Info Archive

[ Donate :    Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund    Save The Rhino

<Prev Next>
Subject: Re: Six Impossible Things ( 10 of 17 )
Posted by Douglas Adams

Actually, English A-Level has a lot to answer for.
I apologise for biting your head off. Let me tell you a little story.
Many, many years ago I had a couple of dates with a girl who played the 'cello. (There is NO significance to this, by the way). One day I helped her lug her cello all the way up the stairs to her flat. When we got to the top I collapsed in a chair and said "Don't you sometimes wish you played the piccolo?"
She was absolutely furious with me. She said "Don't you realise, can't you imagine, that every single jerk I ever, ever meet says that exact same thing to me? I really expected better from someone of your intelligence and imagination."
The relationship scarcely outlasted that episode, but she was absolutely right. It does take the exercise of a little thought or imagination in order to realise that the person you're about to make some joshing remark or question to might have heard that very remark a million times before and be on the verge of a homicidal spree if they ever hear it again. I remember once sitting next to Chris Bonnington the famous mountaineer at a dinner, and I spent a good quarter of an hour trying desperately to think of some opening remark to make which he wouldn't have heard to the point of insanity. Anything to do with Everest, obviously, was out, and so on. In the end I settled for 'Please could you pass me the salt?" and we got along famously from then on.

<Prev Next>

[ Back to thread list ]


(c) 2001