My Life In A Sitcom

Some people think it might be fun to live in a sitcom. They think it would be funny to hang out with their favourite characters, and be part of the wacky shenanigans and goings on. But believe you me, they’re wrong.

Living in a sitcom is horrific.

And I should know.

It all started a few years ago, when I moved in to my new house. Something was wrong, something I hadn’t noticed when I bought it. It took me days to put my finger on the source of my unease. Then, one afternoon, when I was sitting on the sofa, watching some terrible property renovation show, my attention wandered, and I gazed past the TV set.

The whole back wall was missing.

In its place was a rake of sloped seating, all empty.

My eyes opened, I looked around, and realised the ceiling was gone too, replaced by a massive lighting rig. Doors that used to lead somewhere now just opened onto nothing, and I could see the wooden supports holding up my walls.

Horror kicked in.

I realised that my friends only came to visit at 9pm on a Thursday night. And when they did, it was never just for a nice chat, they always had some problem that needed resolving. A relationship they couldn’t end, a spat at work, a garbage disposal unit in their shower on the blink.

And my own life was a mess too. I couldn’t hold down a job, or a relationship. I was on an endless cycle of dates with people I didn’t really like. My neighbour kept popping in, even though we had never spoken before.

Every week, it was something new. It would be hell for a while, and then everything would just … go back to normal. And we’d never speak of it again. Like that time I accidentally married my brother’s girlfriend, or that time my long lost cousin came to stay, or that time the angel of death came to lead me slowly into the afterlife, or that time I kept falling through bar hatches, or that time we went on University Challenge, or that time we went on Robot Wars, or that time we had a contest.

On and on it went.

Then it just stopped.

No-one popped in anymore. Nothing interesting happened. My life became monotonous and routine. Wake up, shower, eat, work, shop, home, eat, telly, sleep, rinse, and repeat. My drum was constantly humming.

I’m stuck here, living out my days, staring at rows and rows of empty seats and lifeless cameras, with nothing to do but count the days.

Someone should write a sitcom about my life.

It would be hilarious.

The Big Hole


“What am I looking at?”

“The deep dark pit.”

“I can see a hole in the ground. Did you dig it?”

“No, it just appeared. It’s been getting deeper ever since.”


“So, it’s a bit, disconcerting. You just look down into the unending darkness, and it seems to want to suck you in. I sit here like this, every day, my legs dangling over the edge, and all I want to so is just … lean over and fall in.”


“Dunno. Because.”

“That’s not really an answer.”

“Well, you do it. Just look down and try and see the bottom.”

“It’s there.”


“In the darkness.”

“No, that’s just darkness. That’s not the bottom. I can’t see the bottom.”

“I’m sure you can. I can. It’s there look.”

“It’s not there.”


“Sorry, just got a bit dizzy.”

“You nearly fell in. You could have hit your head on that rock.”

“What rock?”

“That one. There. At the bottom look. By the old dinosaur toy.”

“You’ve got better eyesight than me.”

“Look, come on. Let’s go and have a nice walk and admire the trees or something. Anything. Just stop staring down that hole.”

“No thanks. I think I’ll just sit here for a bit longer, thanks anyway.”

“Okay. But I’m not leaving you. I’ll sit with you.”


Out Of Time

Time travel was always possible. It just took some lateral thinking to make it a reality. It had nothing to do with wormholes, or giant spinning tubes, or even drug mule cars with flashing lights between the seats.

I wish I could explain the breakthrough, but I never really paid attention in school, and I only have some many Time Miles to spend each year, so I don’t want to waste them on revisiting those lessons.

All it took was someone with a profit motive. And an accident involving a Hyperloop and some jam. Yes, I know, that sounds silly, but there you have it.

So here we are. Time tourists, jumping back through the years to sit quietly inside someone else’s head and watch history unfold right before someone else’s eyes. Some people keep visiting the same period, over and over again, wanting to see a famous battle, a famous speech, a famous musical performance, or a famous sexual coupling. I don’t see the point. If you’ve done it once, what’s the point in doing it again?

I try to avoid the tourist traps. I don’t want to see the Gettysburg Address. I’ve seen The Beatles at Shea on TV, and explosions scare me. So I stay off the beaten track. I go places other people don’t care about. Sometimes, I just pick a random date, and a random person, and pop back to spend a day with them.

Maybe Joe Hawthorne, of Hope, Indiana, on May 12th 1972. Then maybe the same day again, this time from Geraldine, this wife’s perspective.

They never know you’re there. We did all the ethics in school, but as a society, we decided it was okay because it was something we all wanted to do. If we needed to learn lessons from the past, we could. First hand, so to speak.

It is, of course, tempting, when you’re in someone’s head, to tinker a bit. Whisper a thought and see what happens. That’s strictly verboten of course, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do it, every now and again, for a laugh.

My favourite jape is to whisper ‘your boss doesn’t like you’, or maybe ‘you’re a failure and a waste of space’.

It’s funny to me, is all.

Also, when I hear those same sort of thoughts in my head now, I just wonder who is visiting, and then try and give them a show.