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Sunday, 26 June 2011

What is reality?

Being is a process of becoming, and is thus a state of uncertainty. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855)

Kierkegaard was a gloomy, introspective philosopher who some of my friends studied when I went back to University in the 1990s.  We could always tell the Philosophy students in the Mature Students' Common Room. They were the ones who sat in the corners, mumbling to themselves, occasionally throwing up their hands in despair or pulling at their hair.  While the rest of us (Engineering, Science, etc.) worked away on calculations or memorising DNA sequences, the poor Philosophy students would sit in a chair, staring blankly at a plain white wall, lips moving slightly, but the eyes were unfocused and glazed, and a mad light gleamed in the depths.

That was how I felt when I came home last night.

I had been up since 5:30 that morning, getting ready for that day of purgatory, normally referred to as Nuova Lazio High School. I had been helping moronic students and semi-moronic colleagues with pretty basic computing questions and very basic reporting questions.

After our normal school day was finished we then sat down to proof read all of the reports I had just printed out.

Dear non-existent God, what a soul-destroying experience.  I know they don't teach grammar and parsing to the same extent they used to, but some of the comments were ludicrous. Even worse was the completely over-the-top pedagogical-type comments.  We have to write for our audience and some of the comments were written more for a University type audience rather than our more blue-collar caregivers.

But at last, it was all finished, and I finally arrived home.

As I shuffled wearily towards our living room, where I could hear my beloved and my son in conversation, I spotted a sight which was definitely raising my spirits.

It was a large glass of whisky. A very large glass of whisky.
I was so fortunate to have such an understanding wife.

She had ignored the fact that I was home so very late.
She had indulged my delight in the Spirit of Scotland, and provided me with a perfect pick-me-up for the end of  a rotten day.

I took the first sip, a smile on my lips.
What the f*****

It wasn't whisky.

It was Diet Ginger Ale.

I couldn't believe it, I had been absolutely sure that the glass contained whisky.  I could have sworn I could actually smell the fragrant peat reek mixed with a hint of alcohol.  Reality was not what I had expected.  Kierkegaard was right, "Being is a process of becoming, and is thus a state of uncertainty", I had been certain and becoming confused, and I was now living in a realm of uncertainty.  Heisenberg rules.

My beloved had an upset stomach, and she finds that ginger helps her tummy to settle, so she'd left it out for the gas to bubble off.

I was not happy.
I was even less happy when I realised that there was no whisky left in the house.

Oh well, a good cup of tea will make me feel better.
Yeah, Right.


  1. Reality - is whatever my wife says it is.

    {So she thinks}

  2. Reality is - over-rated.

    I drink therefore I am.

  3. Alistair: Yes and probably yes. My poor abused tummy is still rebelling at the very thought of a wee dram. *sob*

  4. deep.....and quite possibly meaningful!! and thank you for your most thoughtful comment.....

  5. You experienced involuntary memory like Proust did with his madeleine. Real memory would have reminded you that the whisky causes headache, flatulence, immodest thoughts and salacious behaviour.

  6. Young at Heart: Not so much deep as muddy, although I thank you.

    TC: I've never had an involuntary memory, the pills stop that, and my wife's never complained. I never touched Madeleine, the police just gave me a warning.


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