A recent UK study from the London School of Economics claimed that a number of sporting and leisure activities can bring people as much happiness as a pay rise. They said that the most rewarding way to spend your spare time was having a boogie – which they said brought as much happiness as having a £1,671 pay rise. This is something I can totally relate to. After a couple of drinks (or at home sober) I’m the first on the dance floor or begging a prospective dance partner to join me. Also I’m one of those drivers that sing the great anthems while driving; my head is bobbing/thrashing and the fingers clicking.
Don’t take a pill, instead have a strange impulse…
I’m sitting at the kitchen table with a coffee and a book, Lydia Davis’s ‘The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis’. I’d arrived home only ten minutes earlier after doing the school run and I’m basically procrastinating before I start working on the computer. Flicking through the short story collection I pause at the paragraph-long story ‘A Strange Impulse’. A smile creeps onto my face. An ironic smirk actually. The story starts with the narrator looking down from their window and who watches with surprise as shopkeepers cover their ears, and then the narrator observes:
“And why were there people in the street running as if pursued by a terrible specter? Soon everything turned to normal: the incident had been no more than a moment of madness during which the people could not bear the frustration of their lives and had given way to a strange impulse.”
And why did I smirk? While driving my daughter and friend to school on my so-called-day-off, (day off from the real job) we became grid-locked, the kind that brings a city to a breaking halt. We weren’t even travelling into the city, just going from one suburb to the next, but still we were caught up regardless. Sitting at intersections and roundabouts I constantly restrain from shouting at impatient drivers and their constant near misses.