Facetiousness is my forte

Facetiousness is my forte – curmudgeonly suspicion a character trait. The cult of positivism has never had any hold over me and if I could I would wear a tee-shirt that read: “Polyanna lacked a brain.”

Even a mollusc can be positive and engage in the eternal optimism that it is stuck to the best rock in the universe and will never be eaten by a schnapper. It’s how they get by. Whereas it takes a certain mental effort to see life in all its bent and beat up inglory and yet still come to the conclusion that it’s still a pretty amazing ride even if the fairground people are dodgy and no one ever wins more than a coconut. It’s a wonky way of looking at the world that I like to call “Hope visits Polyanna after she got Mugged”. If I could put up with wearing white diaphanous clothing and looking meditative I’d probably make a religion out of it except I lack any kind of moral certitude at all which is always a weakness in any spiritual leader. Personally I blame my family – we’re just not good followers and most of us spend an unwholesome amount of time poking sticks at things. I believe my cousin to be the only lone traveller picked up in San Francisco at the airport to be expelled from the Moonies – he thought the Moonies were nice but far too positive when there was so much that sucked in the world and would they like to hear his song about this on his new clarinet? Apparently not. He became a music professor. My niece got expelled from a Steiner school (unheard of at the age of 6) because she told the teacher that the hand made faceless dolls (designed supposedly to foster imagination and positive self image) were ugly and their hair needed work and would someone please just bring her a Barbie or just ‘get me out of here.’ When this didn’t eventuate she just started screaming. She has since become one of Wellington’s top hairdressers. Even my Dad managed to spend 20 years in the justice department without becoming a Mason – an award winning feat of rank individualism or just a general inability to flow with any kind of hand clapping, finger wriggling group positivism – it’s hard to say. But there are times, especially in the middle of winter where the sky takes on the near-death hue of anti graffiti paint and the cold makes you want to set fire to rubbish bins and drink vodka all day that a bit of Pollyannism is what is definitely called for. A prescription for a bit of positive mindless joy. For this you will need: One 7 year old and her crazed pony-tail mate and the family dog. Add a splash of watery sunlight and a random assortment of food as chosen by them. Check you have the stipend for requisite fish and chips and head car in direction of nearest beach. Turn cell phone off. Play “Sally the Bad Pirate’ CD loudly and sing along: “Sally hates parrots, Sally hates gold all the pillaging of villages makes her feel cold…” Note privately to self that this is a particularly funny song to make two kids with lisps sing. Feel surprisingly positive as kids and dog emanate deep enthusiasm for absolutely everything. “Look! Pigs!!!!!!!! Baaaaaby Pigs!!!!! Baby Pigs Running!!! Can we have one?!” Dog and kids are unified in deep group positive thoughts regarding baby pigs although I’m not sure the envisaged outcome is entirely the same. Unleash contents of car on beach and wonder if scientists feel the same when throwing tiny balls of atomic energy at each other at velocity. If there was a speech bubble above the incoherent stick dragging sand digging mayhem that ensues after weeks of inside confinement it would read: “Yay!!!!!!!!!! I’m a dog!!!!” or “Yaay – I’m a kid with a dog and a friend and…. A STICK!!!!!!! Yaaaaaaayyyyyyyy! Note that curmudgeonly smart aleckness has its limitations whereas the benefits of roaring around with a stick on a beach in the middle of winter are practically endless.

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