Quark, Strangeness and Charm - Part 4

1 Conversation

The ramblings of the last sane me

Since I bought a motorbike, I have rediscovered the joys of just rolling out onto the road and simply travelling for the sake of it. Sometimes I will ride non-stop for as along as I can. Other times I ride to a lake in Earlswood, a village not far from where I live, pull over and just sit and watch the ducks on the lake. Sitting there watching the world around me, I lose track of time and on more than one occasion I have barely made it to work on time. That is one of the joys of just rolling away: you can go anytime you feel like it. There is no need to make plans or arrangements, you just go.

That could also be used as a definition of freedom, I suppose. I do it because I can and — I am trying to rationalise this impulse here — because it helps me to relax and find a little peace. In a way, it gives me time to reflect on things or even to let things slip away without notice. Then I can charge ahead with whatever takes my fancy.

Would winning the lottery change me? Only as far as I would buy my own house, a Land Rover and a big motorbike. Work would then become a paying hobby for me — who knows, I might even get back into the cycle trade, rebuild my reputation as a wheel-builder and mechanical perfectionist once more. I would also buy a first-class holiday for my mum and dad anywhere in the world for as long as they wanted. It's only fair that they can have a good time after all the effort they put into bringing up me and my brother.

A friend at work calls me Chris. Not because she cannot remember my name, although I sometimes wonder about that, but because she claims I remind her of one of her friends whose name is Chris. Not physically — at least, so she tells me — but we apparently have a similar sense of humour and mannerisms, which just goes to show that somewhere we all have a double, either a physical or mental one. This leads to the questions:

  1. Do we all have a physical double?
  2. Do we all have a mental double?
  3. Do we all have a complete double?
  4. Is there room for anybody else?

The last question is possibly the most interesting one. If we all have one of each of the above, that means that there are three other versions of ourselves wandering about at the same time. So why don't we bump into ourselves all the time?

We manage to avoid meeting ourselves because we are lucky enough to live on a pretty blue and green planet that is just big enough to keep us separate, while being small enough for us to be able to travel around and meet everyone else and think 'Wow, he/she really reminds me of X...'

A couple of years ago, my parents went on a guided motorhome tour of Alaska. One day as they were driving along, my dad realised that the motorhome was not handling the way it was supposed to. So, after pulling over to the side of the road and having a look round the vehicle, he discovered a flat tyre. Remembering what the tour guide had said about trying to move the spare, Dad decided to drive to the next town to get some help. On arrival, they found a garage and Dad went to find the proprietor of the establishment. What he found was a hat with a beard underneath it and a vaguely human shape below that. After explaining his situation, he asked the shape if he could help, the answer to which was 'Ayuh'. Minutes later, he emerged from his shack carrying a tiny little bottle jack and crawled underneath the camper. After some muttering, he crawled back out and returned to his shack, whence came the sound of tools being sorted through, then emerged only for him to wander back toward the camper with a small philips screwdriver in one hand. It turns out that the screwdriver was to pump the jack up!

The reason I tell you this tale of a puncture is that, after their return home, Dad couldn't wait to tell me that he had met an American version of me! Charmed, I'm sure.

Although I have got to say that I would love to meet this guy. Even though I don't have as much hair or beard as the photo shows, if Sad says the guy is just like me then it would be interesting to just sit and talk with him. Could it be that he is my parallel self? Stands a chance, I suppose.

Recently, I have been doing three 6.00am starts at work each week. The drawback to this is that my body clock doesn't know if lunchtime starts at 9.00am or 2.00pm which, as I am diabetic, can lead to one or two small technical difficulties. Hypoglycaemia is just a missed sandwich away.

The major plus points to starting work at such an awful time are there is no traffic on the roads, so riding in to work is a joy. If I skip lunch, I can leave at 2.00pm. This is a major plus point, because it means that with judicious application of the throttle I can park up my motorbike in Solihull and walk up the road a way to a rather pleasant little bistro and meet my girlfriend Fran for coffee. As I mentioned earlier, Fran has got a mile-wide competitive streak and sees life as one long competition. This is the outside that she lets the world see and assume is all there is to be known. But, just like the rest of us, she has got more levels than the super-competitor that the world gets to see every day. I have seen some of her other levels and one very special one. We were talking the other evening and she told me that she had done an A-level course in psychology, but had not continued with her studies to get a degree. In a way, I am glad that she never got around to doing that course, because she has a tendency to try and analyse me and these scattered thoughts and look at the underlying
emotions that drive me. Sometimes she is frighteningly accurate in her conclusions, but other times I am glad that she is wide of the mark. She just doesn't like to be wrong and then she questions my answers until she is satisfied that I have given her all the information that I can.

Quark, Strangeness and Charm Archive


06.04.06 Front Page

Back Issue Page

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

Latest Post



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more