Behind the Times

That part of the world’s population waiting with bated breath beside their computer screens were no doubt shocked to their very marrow by the non-appearance. The rest of the world’s 7 billion people, however, somehow found the strength to carry on with their lives despite the fact that this post is half a day late.

 

I can only offer my profoundest, most sincere apologies (while accepting no financial liability of any kind). I would have written something had I but been able to get to my computer. Unfortunately, at my usual posting time, the keyboard was at the other end of a mountain range of stuff stretching majestically from one end of my bedroom to the other.

 

It all started two and a half days ago when it occurred to me that since my new job will almost certainly involve having to bring work home, I should probably make a few adjustments to the area around the desk in my bedroom in order to make it easier to use. I wasn’t thinking of anything too drastic, of course, just a few minor tweaks here and there. It had long annoyed me, for example, that getting a pen or pencil always involved groping up to the elbow in the darker recesses of my desk drawer. Then there was all the information I’d been given relating to my new job. It should clearly be kept in files somewhere near at hand.

 

Unfortunately, every inch of prime real estate on or around my desk was already occupied. Indeed, the only significant amount of space anywhere in the entire bedroom was an unused portion of shelf at the back of the built-in closet. This left me with only two choices. I could either take myself nearer that space or bring that space nearer me. Upon careful consideration, I brilliantly deduced my desk would not fit into the closet, so I took the bold step of pursuing the second strategy.

 

I began by loading up the shelf with some little used books. This had the effect of coaxing the space from the back of the closet out onto a bookshelf. Then by filling the bookshelf with some old CDs, I could transfer the space to the area the CDs had come from, namely the top of the wardrobe.

 

In this way, I planned through a series of cleverly coordinated item relocations to bounce the space around my bedroom—the top of the wardrobe, the back of a drawer, under the bed, next to the bookcase—until I eventually managed to maneuver it onto my desk, where it would at last be of some use. It was a strategy familiar to anyone who ever played one of those sliding picture puzzles as a child.

 

Sadly, somewhere around the middle of my bedside cabinet, my plans escalated wildly out of control like WW1. Before I knew it, I was embroiled in a full-scale tidy up. The next two and a half days were entirely occupied with filling bags, loading boxes and taking trips to the compactor. So much dust was thrown up into the atmosphere, crops yields for the next few years are likely to be adversely affected.

 

Thankfully, the task is all but finished. The Andean range of clothes, books and documents that once separated one side of my bedroom from the other has gone and the area around my desk is once again the perfect environment in which to work. I’m now ready to face whatever my job throws at me, provided it isn’t difficult, heavy or explosive.

 

 

© Bun Karyudo and the BunKaryudo Blog (2017)

(All Rights Reserved)

Cutting Back, Not Cutting Down

I won’t be writing much this week. This is partly to allow rest and recuperation for anybody who managed to struggle to the end of last week’s 19th-century Russian novel of a post about chewing gum. (This should in no way be taken as any kind of tacit admission that this previous post was too long, by the way. Far from it. Once I eventually have the time to add the contents page and index, any self-respecting reader should be able to get through the entire piece in as little as 2-3 days.)

 

The other reason why I’m already on the penultimate paragraph of today’s post is that it now looks virtually certain I’ll be changing jobs in the next few weeks. I’m going to need more time to concentrate on that. I guess this is only fair. Over the last two years, my blog has snatched great stretches of time from my daily life. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that with employment and health issues, daily life has recently begun snatching much of this time back.

 

Now, I realize there may be some out there who find it difficult to believe I’d allow myself to cut back on my blogging for a while because of anything as insignificant as employment issues / starvation avoidance. To all such people, I say fear not! Not only will I continue posting something each week (even if only 3 paragraphs long), but throughout the entire period, I will also be fighting mightily on behalf of our planet’s RAIN FORESTS! This very worthy task I will be doing primarily by refraining from logging and slash-and-burn agriculture until I get settled in my new job. After that, all bets are off.

 

 

 

Nothing of Note

Not a thing…

 

Not a single thing…

 

As I leaf through the pages, I find myself becoming increasingly alarmed. I can see nothing, not even page numbers. What on earth am I going to write about? It may sound as though I’m blaming my notebook here, but of course this would be a silly way to frame my problem. I’m actually blaming my notebooks. I have four of them and they’re all responsible.

 

There’s really no excuse for this lack of results. The notebooks are kept in strategic locations on and around my person so they can generate ideas around the clock. No matter the time day or night, there is always a writing surface of some kind nearby where new comic ideas can materialize. Without these notebooks, who can tell where the jokes might be forced to appear? The kitchen wall? The tablecloth? My eldest son’s forehead?

 

My notebooks vary considerably in size and shape, enabling them to fill different roles in my comedy production line. Unfortunately, these precision-engineered inspiration-capture-and-containment devices have been of no real help to me at all this week.

 

Consider, for example, my navy blue notebook with its heavy-duty plastic covers. It boasts an impressive 10 x 7-inch page size, yet although this means vast expanses of pristine writing surface are available for the appearance of comedy gold, literally nothing has turned up on any page for well over a week now. That’s right! My notebook has not seen fit to provide me with anything at all! Not even so much as an elementary school fart gag. It has been a lamentable performance and has severely shaken my faith in this notebook’s abilities. Given its current form, I’m not sure it could come up with a suitable first line for a knock-knock joke.

 

Perhaps I’m expecting too much in this case given that, strictly speaking, my navy blue notebook isn’t actually a notebook at all, but rather a washed-up 2014 Business Diary in search of redemption. Oh, I’m sure it had its excuses. No doubt it could cite sluggish economic conditions or natural lows in the production cycle for its failure to shine during its big year. But the fact remains, from the beginning of January to the end of December 2014, the only entry it managed in twelve whole months was, “Wed, March 5th: staff meeting.” That’s a lot to try to explain away with volatility in herring prices and the unexpected strength of the Albanian lek

 

Now I don’t remember precisely what went on in 2014. When I try to look back at it, I discover it’s hiding behind 2015, so I can’t see it clearly. I’m even prepared to admit that 2014 arrived during something of a lean spell for me in my career, coming as it did slap-bang between leaving high school and the present day. Nevertheless, I simply cannot believe a single staff meeting in March is an accurate reflection of the no doubt stellar work I was doing at the time.

 

My black and green notebooks do not even have this excuse of being originally intended for some other purpose. They are pocket notebooks and fit easily into almost any jacket or coat. I try to carry one or other about with me at all times. Rather than deciding on a clear favorite, I alternate which of them I take with me because I’m trying to engender a healthy spirit of rivalry between them. In this way, they will attempt to outdo each other in the production of comic gems.

 

That, at least, is the theory. But this week, they have let me down badly. A careful look through both of them just before writing this essay confirmed what I’d already suspected: neither has done a stroke of work for over a week. Personally, I fear they may be trying to set up a cartel. The logic is clear. By working together to severely disrupt the flow of jokes, they hope to drive the price of humor through the roof, allowing them to make exorbitant claims for whatever tiny amounts they do produce—even jokes so weak they should really be propped up in bed with some cocoa.

 

Who can tell what outrageous payment demands they may make? Drop capitals in all opening paragraphs? Illuminated borders? Plastic lamination of individual pages? No matter what they have in mind, though, they will soon find that writing gags for me is no laughing matter. I’m not by nature a cruel man, but I do have a steely determination when it comes to my writing. I’m afraid I’m quite prepared to rip a page or two right out of a notebook if I feel a lesson is in order.

 

The last of my four notebooks, the grey, is the one I feel sorriest for, and also the one I’ve been most disappointed by. Unlike the others, it has only a soft paper cover rather than a hard plastic one. Originally, I tried taking it to the office with me in my workbag, but being unable to protect itself as it got pushed, squeezed and jostled, the notebook soon became little more than a tattered shadow of its former self.

 

Such heroic sacrifice could not but be respected, and so I began using the robust blue notebook to take to work with me instead and gave my battered grey one pride of place on the bedside table. Whenever I’m lying awake in bed late at night and seeking humorous inspiration from the ceiling, the grey notebook is the one that always manages to produce the best jokes. I’ve come to rely on its input and trust its judgement. But this week, I opened it up wondering what it would have in store for me and found there was nothing at all.

 

Despite my disappointment, there’s no way I would resort to physical threats with the grey notebook. It has already suffered quite enough in the cause of comedy. Unlike those shiftless good-for-nothings the green and the black, the grey is clearly trying it’s best. It’s simply that, given the way it has been knocked about over time, it’s no longer the notebook it once was.

 

I suspect the fact I’ve been so exhausted recently has not helped either. I’ve slept like a log for the past week, and so have not been there to encourage my faithful friend by oohing and aahing admiringly as it came up with its puns and one-liners. It’s even possible the poor old thing found it difficult to concentrate on producing humor with all the snoring I was doing in the background.

 

So I’m afraid, much as I wish it weren’t so, I have absolutely nothing to write about for my blog this week. This being the case, I have no option but to cancel today’s post and hope that by this time next week, my notebooks will have begun supplying me with topics again.

 

 

 

© Bun Karyudo and the BunKaryudo Blog (2016)

(All Rights Reserved)

 

 

NOTE: I’m afraid a family health situation means I probably won’t be around much until January. I apologize, for that, but with luck everything will be back to normal in a few weeks. (This message is likely to be on my site for a while, so please feel from to ignore it from now on.)