The art of being unreasonable

I feel like being totally unreasonable today. You know the sort of thing, when your nearest and dearest fix you with A Look and say, 'What on earth are you doing?' or 'Why aren't you doing anything?!'.

Being unreasonable often seems to involve verbs: you are either doing what you shouldn't or not doing anything at all. Somehow even inaction brings in the doing words, spelling it out where you are failing yourself, and everyone else.

No, sitting does not count as a doing word! (Well, actually it does, because sitting is doing something) and looking at the computer doesn't seem to count as being busy.

What counts is being out there, looking like you want to be out there and joining in some terrible team sport like conversation or social inclusion.

It's totally unreasonable to avoid these activities and not at all creative to find good ways to sneak out of them. It doesn't mean you are a clever person if you come up with a get-out clause and people don't admire you for your short-lived but eloquent speech given just before you leave.

In fact, the art of being unreasonable isn't admired very much at all, which is a disappointment because I'm so good at it.

Team games, talking, doing, being together, not pulling faces, making conversation, not giving expositions on the benefits of time travel to future generations and absolutely not sliding sci-fi into any political debate are the valued whotchamacallits.

So today I am being unreasonable. As much as possible, my doing words will be sidling, shifting, shuffling, edging, ducking, wriggling and disappearing. If I can also manage smiling as I vanish (like the Cheshire cat), then I'll slot that in for good measure.

You see how, even when being totally unreasonable, you can be a very busy person. Verbs, people, it's all in the verbs.

And if anyone tries to argue with you, then refer them to correct word usage and the fact that, two hundred years from now when we are all living in the future, none of this will matter except to them.


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