The Importance of Idle Hands

Suggested Audio Jukebox ♫


[1] Olivia Newton-John “Physical”

[2] Deep Purple “Lazy”


Time to recline. What say you? It was either this or a fitness DVD but I can’t seem to find my leotard right now. Trust me when I say that you’ve had a lucky escape there. Actually, my grandmother used to regularly comment about my shapely legs so perhaps I’m doing myself something of an injustice there. Nah, give me leather over Lycra any workout of the week and I swear blind I could work up a greater sweat. Besides, who wants a chiseled frame anyroad? I’d rather work out my neurons than be able to open a can of sweetcorn with one clench of my bicep. I mean, I don’t even eat fucking sweetcorn. There’s just something about these yellow perils that reminds me of old man teeth. Granted, Olivia Newton-John does appear in high spirits and the song that she sings is somewhat catchy. But I can already see the sweat patches forming and she’s starting to smell like a Turkish rug salesman named Mehmet. Think I might just sit this one out, thanks doll.

I reckon we dodged a bullet there, you know. Sounded far too much like physical exertion to me and I’ve not yet consumed a solitary calorie today to burn, unless tea counts. Let’s not tuck me in and read me a bedtime story just yet, I don’t possess a lazy boy recliner and neither is the garden chair I’m perched upon particularly kind on my buttocks. But I happen to know a technique that tones up all the right areas and it only entails lifting two fingers and tapping them repeatedly on the qwerty pad, perhaps work up a rhythm for a little inside dancing while I’m at it. The soul may not officially be classed as a muscle, but that’s not to say it can’t be flexed; provided you partake in exercises such as this one. Who needs to bench press when you’ve got WordPress for just a nominal annual subscription? Sure beats extortionate monthly gym fees. If that makes me a couch potato, then unzip my jacket and slide a nob of butter in; but I’d be ever so grateful if you don’t stick a fork in me. I bruise easily, you see.

Am I the only one who finds pumping iron an ever so slightly vainglorious pursuit? We all got bullied in school, must we really look like the dude with the tiny head from Puppetmaster just to make our point ten years later? I get the whole release of happy pheromones deal and all but, at some point, doesn’t all that repetition begin to take the shine off? It would be different if they surrounded rowing machines with a moat containing hundreds of snap-happy piranha or introduced the Iron Maiden Cross-Trainer. But all that manly bravado ultimately counts for precious little when the only spotters on hand are a bunch of big guys with tiny dicks. Who gives a sack of cellulite if you can do fifty stomach crunches in a minute when I’ve got ten knuckles here with no interest in cracking themselves. Sorry Ms. Newton-John, but I’m afraid you’re barking up the wrong oak here. Go wiggle those voluptuous curves of yours someplace else you saucy little bint. On second thoughts, as you were missy, but a little more camel toe wouldn’t go amiss and perhaps a tad less lip gloss. Just saying.

I’m a sucker for new research. Were you aware that a recent UK poll revealed that Britons spend almost six months of their life queuing? Firstly, that’s a whole lot of effort to go to in order to reveal a fairly depressing statistic to the nation. Secondly, SIX SODDING MONTHS! That statistic is some way beyond preposterous and fully endorses my decision to pronounce myself a “lazy motherfucker”. Six minutes in a post office queue and I’m going off like the dude in Scanners. That’s not to mention random phone surveys, door-to-door Jehovah’s witnesses, and the dreaded “please hold” time. My call isn’t important to them. If it was, well then they’d answer the poxy phone, would they not? And don’t get me started on the dreaded Terms & Conditions or you’ll really set my temple vein pulsing. Has anyone ever read one of these drab documents from start to finish with their will to live intact? If so, then my deepest condolences to their families.

Unless I skim read the memo wrong, life is short, is it not? If that’s the case, then I’m gonna spend a slither of that short time doing whatever the hell I wanna do. Is that really so bogus? It would be different if I were requesting a wedge; but a slither of “me time” makes Jack a dull boy… I mean… lifts my spirits. We humans waste a ludicrous amount of our lifespans on menial pursuits such as mowing lawns, waiting for Windows updates, and meticulously placing squares of paper all around public toilet seats (doubling up if there’s visible splash damage). I’ll do my time reluctantly, but only if there’s a pair of oversized Wile E. Coyote slippers waiting by the door when I get home and chocolate to binge upon. Too much “us time” (me not included) equates to not nearly enough “me time” (us not invited) and that is where we have to slouch our ground on occasion. Am I right? Or simply delusional? Answers on a post card and good luck queuing for a stamp.

Besides, laziness is just so dang moreish, is it not? I mean, why ever would we do today what we could forget to do tomorrow? Should the TV remote be agonizingly out of reach, then there seems scant reason not to watch Two & A Half Men, despite the fact that the Scanners headache comes on the moment the opening credits play. Tell me you haven’t negated to lather your calves in the shower because you already scrubbed your titties good and those southward soap suds will do the rest. Here’s another doozy. Daytime thoughts – I shall study at night, when I feel more active; Nighttime thoughts – I shall study in the morning when I’m fresh. Tell me I’m not preaching to the choir here and feel free to chip in those amens as I’d bet my bottom/top dollar there’s a lot of nodding heads right now. That’s if anyone can be bothered to read this. Let’s face it, I do go on a bit. Take it from me, a self-educated man almost entirely allergic to reading oddly enough; I know we’ve all got homes to go to. Far be it from me to outstay my slender welcome. Fret not, I’ll be back in my box in a few stanzas. For now, please pass the cheesy popcorn and I plead you not to lament my configuration too much.

For the record, the last paragraph should have been considerably shorter but I simply couldn’t be arsed to hit the ENTER tab. You see, when you’re a sloth such as I, it’s all about using any infrequent bursts of energy to propel yourself out of your stinking pit, while the going is temporarily less bad. My case in point would be soap operas. Should the theme tune to one such opus of doom chime out in the vicinity, then I’m out of the trench like War Horse and at full canter before the first of its daily murders. The kicker is that my energy depletes at such an alarming rate that I often find myself pinned to my comfy chair, watching through glazed eyes I hasten to add. Not that I’m about to blame my comfy chair for my inability to run for my life. It would never forgive me if I did. The last thing you need when embracing your comfy chair is uncomfortable silence. Full-body paralysis yes, but not uncomfortable silence.

The irony is that I’m not actually altogether idle. I know right? How could this be? Surely it takes more effort to lie? Indeed it does and that’s why I’m deadly serious. I work my sack to its tail day after day for the purpose of my art and barely 24 hours passes without a few thousand inane words dribbling out of my frothing maw. The problem is that I can never be bothered to post shit. This isn’t ignorance on my part, more the fact that I’ve drained my swede of nutrients for most of the day and barely possess the gumption to thread a pube through a knitting needle. That’s the thing about get up and go – it never sticks around long. Sometimes I build momentum and other times I fritter it like a twit. Alas, this seems to be the nature of the beast but I’ve already pledged to start working on that tomorrow so watch this space fellow sloths, if you get round to it of course.

Idleness is an art form. But making this lifestyle choice doesn’t necessarily mean you have nothing to bring to the table. Take Usain Bolt for example – he may be the closest mankind has to its very own two-legged cheetah but he’s also the very first to fess up to inertia. Why else would he specialize in the 100-meter dash? It’s because it’s the quickest way to bag himself that Gold medal so he can get back to his hammock, that’s why. He still trains like a workhorse to prepare for every race but takes the opportunities to kick back when they come. When you think about it, I’m actually less lazy than he is, as I could’ve made this rant a hundred word poem if I’d wanted to and be scratching my bum in half-assed fashion as we speak. Instead of such fast food, I’ve lovingly assembled a full-scale word spread in your honor and will even wash the dishes once we’re done. I won’t of course, at least, not until mañana. But I will rinse the hardened crud off the plates this evening as I may be lazy but I’m not a fucking heathen.

You’ve got to be smart about it, you see. It’s all about achieving the best results in the least amount of man hours feasible. I happen to find running baths painfully laborious but that doesn’t mean I skimp on those water levels. Doing so would potentially mean vacating the tub even filthier than I was when I got in and a flannel wash would then have been more productive. Thus I ponder what other fundamental tasks I can complete while it fills. Simple. Ironically enough, laziness actually makes us more efficient timekeepers in the long run. One popular dish the British delight in is baked beans on toast as this is the ideal turbo meal for those evenings when waiting for the oven to heat up is just too much palava. Over the years I have become a wizard at whipping up baked beans on toast; to such a degree that I can judge my timing to the very microsecond. Remember kiddiwinks, laziness is a lifestyle choice and not an affliction as is pummeled into us at school.

My secondary education was one of massive under-achievement. While others in history lectures were swatting up on nineteenth century medicine like the model pupils they were, I was running an unlicensed bookies at the back of the class and still believed Florence Nightingale to be a small migratory thrush with drab brownish plumage. The faculty had high hopes for me as a student and I spent five years dashing every last one of them, coming away with a leper’s handful of rancid grades and not the foggiest clue about Pythagoras. Naturally, I was mindful of the big wide world I was about to be shat into with zero prospects so knuckled down like a big-boned orangutan at college. I guess the rest would be history, rather fittingly.

Speaking of pesky simians, have I mentioned the primate that resides in the limbic gland of my brain? After much procrastination, I named and shamed my monkey and Percival Mandrake III is no longer a stranger to me. This cantankerous chimp is solely responsible for idle persuasion, hoodwinking me into abiding like The Dude as opposed to suffering a myocardial infarction like Donny who loved bowling. Should I become flummoxed with everyday life, then Percival pitches in with the usual suspect suggestions, none of which entail lifting a solitary knuckle from the gravel. If he had his way, slothfulness wouldn’t be a favored pastime, it would be a life sentence and it has taken most of my adult life to earn myself parole. Right now I’ve whittled my penance down to a suspended sentence and a few hours a day of community disservice. But he’s no longer running the show. Actually he’s currently running a hot bath. See, always forward thinking.

I’d love to rattle on a dash longer but, to be brutal by way of honesty, I’m just not sure I’ve got it in me. So what do you say? Same time tomorrow then? Far be it from me to slack but I’m almost out of sugar to burn and the dinner plates aren’t piling up on their own. Just to clarify, it is acceptable to lick them and put them straight back in the cupboard right? Only the tea-towel is all the way over there and we’re fresh out of hot running water thanks to Percival’s unplanned upstairs pool party. Please feel free to let yourselves out in as disorderly a fashion as you please; after handing me the TV remote of course. For the remains of the day I plan to study infomercials and keep a beady eye on the humongous eight-legged freak which appears to have breached the barracks. The burning question is – do I really have the remaining oomph to fire up the vacuum cleaner? It’s underneath a pile of jackets you see. And then there’s the whole plugging in malarkey. It never bloody ends, I tell you.

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