Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Flying in the Face of Decency

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Flying in the Face of Decency

Article excerpt

Byline: gary bainbridge One man's struggle with the 21st century. Follow Gary on Twitter @Gary_Bainbridge or email him at

IAM poor at multi-tasking. To put this in context I have been trying to write this column for the past two hours, in which time I have done a bit of admin, put some laundry on, and made two cups of tea, and this paragraph is all I have to show for it.

I am a nightmare in the kitchen.

Because I am incapable of doing two things at once, it takes me so long to make a meal that ingredients have actually gone off while I've been cooking. I once did a Jamie Oliver 15-minute meal, and it took me four and a half hours, which is a full half hour longer than most people.

As I write, however, I have a decent excuse for being not as sharp as other people. Several months ago, I accepted an invitation to see my dentist this morning, at 8am. Even when the appointment was made Past Me thought that was a little steep. But Past Me did not care, because it was months away and Past Me is a malevolent idiot. Virtually all of my problems have been caused by Past Me.

But this was particularly idiotic. Owing to the vagaries of newspaper production, I often work late shifts.

Last night, I did not return home until 11pm. I am as capable of then going to sleep at 11.05pm as a nine-to-five worker would be of coming home at 6pm and going to sleep at 6.05pm.

And so it was long past 1am when I let the cares of the day slip away.

Sensibly, I had set my alarm for 6.30am. Inevitably, when the alarm rang this morning, I ignored it. "What sort of buffoon sets an alarm for 6.30?" I wondered, as I drifted - plummeted heavily - back to sleep.

I woke in a panic at 7.02am. "Argh!" I thought, accurately summing up my predicament. I tore out of bed, knowing that I had roughly 20 minutes to get ready. I was a whirlwind of activity, brushing my teeth, while ironing my shoes and polishing my cereal and whatever.

It was all very confusing and I was not sure entirely where I was or how I was doing it, but somehow I managed to dress myself and have matching shoes and deposit myself at a bus stop in time to reach my appointment. …

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