You’ve got to accentuate the positive.
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.
About six years ago I followed the advice of pop sensation Johnny Mercer (see him dead this Saturday at your nearest séance, wrap up warm) and eliminated everything negative from my life. No, I didn’t go all ‘Californian’, I just stopped hanging around with lumps.
If you don’t know what a ‘lump’ is, then let me enlighten you. A lump is the sort of person who, while you are enjoying a slap-up dinner at a nice restaurant, will ruin the entire meal by complaining about everything from the colour of the carpet to the slight crease in the cuff of the waiter. They will always be in a draft. You could seal a lump in Tupperware and suck out all the air and just before their head explodes they will complain that a draft is giving them a stiff neck.
Lumps believe themselves intellectually superior to everybody around them but show no evidence of this. Sometimes they blog Email conversations with their co-workers. “Hey! Look everybody I’m great and my colleagues are idiots,” they cry on Twitter and Facebook. “I’m the only one with a brain in this office!” They screech on Tumblr. Not realising that most people are ticking over when they’re at work and are unaware that a lump is making them look like idiots. I’m sure there are Emails on my office server which make me look like a man who would find it difficult to wipe his own arse without an instructional YouTube video.
If you invite a lump into your life, the trouble really starts, they will not allow you a moment of joy. If you win a holiday to a tropical island they will tell you that it full of deadly spiders. You are laying in a hospital bed waiting for your test results, they strike up a conversation about AIDS. Point to your favourite actor on the screen and they will tell you that he locks his girlfriend in a special room and beats her with a whippy stick. You boycott his films for years until you meet him at a party and discover that he is gay and doesn’t even have a woman-beating room in his flat. It’s all man-bumming space.
There is no cure for the lump sadly and they get worse as they age. However if you stop reading their bogs or communicating with them, they simply fade away.
Come back! I’m not a lump. I’m fading, I’m fading!