Review: Anecdotes

Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains and incapable of posting on her blog because of living somewhere that isn't particularly conducive to limply witty, semi-ironical commentary. Also, I was kept up all night by Christians across the road singing and praying until 5am, at which time no decent self-respecting god is awake anyway, so I'm tired and will have to write this in the style of Wittgenstein (famous author of the famous Da Vinci Code), as a series of mostly unrelated observations.

Nor have I sent any group emails, except to my family, who would be just as happy if I pdf'd over a signed and dated ECG reading showing that I'm still alive. By rights, I should be sweating anecdotes from my pores by now, but against a background of general strangeness, nothing shows up as particularly strange.

A few years ago I cack-handedly attempted a relationship with a man who was very good at anecdotes. They would always begin with him taking a deep breath and rolling his eyes up until the whites showed, before launching into a stream of exaggerations, embellishments and lies. He used to change the endings: all is fair, in love and the pub. Since then, I've become violently attached to a series of laconic men whose idea of a good chat is to stare into space, occasionally making an observation about someone's shoes. These men are like a chemistry set: the joy is in seeing what makes them react.

My boss is a fountain of anecdotes. He once had a fistfight with Pasolini outside a cement factory in Dar es Salaam. That's my favourite. The rest is silence. The safari park guides have millions of anecdotes, even the Elephant Man, but they all go something like: "And then we saw a lion crawl behind the tent!" and you quickly get used to them and can tune out while they're being told apart from the occasional "How scary! How brave!" Then everyone goes home happy, having successfully fulfilled their gender roles for once in their sorry, psychosexually complex lives.

I am missing the 'dotes of close friends, but my fiancee has promised to write all hers in a Word document, then copy and paste them into every email in order to recreate the repetition and enforced familiarity that I'd get over a normal weekend in London.

Anecdotes: Kids! Why not share your own favourites, on this handy Comments facility! 7 out of 10.


Review: Leaving the country

Well, knock me down with a feather, but leaving the country is stressful. I thought it would be like going out on Friday, only with a passport instead of three bottles of white wine, but it's proper troublesome alright.

Anyway, please look after London in my absence and make sure it doesn't get blown up. Will be blogging more regularly on arrival in Dar es Salaam, reviewing things of increasing irrelevance to your tawdry western existence, eg brands of African beer and having a woman come in to do your laundry.

My flight is now boarding.

Leaving the country: Missing you already. 6 out of 10.