The Clout Paradox

The Clout Paradox

You know that feeling when you have an idea, and you sort of have a double take moment when you realise it’s a bad one? Or when you realise you had a good one and forgot it? Yeah, well, this is about that.

Lightbulb moments happen more than we think. Well, they don’t. By definition, they must happen less than we think, unless all ideas, and then some, are lightbulb moments.

That’s what I’m talking about. It’s a good example. See, I had a thought, and then, like a slap about the head, I immediately changed it.

I don’t even know if lightbulb is one word or two.

It’s all beside the point though.

I’m trying to tell you why I invented the machine.

I’ve been wandering through life like this a lot. I have an idea, then I change it, or dismiss it, or doubt it. And it’s tangible. I said a minute ago it felt like someone was slapping me across the back of the head. That’s not a metaphor (it might be a metaphor), it’s a palpable feeling. Sometimes it’s so hard, I recoil like my Dad has clipped my ear.

I started making a note of all the times this happens. Making a detailed list, including the place where it happened and the exact moment it occurred. And from the moment I started doing it, the more palpable the sensation became.

It’s a pretty long and conclusive list now. Takes up a few whole notebooks. I got a bit obsessed with maintaining the veracity of the endeavour. There’s a whole shelf of the notebooks over there look. I normally tell people it’s a diary.

It kind of is a diary I guess.

So I got to thinking, and I had an idea that didn’t result in the smacking sensation.

What if, and bear with me right, what if … I could build a machine that opened a little doorway in time, so I could peek through and see what was happening every time I had that feeling?

So I did.

Took me bloody ages.

It’s up in the attic.

I blew the fuses half a dozen times trying to get it to work.

Point is, I did get it working.

I dialled in the time and place of the first entry in the first notebook, and flicked the switch.

And a little window in time opened up in front of me.

And there I was, sort of looking at myself from behind.

The past me, had an idea. I could see it happen. I sort of sat up a bit, stiffened, nodded to myself like the realisation was a good one. And according to the record in the book, this was me having the idea that it might be worth asking for some more money at work.

Current me knew better. Current me knew asking would probably feel embarrassing, and they’d realise I was redundant or replaceable. So current me got an urge. And current me reached through the window and clouted past me across the back of the head.

It was a bad decision.

I knew it was a bad decision because I felt a clout across the back of my head.

But it was a done deal. Now I have to work my way through the books and smack myself for every entry. And then, here’s the pisser, I have to then go through and smack my current self across the head from the future for doing the same thing in the past. And then, I’ll have to go through …

I need to buy some more notebooks.

The Clout Paradox


, ,
Buy My Books
  • Proctology: A Bottom Examination
    Proctology: A Bottom Examination

    For a long time now I’ve been wanting to write an old-fashioned programme guide. One you can hold in your hand and thumb through, make notes on, spill coffee on. So I did. Proctology: A Bottom Examination is my deep dive into Bottom, the hit BBC Two sitcom starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson. That’s…

Most Read
  • Re-Casting Keanu
    Re-Casting Keanu

    Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him eight years older than Clive Dunn was when he was first cast in Dad’s Army. But don’t panic, Clive Dunn was always playing much older characters than his own age. Keanu Reeves is 56. That makes him seven years older than Stephanie Cole was when she was first…

From The Archive

Sign up for my FREE newsletter