Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Random Gibberish


• noun a tendency to be extremely talkative.
(Compact Oxford English Dictionary)

I don’t know whether or not my trips, every summer, to Harrow to teach English should be included as “travel”. They involve getting away from all my usual places and meeting up with other people – some familiar, some new – so they certainly have something in common with travel.
That’s actually one of the great highs, and great lows, of travel – the people you meet.
Over the years of moving around I have certainly met some… shall we say “interesting”… characters. There was the bullfight-loving bar manager Captain Ron in Quito, the stoned-out-of-his head felucca owner Captain Jamaica who took me down the Nile (and why are so many of these people captains?).
There was Murray, the security guard in the Chicago Art Institute, who insisted on following me round giving me his thoughts on all the pieces in the modern art section. There was the lady (whose name escapes me) at Wolfsong in Anchorage who explained at length about how wolves are much misunderstood animals, and the owner of a guest house in the same city who has filled it with literally tens of thousands of teddy bears.

And here in Harrow, there is Andrew, who insisted that I should write a blog entry about him*. Now, I’d like you to spare a thought for poor Andrew for he is one of the afflicted. He suffers from the terrible condition of logorrhoea. He cannot stop talking. That in itself would be less of a problem if not for the nature of the random gibberish ( • noun unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense. Ibid.) that forms the backbone of his conversation. Take dinner yesterday. He had eaten most of it but left some peas which he had spread out on his plate. Looking at his own plate, and the plates of his fellow diners inspired in him a surreal flight of fancy in which they were all planets, his – if I recall – being a society divided and at war, mine being a garbage planet and others being variously a society living on the edge of the ocean, a barren and desolate wasteland and a jungle planet which caught fire as the diner in question dropped a screwed up napkin on top of it that reminded Andrew of smoke.
All of these thoughts and themes were lovingly developed and shared with us.
It didn’t get much better later in the pub where the conversation was so utterly random (not to mention being devoid of actual content) that it’s hard to recall with any accuracy now, next morning, though I do recall his previous pub pronouncements that "pigeon hole" is not a very good description because you can't get a pigeon into one so he was going to call them "information holes" from now on.)
As I left him he was off in search of a time machine to return me to my native second century. (I find it’s best to go with the flow and join in with the bizarre world that fills his head but by then I was a little confused and had forgotten whether my time machine was a blue telephone box or a silver De Lorean. He did keep suggesting that I should try the red telephone box at the top of the hill)

So, as I said spare a thought for this poor afflicted soul and his logorrhoea, and while you are at it spare a thought for me. I think I’m developing logophobia.
*There you go, Andrew, how's that?


hub events said...

Can't help noticing that this post is tagged 'strange characters.' I'll assume that you aren't referring to me, Bob.


Bob Hale said...

Heaven forfend.