“Is not the space between heaven and earth like a bellows; it is empty without being exhausted: the more it works the more comes out. Much speech leads inevitably to silence. Better to hold fast to the void.”

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching (Book I – V)

We’ve all had them; mostly at school before we’ve learned to gracefully step between idiocy and outright humiliation. Take my first year at secondary school; I fell over in front of the entire student cohort. Or the second year, when having a race on the newly varnished floor, my brand new trainers became affixed in place, sending yours truly hurtling headlong into a nice, hard wall.

I woke up 5 minutes later with the PE teacher screaming at me to “get up, you’re losing your team the race.” One concussion and a broken wrist later and I was soon up to old tricks. Standing on a football in an attempt to stop it (another broken wrist); walking out of an assembly with chewing gum stuck to my posterior, as everyone had a good chuckle. I swear they made me do that on purpose. Or, when faced with being kissed by the most beautiful girl in the year,  I sat there quite blank, not entirely sure what I was meant to do.

Even her best friend came and asked me what gives.

Getting older and supposedly wiser, you stop being quite so easily en-awkwardated (yes I made that word up). Well, until you forget to put on the handbrake whilst on holiday, due to excess relaxation and rum and your car starts rolling into a bottle bank. My wife was surprised at my cat like reflexes (i.e. panic) as I jumped back in the car, stopping it less than two millimetres from smashed lights and an a possible black eye. The women are tough up here. I still don’t mess.

This of course, is my long winded way of explaining through confessions of clumsiness, that I have a small obstacle. With the somber nature of my previous post and general demeanour; it is with great awkwardocity (that one too) that I present my next chapter of the unsubtle turgidity Plateau to the elderly lady fast asleep at the back and the gentleman at the front who appears to be crying:

Chapter Seventeen – The Withered and Aged Member of an Old Donkey