Impulse

My friend had started a new job and he had taken to it like a smudge on a Polaroid print. All his colleagues are a good laugh and relations are great in the workforce, he said. The camaraderie is such that they spend a lot of their leisure time together as well. They had planned an evening out at a posh hotel. Eager to meet these funny, interesting individuals I asked if I could come along.

“But you don’t know anyone,” said my friend “ You’ll just be sitting in the corner laughing at all the jokes.”

He was right. It would be hard for me to integrate myself with all these strangers that were well acquainted. Still, I was feeling impulsive.

“I like laughing at jokes. I’ll sit in the corner. Please don’t deny me the chance to laugh at jokes.”

Reluctantly, he agreed and the big night drew closer. It probably wasn’t a wise choice of reading that I did before I went to the rendezvous. I read L. Sprague de Camp’s Conan the Barbarian novella, The Blood-Stained God. This is a sword and sorcery bloodlust tale that makes Titus Andronicus seem like a Sunday school play. There is total annihilation, Conan is the last man standing. (you won’t need to read it now).

With the confidence of a Cimmerian I strode into the hotel. Fashionably, I made sure I was late. A maitre d’ escorted me to the correct table. As I neared I could hear the raucous laughter of my friend and his new work mates; happy at work, happy at play. I announced myself to the gathering. They stopped talking and looked at me. I could see in the distance an empty chair which, obviously, is where I would be placed. What would Conan do? Conan wouldn’t sit in the corner.

An impulse came upon me again. I eyed the dining table. It was populated with all the culinary accoutrements that are customary: knives, forks, spoons, plates, wine glasses- which were filled, glass vases with freshly cut flowers. The first dish, soup, was in the process of being eaten by the patrons when I appeared.

I had to make a good first impression. This would be important if I were to have any future with these funny, interesting individuals. I wanted to do something I’d never tried before and that would bring the house down. The classic pull off the tablecloth trick.

“Everybody get your hands off the table” I shouted.

Grabbing both ends of the tablecloth I prepared to whip the cloth away and prove that Isaac Newton’s first Law of Motion works. The laughter had stopped as I whisked at the cloth.

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22 Comments on “Impulse”


  1. Brilliant, JW! One is left quivering with suspense!

    WHEN is Part II?


  2. Pure genius, JW!
    I can imagine all all those funny and interesting individuals reacting in a funny and interesting way !!!

    (Did they chase after you?)
    🙂


  3. Err…
    On a slightly more serious note…
    Did they catch you?
    🙂

  4. Expat Says:

    Puts a more literal meaning to “in the soup.”

  5. JW10 Says:

    Carnage, Dolores.

    Check my avatar, CI, Usain Bolt couldn’t catch me.

    Just gave them a touch of the Conan’s, Expat. They’re now soup-stained gods.

    As you all know a lot of research goes into the producing of my blogs (yeah, right- Sub-editor comment) and I embarked on a course of tablecloth trick or treating to test out the science. Here are what the experts told me. It is imperative to use a circular table or one that has no ends and smooth out the tablecloth. Place your objects- dinner plates, saucers and glasses with smooth bottom surfaces (the heavier, the better) on the cloth. The trick is to grab the ends of the tablecloth with both hands and quickly pull the cloth straight down and away from the table. A quick, downward motion gives the best result.

    Don’t try this at home, try it in a restaurant.


  6. You Fiend, JW – now we've GOT to try it! (In the garden, perhaps, with crash helmet).

    Am off to search for smooth-bottomed cat


  7. I'm a compulsive impulsive type.

    At very boring business or social meetings I tend to let my thoughts wander, and let my imagination rule my conscious thoughts. For example, when listening to a particularly boring speaker, I'll imagine myself reaching across the table … and I'm gripping him by the throat … and… squeezing… and… screaming at him to shut up … and … pouring a bottle of beer over his head… and… then I'm fighting with the men in white coats as they try and drag me away … after which I suddenly snap out of my reverie and wake up with a start… and there's a few panic-stricken seconds when I wonder if any of these things actually happened…
    🙂


  8. I'm a compulsive impulsive type.

    At very boring business or social meetings I tend to let my thoughts wander, and let my imagination rule my conscious thoughts. For example, when listening to a particularly boring speaker, I'll imagine myself reaching across the table … and I'm gripping him by the throat … and… squeezing… and… screaming at him to shut up … and … pouring a bottle of beer over his head… and… then I'm fighting with the men in white coats as they try and drag me away … after which I suddenly snap out of my reverie and wake up with a start… and there's a few panic-stricken seconds when I wonder if any of those things actually happened…
    🙂


  9. … and as you can see … sometimes the whole dreamlike sequence is repeated.

    I kee telling me that myself will grow out of it…
    🙂

  10. JW10 Says:

    I have a wonderful image of the smooth-bottomed cat on the tablecloth, DD. Remember, pull downward and away from the table.

    CI, nothing wrong with your impulsive behaviour- as long as it was just a dream. There is no good excuse for wasting beer. 🙂

    Talking of repeats. I published a blog on MYT many moons ago also called Impulse. In true BBC repeat fashion I will reproduce this tale. It's a short blog and just like the good old BEEB there's no adverts.

    Impulse

    In Stanley Kubrick’s flawed masterpiece Eyes Wide Shut the Nicole Kidman character confesses to her husband that she was tempted to have a one night stand. Only providence stopped her from committing this act of infidelity. Such scenarios are played out for real in the real world. What drives individuals to stoop to this behaviour? Can it just be an impulsion for forbidden fruit?

    Being true in spirit it has never crossed my mind to be unfaithful although I can be impulsive; I think we all are from time to time. Yesterday a strange desire almost took over my senses. I was walking along an industrial estate and a haulage truck was in the process of being loaded. The driver entered the factory to, I’d imagine, make sure the paperwork was in order. He had left the doors at the back of the trailer open.

    The truck was loaded right to the front of the cab; I could climb on and shimmy along the pallets to hide in the darkness further down. Once the doors were closed I was set for a mystery ride. Where would I end up? A few miles down the road? The other side of the country? Would I be unloaded? Perhaps the truck was going into storage and it would be days before I would see daylight.

    In seconds the drive to be daring left me and I walked past the opening into a different future.


  11. JW
    You are the fruit on my nutcake…
    🙂


  12. One imagines your tremble at the memory, CI, and those uncontrolled keyboard jabs repeating repeating repeating…! (Don't grow out of it)

    Splendidly thought-provoking story, JW! Today I might just Walk Past the Co-op and Into a different…
    But when one thinks of the futures made different by mere impulsive party-going, job-taking, radio-listening (Oo – let's go & live There…).
    The Decisions are Terrifying

  13. Expat Says:

    May I digress? Thanks! JW, the pundits are predicting a fairly close game, with a small majority giving the edge to the 49ers. They've been consistently very, very good all season and the Ravens were lucky to make the playoffs after a not-so-good regular season with Ray Lewis on injured reserve. But it's Lewis's last game before he retires so Baltimore is fired up emotionally. And he's a great on-field motivator for the defence. I'll cheer on the closer-to-home team, but my gut says the 49ers will take it to the bank.

  14. JW10 Says:

    You certainly know more about this than me, Expat. Thanks for your preview of the final.

    I am still at the embryonic learning stage of American Football. This is my first season. What do you call it over there? A Freshman. Can't believe “my” team got to the Superbowl at the first attempt. Next time we speak hopefully the Ravens will have been victorious.
    Come on Baltimore.

  15. Expat Says:

    I really don't actually know much at all, JW. It's just that the superbowl is all over the news right now and I just soaked some of it up. Off for a lunchtime libation in a few minutes and I'll get the lowdown from the fellers at the bar. They're the one's who know what they're talking about.


  16. Big smiles all around…
    UUs Canaries are jolly pleased…
    The Ravens won the Superbowl!
    🙂

  17. Expat Says:

    Conratulations, JW! You certainly know how to pick 'em! I, on the other hand, am not so good. Good game, though.


  18. Well, what a Thrilling second half to finish 34-31 from 21-6! One can but imagine, as one was reading in bed and George sadly gave up at half time.

    The mere photos of the action are Fabulous!

  19. Expat Says:

    Has anyone seen the Sandra Bullock movie the Blind Side? If not, it's the story of Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher…from homeless, barely literate teenager to college graduate and football star.

  20. JW10 Says:

    Thanks everyone. What a great result for “my team”. This was the first Superbowl I’ve watched all the way thru and it was exciting. I’m glad the 49ers made a second half comeback and it was a nail biting finish. I was a bit jet-lagged today but I’m on the mend. Come on Baltimore, I mean, well done Baltimore.

    During the studio commentary the Micheal Oher film was mentioned, Expat. This was the first I’d heard of it. Intriguing.

  21. Expat Says:

    You must rent it, JW, or find it somewhere. It's an awesome movie. Mrs JW will love it, too. Promise me you will try!!

  22. JW10 Says:

    Good news Expat. My wife was given a present of Love Film instant. The LFI package streams films over the internet. I checked for the movie and …it's THERE! I'll find time over the weekend to watch it and give you my Barry Norman opinion of it.


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