The World Snooker Championship used to be a massive deal. In the eighties over 90 million people watched Dennis Taylor beat Stephen Hendry at 4 o’clock in the morning – after 53 frames of snooker.
For the last 10 years the championship has moved away from snooker into a series of interviews with Ronnie O’Sullivan saying how much he hates the game of snooker, how much playing games of snooker annoys him and how he’d rather someone shave his skin off than play snooker. This is followed by him playing snooker – better than everyone else who loves snooker (the ironnnnnnnnnnnnnnn-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!) before an interview after the snooker playing where he says that might have been his last game of snooker.
He has got a bit Frank Sinatra about the whole retirement thing. On the plus side, much like ol’ eyes head, he is very good at what he does and his recurring reneging means the world is not deprived of someone doing what they are best at: saying how depressed they are by the one thing they do better than everyone else in the world.
What is smoking on a balcony to box as cat is to dog being carried by a woman in a Harrington?
I didn’t do so well with not smoking. I didn’t ever reach a stage where I’d given up. I was never a non-smoker (I hate those people – breathing in my cigarettes passively, none of them ever offering me even A CONTRIBUTION to my costs). But there started to be 7-10 days between cigarettes which even the most likely to over exaggerate the time period between cigarettes could call chain smoking.
I am still smoking relatively infrequently. However it is frequently enough to be spending a bit more time on my balcony (smoking). As a bi-product I am reconnecting with some of the things I only ever had a relationship* with through smoking on the balcony.
There was this one woman I always saw walking about. She always looked exactly the same, to the extent where she was almost a cartoon character to me visually. She always had on jeans, trainers and a harrington jacket with the collar up. Always. She also was always carrying a dog, a small white dog. She’s not carrying that dog anymore. If I’d not started smoking (a bit) again that little white dog would still be alive in my thoughts – which is all that matters, right?
In a way that woman/dog/me smoking was my Shrodinger’s cat.
The thing is – as tragic as it felt the third or fourth time I saw her without the dog was – it was coupled with a silver lining. As well as not having the dog in her arms anymore she now had a different outfit on every time I saw her. The jacket had clearly become her dog carrying jacket and she was always carrying the dog, hence her cartoon character-esque status (in my head). And now free from the prison of this dog-that-didn’t-walk this woman has rediscovered her individuality.
Or maybe the dog ran away. And that coincided with her realising she was a bit set in her ways clotheswise. I like to think of it the other way: that is was all because of the dog and that it’s good that it died and freed the woman from the metaphorical dog prison she was in.
*Probably my third best relationship in my life is the non-interactive passive relationship I have with people I view from afar and don’t really like. Awwww. Fuck off.