2009-06-04

I'm an idiot.

I’m an idiot.  I’m not the moon faced, dribbling sort that you see in images of Bedlam.  Nor am I the besmocked yokel, who points at motor cars and hot air balloons in wonderment variety either.  I’m the type of idiot who will act capriciously on a whim.  An idea will momentarily take my fancy and I will act upon it, heedless of the potential consequences.  I first became aware of this on a playschool outing to Twycross Zoo.  There was a sign warning visitors not to put their hands through the wire.  I read this and wondered why.  Then I stuck my hand through the wire.  A large ostrich attached its beak to my right index finger and refused to let go for five long minutes.  It hurt a lot.  I was three years old.

As I have grown older I have become more self-aware.  Consequently, I take my idiocy more seriously these days.  As a defence mechanism, I surround myself with friends who are more sensible than I am (it’s quite a low bar).  I rely on them to dissuade me from pursuing fleeting fancies, to ensure that I don’t get into too much trouble.  The role of my friends can be clearly defined – stop the idiot.  This system usually works quite well, and my friends, with the wonderful support network that they provide, have saved me from myself on more than one occasion.  I have even learned from them, and sometimes I provide a reciprocal service.  Once, my friend Bees suggested that we should journey from the source of the Thames to the Thames Estuary in a canoe – for fun!  After some deliberation I was able to advise him that this was a stupid idea, and that he was an idiot.  I had stopped the idiot.  It was a breakthrough for me, I had proved that I was aware of, and could act to halt, idiocy.  I even began to fancy that I had conquered idiocy.  This was a mistake.  I had let my guard down.  I had become complacent, with disastrous consequences.

Some time ago, late one night, in the pub, I suggested that it would be a good idea to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk - a 25 mile journey which includes climbing three mountains in under twelve hours.  Of course what my friends should have done at that point is stop the idiot.  They could have said something like “No Marc, you’re an idiot”, and that would have been that.  What actually happened is that I suggested the walk and they said “that’s a good idea”, “great”, “that sounds like fun”.  A total of five people have taken leave of their senses and will be walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks with me this weekend.  I’m an idiot and so, apparently, are my friends.

9 comments:

Jonathan said...

And there was me thinking it was going to be a piece bemoaning your new venture as a blogger. That is why you should never judge by the post title. Good luck with the Three Peaks. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Simon said...

Finally the full Ostrichs story and why did your playschool friends not dissuade you from sticking your hand through the wire?

Marc said...

Thanks Jon. Heavy sleet is forecast. I am now unpacking my summer walking gear and packing my winter stuff.

Simon, I had not learned to rely on the counsel of others before engaging in acts of stupidity by that age.

Bri said...

Good luck on the three peaks.

Aspasia said...

At least you suggested doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk and not climbing the Chimborazo (located in the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes of central Ecuador). Good luck to you and your friends! And if you happen to meet any stange looking animals on the peaks do not feed them! they can take care of themselves.

Robert said...

I fear that you are being a little hard on idiocy in this piece. Many of my finest adventures have stemmed from a foolhardy lack of foresight. I would even suggestion that the negative idiocy and more positive spontaneity are interchangeable terms. That said, I have never done anything as grossly idiotic as voluntarily walking up hills for no apparent reason. The closest I have ever come to hill walking was a pub crawl in Sheffield and even that stretched my endurance to its very limits. Nonetheless, I hope you have fun; and don’t forget to pack ample Kendal mint cake.

Marc said...

Bri, thanks.

Aspa, Feed strange animals? No chance. Obviously I will run from any animals that I see. I am reliably informed that there is a minimal risk of cows, so that's good news.

Robert, As if it wasn't bad enough that I have to go up mountains in clothing that feels like it is made from a bin liner, I now have to eat Kendal mint cake as well?

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, I would have readily joined you on that walk...

Brad B Wood said...

I am one of the idiot friends - it hurt!