By Scott Jamison

How about writing a column,” comes the suggestion. “That’s a good idea,” thinks I. “What could it be about?” continues the internal dialogue. But before I can board that particular train of thought, the horror dawns on me that I’ll have to actually come up with ideas on a weekly, monthly or however often I decide to do this gig for basis.

This is one of my main problems – effort and I have a tense relationship at the best of times. I have a lot of good ideas circling in my head (I’ll leave you to be the judge of whether this is a good one or not) but a lot of them, nay all of them, involve me actually, you know, doing stuff.

Hence my life is filled with half-baked schemes, whether it be that great novel I never quite got round to finishing (or properly starting, if I’m honest), the film script that’s just waiting for me to polish it off before the Hollywood A-listers fight over who gets to star in it and numerous other job searches, books to read and even relationships.

So I start to brainstorm about what topics I could cover. However, something online catches my eye and before I know, I’m dragged into watching a video of the Japanese tsunami earlier in this year. While that may seem a morbid past-time, it was a fascinating video, taken at ground level from the relative safety of a car as the water first struck.

“Any ideas yet?” comes the internal dialogue in my head.

“Of course there’s not, it’s only been 10 minutes since I started thinking of what to write,” responds the other side of my brain.

‘Japanese restaurant has monkey waiters that wear doll masks,’ adds a third stream, once again reading a link that has popped up on a social networking site.

Too late, I have to click into it and be equally intrigued/horrified. As much as I really want to see two-foot tall primates with fixed expressions, I know deep down I’m just using it as another excuse to put off finding something to write about.

What is laziness anyway? If I don’t want to get out of my bed in the morning and rush to work, does it make me a bad person? I’m hardly Pol Pot over here just because I’m taking my time in my scratcher.

And what does it say about my life that I’m more interested in how monkeys cope with a large drinks order and requests to hold the mayo than expressing what’s on my mind?

This column writing started off as light and fluffy, intended in good humour, and now it’s a rumination on life, love and everything. It’s like therapy but without the sky-high costs and revelation that I secretly want to marry my mother. In fact, come to think of it, I wouldn’t even bother with therapy – way too much time and effort involved.

One of the main problems with not wanting to do anything that takes you out of your immediate comfort sphere is that it’s a slippery slope to not doing anything that requires even a modicum of effort. Ironically, the term used is snowballing, which conjures up all sorts of images of rapidly moving downhill, gaining speed as you go.

When in reality, the only comparison to a snowball is the round shape you slowly become as you give up on anything that causes you to break out in a sweat, mentally or physically.

“So what’s it going to be about then?” comes the internal question again, sounding even more irritated now.

“A stream of consciousness and random observations,” the other part hits back with.

“Like Seinfeld?” goes the retort.

“Oh sure, if you’re going to compare a column by someone who’s never written one before and isn’t quite sure what he’s doing, then you may as well compare it to one of the biggest televisions shows of all-time,” I say to myself, resigned to my fate.

So that is what it became. Much like the show about nothing, this is the column about nothing.

Well, when I can be bothered to write it, that is.

 

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