DISCLAIMER: No, I don’t play Pokemon Go. But I’d like to thank those who do.
After a pretty intense day with a client in glorious Uxbridge, I retreat to the olde town in Hemel’ for a quiet evening to recharge and gird my loins ahead of another day gig locally tomorrow. As regular business travelers/galactic hitchhikers will concur, life on the road – especially here in Hertfordshire – overflows with excitement and adventure and really wild things!
Yes, it sounds awful doesn’t it.
[In my quest for mashed up towns/song titles feel free to sing-a-long at this time with your own rendition of the Smiths “Hemel Knows I’m Miserable Now” or perhaps the cheerily annoying M People joint “One Night in Hemel”. If you want full cheese sprinkled on your deep fried cheese, try Tavares disco-tastic “Hemel Must Be Missing an Angel.” Or comment below with your own suggestions.]
Worse still, the hamster wheel of early starts, all day training sessions, multiple coffees and hastily chomped sandwiches means that one does not look after oneself on tour. Whilst the family enjoy the summer breaking following healthy outdoor pursuits fueled by balanced organic repast – so they tell me – I eat pasties in scruffy offices.
So to avoid turning into an even more glutinous blob the pattern has to be broken up with (a modicum of) vigorous exercise. Followed by a big meal as a reward. (BTW said meal was excellent Turkish fayre from the good people of the Mamaris Restaurant.)
Yet, dear reader, it is to this evening’s exercise that I wish to draw your attention. To the north of Hemel’ is a generous 32ha of green space known as Gadebridge Park. And it’s okay with me.
So in my faintly ridiculous, hilarious, pointless quest to stave off terminal unfitness I don squidgy running shoes, supportive shorts and a ratty old tee shirt to give the park goers something to chuckle at as I stumble around. (You see a jogger should be effortless, light, fleet, flowing, elegant and I am none of these things. I channel more hairy ape wheezing like a Pug with a sinus problem dragging a fat suit around dripping with sweat. Pretty it ain’t.)
I head out feeling sheepish, self-conscious and generally lardy into the muggy-yet-sunny mid evening.
This is when something grabs my attention.
The park is criss-crossed by people of varying ages holding their phones in a position too far away to read text and they walk slowly – zombified – toward…. toward, well, nothing in particular. It’s all a bit Shaun-of-the-Dead. I trudge around increasingly amused by these stupefied folk until one audibly yelps as I run past: “You scared the shit out of me!” Who me? Brightly clad running noisily along a footpath in broad daylight toward them with visibility of, erm, forever?
It likely wasn’t Einstein who coined the following as it went viral some time ago in relation to smartphones. No matter who said it, the sentiment is worth considering even more today:
I fear the day when technology overlaps our humanity. It will be then that the world will have permanent ensuing generations of idiots.
However, this is where my “thank you” comes into play. With all these drooling fools blithely staggering around a park gawping at their devices they aren’t sniggering at my unsightly lolloping mass for which I am everso grateful.
Because otherwise I’d have to run in darkness with a bag over my head and that’s much more difficult.