them and take over their life.
Just me? Don’t worry, I won’t bludgeon parallel Alan to death. It’ll be a quick death. I’ll probably just push him off a cliff. Not a really tall one, that would be a slow death. But tall enough to kill him. I’m fairly certain there isn’t an Alan in the multiverse living a worse life than me, so I think there is nothing wrong with any of this.
I mean, what are the police going to do? Arrest me for killing me even though I’m here and clearly alive? I can’t lose!
Now, you might say, “Well, sure, but wouldn’t the fact you’re now a killer alienate those you love in that awesome parallel life of yours?” Well, yes… fine. I didn’t think of that.
Mistakes are, of course, a part of life. Many believe not making mistakes in the first place is the ideal to live by. Others accept that mistakes are a part of life and learning from our mistakes is the ideal to live by. Others, like me, make so many mistakes that mistakes are pretty much all I am and on the rare days I don’t make a mistake, I consider this a win and, as a way to congratulate myself, I treat myself to lots of chocolate.
Unfortunately, this often leads to further mistakes, namely uncontrollable vomit and a tinge of regret, which is then drowned out by more chocolate. Some would argue this is an unhealthy cycle but I think it’s a lot like smoking.
They’re going to outlaw that in a few years so what do you do, as a smoker? That’s right, you smoke far more than you ever have before, you hoard as many cigarettes as humanly possible, and you begin a black market bootleg cigarette operation.
It’s common sense, people! They’re coming for the cigarettes, the hippies are pushing to have meat outlawed, and naturally, one can only assume chocolate is next to be banned.
I have every intention to start up an illicit chocolate farm and if I get busted for that, I would be a chocolate martyr revered for centuries to come.
This is the kind of thing 32-year-old, friendless virgins think about, by the way…
The Impossible Mistakes to Make That One Cannot Stop Making
We are, unfortunately, living in a world where people can’t make mistakes and where people who make mistakes either compound their mistakes by making more mistakes in an attempt to cover up said mistakes or apologise for said mistakes but nobody believes the apology and said person is vilified for the rest of their lives.
Basically, you have to get everything right. I do my bit by keeping my mouth shut and when I can’t, I do my bit by remaining anonymous…
I vaguely remember a time when you could screw up and a simple apology would suffice, but nowadays, the key is trying not to make those mistakes in the first place. The world changes so rapidly that every moment has to be thought about in epically anal detail.
Nobody is complaining of course. Writing blog posts has changed dramatically in the last decade, for example. Every post I write now I have to go over with a fine toothy comb to ensure gender neutrality, for example. Believe me, I have had comments on using the word ‘mankind’ that were less than kind. This did irk me at first but then I found this online tool that corrects things like this automatically, so I guess I haven’t really learnt a lesson…
Checking document. I had 43 ‘errors’ yesterday. Oh, no. What are they? Damn it, the snooker is on. Oh, screw it. Agree to change everything. Are you sure you do not want to review first? Nope. SNOOKER, COME ON!
These are mistakes, of course. These are errors I am aware of, of course. These errors must be corrected for inclusivity, of course. But mistakes like these are all too easy to make. I have got to that age now where I’ve simply given up and let the world pass me by.
I let computers do my thinking now. I think I know what’s right and wrong but I let a computer make the final decision, just in case, so paralysed with fear that I may make a mistake. Believe me, I’ve been burned and burned badly before.
But here’s the thing, right: why can’t I make a mistake? Those that love you may forgive you, once, but the wider world will not…
Learning from Errors in Time and the Best Advice for Men
Of course the world must change and of course mistakes are to be learned from, but what is most important to remember is this: one mistake and you are out. The court of public opinion hardly cares about you, no matter what you do or say.
If you fart on a bus, you can kiss goodbye to a normal life and your life is ruined…
So here’s what you do: you accept your mistakes. You accept that life is riddled with them and no matter what you do, you are going to be hounded for those mistakes. From the big to the small, no lesson learned will ever be enough for some people.
So hide it.
I learn several lessons every week about mistakes. I then do my best to hide them. Sometimes it is as simple as a grammar check to catch an error before it’s made. Other times, it’s knowing you have a very hard booger that is shredding your nostril to pieces so you have to pre-empt a mistake by discretely ducking under your desk at work to fish it out.
Pre-empting mistakes and covering them up are great tools to protect your credibility from being completely destroyed by a simple mistake or social faux pas, but how do you protect yourself from the mistakes you don’t see coming?
Surprisingly, an apology is rarely enough for some people. The key here is to blank these people out and, of course, learn from these so-called ‘mistakes’. On a blog or a social media platform, the correct course of action is to block these people so you don’t have to deal with them ever again.
Back in my early days of blogging, I was spamming several dozen irate comments a week. Oh, you’re not doing this. You’re supposed to do that. Actually, you can’t say that. Oh. Okay. Well, let me respond by researching your complaints thoroughly, determining whether or not you’re correct in what you say and if you are, modifying what I do going forward and, in the meantime, block you. This is known as a cover-up. Except it’s slightly less illegal…
This way, nobody else will ever know of your mistake and once you’ve corrected the error, you’ve effectively eradicated any trace of your mistake. Therefore you are protected from any kind of negativity that can easily ruin you.
These aren’t major mistakes, of course not. They are little quibbles people have that risk blowing way out of proportion. As far as I know, I’ve never made anything other than a little quibble but it’s enough these days for people to overreact. In fact, I’d hedge my bets that most of the mistakes we’ve been shouted at for in our lives or criticised for online are so small as to be insignificant.
From my experience, pre-empting these minor foibles and trying to eradicate them, as long as a lesson is learnt if there is a lesson to be learnt, is the best way to ensure that everyone is happy.
Your life carries on as normal, over-reactionary nutters keep shtum, and everyone has learnt a lesson. Whether it’s a now more enlightened view of the world or not to judge someone for something so incredibly small…
Trust me, as a man, that advice works on so many levels.
The Complicated World We Endure and Death to the Parallel Universe
We live in a complicated world. It is changing so rapidly that it is impossible to keep up. Sometimes it is easy to spot a mistake or a social faux pas. Other times, it is nigh-on impossible. But all too often you see or indeed experience a culture of destruction in some kind of attempt to banish the perceived problem.
But life doesn’t work like that.
The problem does not go away. You end up feeling smug over your so-called win and the object of your ire is left feeling dejected and upset that someone out there thinks so little of them. Everyone needs to calm the hell down.
If someone does something that upsets you, can you ignore them? Do you really need to adopt the role of a militant social warrior? Would it not be better if you didn’t shout at that person and, instead, talked to them? In a calm, quiet voice without lots of capital letters, exclamation points and Dalekian threats to exterminate them?
Hey, you said this thing, or you did this thing, and I think you were wrong. Oh, no, what did I do? Well, you said this and you shouldn’t because of this… Oh, sugar, I didn’t know, sorry, I’ll correct it.
That’s called being an adult…
If there is pushback then fine, ruin their life. But most people are willing to change and willing to listen. Change doesn’t always come about through violence. It can often come about through a few kind words.
Last year, I had a change of blog theme and I lost some image credits for very complicated reasons. I got a comment a few weeks ago from one irate content creator that I hadn’t credited him. As it says on my ‘sources’ page, all you need to do is drop me a kind comment and I’ll remove the image or give you credit, plus I explain what happened in the first place. Didn’t matter to this guy.
I don’t want to go into details about the threats against me but they were quite vitriolic. So I blocked him and deleted the image. I’ve learnt a lesson and now nobody will ever know he left that comment. Did it upset me? Of course. I hate confrontation.
But that’s not the point. It is hackneyed to say because we all see it on Twitter every day, but it is true: if you can be anything in this world, be kind. We shouldn’t live in a world where I’m trying to cover up mistakes for fear of retribution…
One mistake and a lesson learned does not equal World War III. At least not in this universe. I can’t speak for other universes but I think I can speak on behalf of THIS universe when I say:
DEATH TO THOSE GUYS!
Is that an overreaction?
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
– Albert Einstein (physicist).
Peace Out :|:
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My Other Blogs: To Contrive & Jive | Hark Around the Greats