Posts Tagged ‘nonsense’

Sometime in the latter half of the 21st century, the process of achieving equality came to fruition. Fornicating bipeds gifted with an offspring (intended or otherwise) universally named the newborns, LOL.

LOL had an interesting history. Its exact date of origin unknown, it emerged from obscurity in the late 20th century, first through the medium of Short Message Service, then made famous by Chat and finally immortalised by Social Networking. The world went through some rather drastic changes but LOL managed to retain its identity.

LOL was initially mostly seen among the teenage community, who LOL-ed more than they actually smiled in the real world. The activity gradually caught on with folks of the seasoned age-group who, tired of smiling – often needlessly in social gatherings – found in LOL a trustworthy friend. Rather than attend social outings that called into service the lazy Smile, they chose staying home and LOL-ing. They also discovered that LOL substituted HA HA HAAAA perfectly. It was not only easier to write, it also kept emotions brief and controlled.  

Some were amused at the oddity of the situation. One group – the youngsters – who hadn’t learned how to smile, embraced the convenience offered by LOL; while another group – the seasoneds – who had learned how to smile, also embraced LOL’s company.

Cut to the late 21st century.

LOLs went to school, armed with hi-tech gadgets that automatically started everything with a perfunctory LOL. The teacher, also a LOL, LOL-ed so much that student LOLs came to associate LOL-ing with meaninglessness. Not many managed a LOL when they realised that they LOL-ed all the time too.

Tired of the sameness, a few eager LOLs attempted differentiation. The earliest adopters of the change in nomenclature opted for LMAO. Many noticed that though the LMAOs laughed off a lot, their derriers stayed put in their original positions. Ashamed at losing face on failing to deliver on their claims, a few disgruntled LMAOs changed names to conceal identity.

LMFAO came into being.

Keen to differentiate themselves from the LMAOs and LOLs, the LMFAOs took pride in extreme displays of laughter. They stood for extremities in life, some claimed. Even mundane conversational exchanges were LMFAO-ed, often unnecessarily.

A few in this gang decided to further push the limits of extreme displays of happiness. They would be paragons of delirium. With this in mind, they rechristened themselves LMMFAO. This process accelerated so rapidly that the last recorded group named themselves,  LMFFFMFFFMFFFMFFMMMMMMMMMMFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOO.

Few could keep count of the number of derriers that were f****d and laughed off.

While this was under-way, an alien group made a sudden appearance from nowhere – ROFL. Not taking too kindly to this uninvited intrusion, the L-s huddled and prepared for battle. On an auspicious day and with a LOLmighty battle-cry, the L-brigade swooped down on ROFL. To counter the charge of the LOLs, LMAOs, LMFAOs and other extremist terrors, the ROFLs rolled over laughing at every possible opportunity. The LMFAOs found the ROFLs quite distracting, especially when they tried LMFAO-ing, even when no L was forthcoming. Fortunes swung greatly but a combined and Herculean charge from the planet of the LOLs managed to quell the assault of the ROFLs…

…who quickly found much-needed reinforcements arriving, in the form of the ROTFL and the ROTFFL.

Things got ugly at this stage as the F-ing battle left many wounded, disfigured and dead, some permanently.

After much bloodshed, a reluctant Ceasefire was called for and new ways of synergistic collaborations were explored, including marital associations. The offspring of this new cross-breed were named, ROTFFLMFAO.

A few veterans couldn’t bear to see this sorry state of affairs, and renamed themselves.

FML

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A curious soul interested in the history of the tussle between Even and Odd would have to begin with Oddam and Eve…When the Creator, in a momentary lapse of reason, decided to give the Milky Way some unwanted company, He created humans. Two of them, to set things in motion.

Even had scored its first mighty strike…

The garden of Even probably made Adam and Eve optimistic about the just-born world, to realise they were two-in-arms in the vast expanse of stillness. A solitary organism might have ended humanity through self-destruction, even before chaos had weaved its magic. A marvellous possibility, which, ironically, never saw the light of the day.

The Creator, it turned out, was sympathetic to Even on the subject of Anatomy. He designed Man’s anatomy to be a house of Even, endowing him with two of most things. But great care was taken to ensure that inlets, outlets and reproductive attachments in the anatomy, were given to the house of Odd. Yet, admirers of Odd were few.

Somewhere along the way, inquisitive jocks decided to impart sophistication to the study of periodicity. They named the experiment, Time. By carefully following the motions of heavenly bodies, noting the repetition of mundanities and by running a battery of wondrously incomprehensible experiments in counting and accounting, they eventually succeeded in conquering Time.

60 ticks made 1 minute. 60 minutes turned into an hour. 24 hours turned into a day.

Someone decided to house time in watches for Man to glance at occasionally, through the course of the day. These novelties were initially seen in Circular shapes. A compartment resembling a Zero, housing time, for eternity.

Watches soon evolved, with other shapes jostling for man’s attention. Squares, Rectangles, Parallelograms, Hexagons, Octagons and other members of the Even-Sided Geometric Shapes club, all competed with the Circle for Man’s rare attentions. The Triangle and the Pentagon had to be content with guest appearances, quietly making way for the more powerful Even-Sideds who hogged the limelight.

It seemed Nature danced to the tune of Even.

Mathematics tried to bat for the lot of the Odd. This endeavour though, turned out to be only partly successful. When numbers came into existence, those that could be divided evenly, with odd exceptions, were named Composites (so an 8 which could be ripped into 2 x 4, 4 x 2, 8 x 1, 1 x 8 was stamped a Composite). Those fortunates, which withstood the scissors of division-by-the-evens were grandly named Primes. 1, one of the most useful numbers to Man, felt pride at owning the title of being neither a Prime nor a Composite.

Unfortunately, Primes were clunky, unwieldy characters, feared by most people, who had great trouble handling them in daily mental mathematics. The fastest way to successfully end a game of mental warfare was to pose a multiplication of the Primes, ironically involving Even digits (‘37 x 53, you!”).

The world of Multiplication further tilted the scales in favour of Even. Kids found that only when Odd was crossed with Odd, was the result Odd. Attempts at crossing an Even with an Odd, or an Even with an Even, ended in a victory for Even.

Mathematically assaulted kids found merriment in a game of picking the Odd one out. Oddly, Even as Odd was regularly singled out, few admired the ostracised gentleman.

Elsewhere in the field of astronomy, the solar system played host to 9 planets, till recently. One fine day, a bunch of astronomers decided that Pluto was unfit for Planet Society, unceremoniously ejecting it from the League. The poor chap can yet be seen rolling around the sun forlornly as an outsider, both intergalactically and socially, leaving the planet family happily inhabited with Even members.

Away from the world of science, Man found succour in the pleasantly cheerless world of social networking. Even was discovered lurking here, too, in the form of the Character Limit.

Odd was seen as a mark of the weird, a symbol of incongruity, irregularity, non-conformity; while Even was a paragon of symmetry and general goodness. In the epic battle of Even and Odd, Even emerged inoddinately successful.

There were a few who found the unspoken fascination with everything Even, a little Odd to digest.

They were picked off in the game of Odd one out.

It all began as I was listening to Jason Newsted’s mesmerizing bass solo recently. In a Eureka moment, my misgivings on the world of rock and its sibling variants came welling up to the surface.

Ever since gangs of rebellious mavericks substituted weapons with guitars and made the stage their homes, the rock world has hosted magnificent happenings. Beneath the cacophony, lay buried the prospect of great excitement; of waking up to devastating news of some rock maven dying dramatically.

Unable to remember an act of brilliant rock showmanship in recent times, I journeyed through history, covering the 2000s without an interruption. Unimpressed by a handful in the 90s, my search for the last notable rock bands met with success in the 80s. What had happened over the past decade or two?

Normally, when in doubt, I listen to my heart…and then paddle through the world of numbers, for some fun. Only on rare occasions has this exercise ended uneventfully.

Here’s a timeline of rock star deaths.

Alive and well

Source: Wikipedia, various

Rock stars are living longer and longer and longer, with the passage of time.

Whatever happened to The Code of Immortality; Live flamboyantly and die tragically. There was a time when expiration due to natural causes was a sacrilege, reducing a rock star’s social standing. Herculean tragedies that repeatedly befell the head-bangers of the 60s, 70s and 80s seem to have progressively given way to mellow chaps who have decided against dying in spectacularly bombastic, news-grabbing fashion. Advances in medicine have succeeded in arresting the frequent and abrupt failures of rocker hearts, livers, intestines, kidneys and brains. But suicides, which have no correlation to advances in science, have inexplicably reduced too, quite sadly.

I remember sadness enveloping me in its melancholic embrace when I learned about the tragic deaths of guitarist extraordinaire, Cliff Burton and Dimebag Darell. Kurt Cobain chose blowing up to fading away, even after initial unsuccessful dalliances with suicide. The shotgun blast, which ended his misery, also blew the lid off mass mourning. Fans were devastated across the globe, drowning in an ocean of tears; some human, some crocodile. But it immortalised the man and his band. Music aficionados suddenly discovered soulfulness in his voice, after his passing.

For rock-fan numbers to grow over time, periodic deaths are as imperative as drugs and breathing. While Cobain burned out instead of fading away, Nirvana did the opposite. Metallica has been on the wane as they haven’t had a significant casualty since the death of Cliff Burton in 1986. Dave Mustaine has been reminding the world of Megadeth for years without caring to pay true homage to his band’s nomenclature. Likewise, for Slayer and a slew of other death metal mavens that are the biggest oxymoronic offenders of them all. As a rule, the more dangerous-sounding band names frequently witness few or no casualties. Cannibal Corpse, Anthrax, S.O.D et al are all alive and well.

An absence of unnatural, untimely and unplanned bereavements over two decades is a cardinal sin, condemning rock bands to oblivion.

Probably there is little to rebel and whine about today than 20 years ago. That is a tough line to argue for, though.

So, rock bands, here’s a roadmap to rip-ass numbers, regenerating gravitas and, ultimately, fiery album sales. Pick a man. Choose one (or more) of the following. High-rises. Bullet trains. Lethal injections. Drug overdoses. Or – the age-old method for assured posthumous immortality – pick up a gun and let the brains feel the heat of the sun.

R.I.P.

I don’t think I’m a technophobe but my mates seem to cooperatively think I exhibit numerous symptoms. Wonder why. I consider myself an expert in Doom and Diablo, which hit the world (and expired) so long ago, no one remembers. I painstakingly solve purportedly complex numerical inanities, with my Spreadsheet standing in for my brain. And I can humbly boast of having scratched an enormous scratch on the surface of the Word Processor. All of this on a laptop that is close to superannuation. Anything beyond these basic necessities and my comprehension screeches to an abrupt halt.

But the leech that leaves me enervated is Internet Security. From banks to stock brokers to credit card providers to online booking websites to book ordering websites et al, my search for online amusement is killed by security fiends. Apart from being endowed with a short supply of memory, my IQ is located a couple of standard deviations to the left of the mean. By any definition, I am an internet Black Swan. I only wish the internet realised this.

Hoping to spawn an industry that would provide them with profitable employment over a life-time, the Internet Security experts insisted that security was lax online. That my aging laptop was extremely vulnerable to vicious attacks from wicked viruses and that I needed to fortify myself. Repeated indoctrination led to the installation of a slew of anti-viruses, anti-viruses to annihilate other anti-viruses, firewalls, malware-blockers, ad-blockers, spam-sappers and porn-busters to bust bust-poppers. My HDD houses so many of these aliens that there is little space left for mere-mortal software applications to live in peace.

As the industry grew the Security mavens grew fiercer. They invented a little devil of a device that was crucial to my online survival. My bank sent me one. My stock broker sent me one. My credit card provider sent me one. My cow sent me one. I carried so many of them at one point, my pockets met with a premature expiry.

Soon my bank insisted I boke an internet/phone banking PIN followed by million-digit bank account number followed by billion-digit some-other number followed by the SecureID/Token number; every time I interacted with them. For online dealings, I would have to have some knotty number and another password ready. The website would amuse itself by asking me random word/digits from these passwords. If I failed at any stage I was a nincompoop unworthy of banking online. The fine print in one of the customer agreements probably had some mention of a minimum IQ to prove I had the ability to regurgitate quickly.

Then my stock broker gently reminded me that my maze of passwords would only be valid for a short period. On expiry, I would have to concoct another maze to replace the older nightmares. The new inventory could not include the last thousand passwords entered into earlier mazes. Furthermore, I would have to include numbers and pesky lower/upper-case alphanumeric, hexadecimal mumbo jumbo that had been designed to turn my account into Fort Knox. If I lost the plot, the replacement password would be dispatched immediately, to reach me in 10 days. I had another option. I could call my broker and execute trades. I flunked the Password Regurgitation Test. I had a third option. Leave my positions to the mercy of the Gods and pray.

“We take your security very seriously, Sir.” said St. Security. I was too weak to react.

In one unfortunate instance I exhausted my allowed attempts at remembering the right password and my card was promptly blocked. I called customer care and was hung out to dry by one of their Security-junkies who seemed unhappy at my answers to his questions. The Inquisition ended badly as my horrendously pummelled brain blurted out my birth date incorrectly.

My email provider joined the party. I forgot my password and was promptly directed to a verification page that asked me to key in some alphanumeric gibberish before the gates to Heaven opened to welcome me. The alphanumeric (which was visible) was so contorted that I couldn’t recognize 10 of the 6 letters that appeared there. So I requested an alternative and was greeted with a longer string of alphanumeric amoeba. I waded through the slush, and was greeted with a Security Question. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember the answer. Loath to surrender, I keyed in some likely answers and…Aladdin had exhausted his wishes and Genie had deserted him. I was locked out. “Your security is paramount” or some such judgment had incriminated me. Before throwing in the towel, I searched for a way to solve the Security Question problem and my email Einstein gently directed me to log in to my account first and then do as I pleased. I abandoned the email account for good. Yahoo!

So I’m back to the old times. I write down every single password and the alphanumeric gymnastics that are vital to my existence, so I’m never caught off guard. Someone with access to my book would think they’ve stumbled on a goldmine. Only, the plastic rectangles that I use to transact online would add little more than experience to the hacker. Doubloons? Those are safely stashed away at an offline location (protected by a password). Or better still, I make liberal use of what possibly is the single best online invention through history – Cash on Delivery.

What has all this Security business achieved at the end of the day apart from complicating lives needlessly?

Uh, what was that password to the answer?

There will come a time when I shall look back morosely at the Wordy world I once lived in. This obituary would serve as a chronicle of a lost world.

I always had a weakness for the written word. Through the late 1980s and mid-90s I regularly allowed a free rein to my imagination, which impinged itself on paper through the medium of the pen. Letter writing was one of these indulgences. It wasn’t just the letters that I penned that I looked forward to reading. It was the replies that I unfailingly received from the recipient that accentuated the delight. I loved the idea of round-trip communication. The love amplified as the process was repeated all over again.

Then along came the Internet.

I became the proud owner of an email id and later, a blog. My fear for the intruder was replaced by eagerness at the prospect of recreating my old passion on the World Wide Web. I soon began appreciating the vast advantages of virtual ink. Once my initiation was complete, the excitement escalated rapidly…

But cycles are all-pervading.

For a while emails elicited enthusiastic responses and blogs were read, at least cursorily. Concomitantly queer transformations were observed.

Gradually, the frequency of replies decreased, starting with a trickle. Soon the non-replies began accelerating in geometric progression. The rather illogical sounding ‘counting non-replies’ was achieved by counting the emails that flew out of one’s inbox, into the WWW, into recipients’ inboxes…and which died a quiet death there.

Those with a fondness for mathematical relationships observed that the replies bore an inverse relationship to the number of emails sent. The situation failed to improve even when the originator sent out emails with a ready reply included.

Time wore on and many sensed a vast improvement in their reading speeds.

This joy was sadly short-lived when realization dawned that replies were being truncated to a couple of ropey lines. The rare replies often included a string of the same alphabet repeated (heyyyyy, comeee soooon, missssssiingg youuuuu), possibly to convey the weightiness of whatever emotion that was being conveyed. Some paradoxes were observed. Mathematical symbols were liberally used to suggest love <3. Yet, math was otherwise abhorred as a medium of communication on matters pertaining to the heart (it was judged to be too unemotional).

Alphabets that contributed to coherent words were randomly scythed by the word-hunters, never to be heard of again. Long words bore the brunt of this word-poaching and more than a few joined the dodos and dinosaurs in extinction. The critically endangered words category was rapidly populated but support for their cause was scant, by celebrities or others. Words were replaced by their numerical brethren and the 4mer took gr8 offence 2 this. But there was little that they could do as they learnt with trepidation that Darwin applied to the word world too.

Neither were the Exclamations and Punctuation families spared from mutation and ultimate extinction!…?! When the duty-bound Word Processor flagged these juxtaposed punctuation/exclamation marks in Green for correction, they were duly Ignored, Once and then, for All. The Question Mark was avoided at the end of questions in those rare occurrences of email communication, as it seemingly made one appear intrusive and intimidating. The comma fell in coma and punctuations were punctured punctiliously.

Then there was the birth of a frightening devil called Social Networking which promised to exacerbate the process of word extinction. Emotion-laced words spouted by the unsuspecting brain met with a gory end as they perished at the hands of the Character Limit. Man’s growing impatience with almost everything around him extended to the Word world. The reminder of one’s existence and acknowledgment of another’s was confined to clicking on ‘Like’ buttons on Social Networking oblations. Over time, even these simple tasks of nature were forgotten.

Nobody seemed to recollect having come across many readable authors in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, J. K. Rowling aside. Enthusiastic readers who could bear long words found themselves scanning the early 20th century for appealing readership and extinct words. The latter was to assuage sadness and blame the present extinctions on history. Progress was slow through the 18th to 14th centuries as word-maniacs were thwarted by the richness of English expression during this period. The proliferation of whence and thence was too dense for many, who were relieved that these words were history.

Rancour reduced noticeably at this realization. One resignedly observed that the letter had evolved from sign language to indiscernible but attention-grabbing symbolism to Hieroglyphs to the relative simplicity and elegance that dominated much of the AD. But the tentacles of evolution spared few. A new Dyslexicon would be born.

Words couldn’t convey the emotion felt. They had moved on.

‘U wil b misssssssssed’, mumbled a few.

Signing of with XXX.

Sometimes, there is nothing harmonic about the harmonic oscillations of sound.

An automobile makes its presence felt on a peaceful Sunday. The road is rather empty, sans undesirable presence of man or animal. Yet, the intelligent charioteer chooses, wilfully, to disgrace the tranquil air with his mechanical hollering. One whirls around and feels an envelope of disappointment and vexation. The ‘automobile’ is somewhat of an antithesis. It is a motorcycle fitted with a pick-up truck’s mouth organ. Seemingly, this rat-lion found sound power as a desirable way of attracting (un)desirable attention.

To deflect the revolting mind, one retires to the quieter confines of one’s home; switches on the blare-box and is immediately greeted with a series of telecom advertisements. One ad extols the mobile handset’s exceptionally high-decibel speakers, which evidently, impresses a herd of noise connoisseurs. The other ad features a classroom full of sprightly young lads and ladies, frolicking in a desk-pounding, spot-jumping, hand-clapping, back-thumping, front-pumping noise orgy. The louder, the merrier, is the motto of this group. One realizes belatedly that decibels were potent weaponry in displaying camaraderie. Genuineness, it seems, is directly proportional to ascending intensity on the sound scale.

Unable to share the ad’s ode to noise, one takes a walk. The eyes rest on a temptingly elegant park, dangling the carrot of some much-desired quietude. One doesn’t expect the resident stray dogs’ welcome song, though. A pack, one short of a cricket team playing XI, howls menacingly. Disadvantaged by the lack of a common language of communication and an inability to howl competently, one assumes this is the animal’s way of expressing displeasure at the arrival of human company. Sunday stillness apparently isn’t an aspiration confined to the human domain. A few awkward moments later, spent unsuccessfully in conveying to the animal the concept of peaceful co-existence, one is forced to look for quieter pastures. As man heads for the exit, the dogs again exercise their vocal chords in unison; for a victory celebration.

As the day wears on, one is pummelled into submission, thoroughly devoured by sound poisoning. One’s ears can only take so much. Tranquillity is eventually discovered in slumberland…

Noise, and not wealth, will be the new barometer of social standing in the coming time. In this epic battle of the survival of the shrillest, the Quiets are expected to die a quiet death (or at least, spend a bulk of their idle time snoozing). Societal recognition would be a direct function of decibel-ownership. The ‘rich’ would figure highly in ‘dB-500’ rankings. People, as usual, would quickly adapt to this seismic shift. Mobile phones, locomotive horns, overzealous human horns, advertisements, public announcement systems, religious processions, speeches (political and other slightly less dubious variants); would all get progressively louder, stretching the limits of man’s audible tolerance. TV would revel in insensibly exasperating the sensible. The centuries-old man-dog howling dispute would reach a point where dogs would eventually take to howling solely in the ultrasound range, granting relief to humans but creating fresh competition for half-blind bats, already battling in the ultrasound.

A lack of endowment in loudness could become a crippling disadvantage, hampering one’s social and professional progress. The former might be witnessed in social networking sites, where an inability to pictorially convey the appearance of a buoyant life might be the cause of rapid deletions from friend lists. The latter would be linked to the art of convincing others as to one’s significant professional contributions, conveyed through an overwork of one’s vocal chords. The vocal chords, and not the brain, would come to be the most valuable part of the anatomy.

The discerning reader would recognise that the above ‘prognostications’ are a sordid summary of the present.

The future is likely to be worse.

Some statements have a remarkable ability of benumbing the brain with their odiousness. I have been secretly carrying out an empirical search with the objective of identifying the most repugnant of clichés. The investigation is expected to continue till the end of time or me, whichever is earlier, but I’ll spill the beans by declaring a provisional winner…by a huge margin.

Been there, done that.

(Henceforth, used interchangeably with ‘The Hearing’)

One of the most horrendously malignant, hopelessly overused, and unbearably nauseating of the clichés that I have been subjected to over the decades; in my humble and (mostly useless) opinion.

The Hearing is commonplace in a congregation of Intelligentsia – who through various weighted combinations of dogged determination, ancestral bequests and doses of good fortune – have done a commendable job (truly) of transferring Papers of Value in one direction, from others unto themselves.

The scene might be a coffee/beer table with liberal representation of the Intelligentsia. Each takes turn extolling his/her virtues and accomplishments with a hopefully-subtle speech intended at tooting one’s own horn, while simultaneously hoping the others don’t take notice. (Of course, the others don’t notice). Once everyone else in the group dutifully does the same their healthy camaraderie is seen in the concluding line:

‘Oh! Been there, done that.’

The unwelcome utterance of The Hearing is almost always accompanied by a smug one-leg-on-top-of-the-other posture, head thrown back for piercing effect. The unfortunate inclusion of Average Man to this distinguished assemblage triggers a Hearing onslaught. The hapless Average Man rolls his eyes – less in admiration and more out of camouflaged dismay at the misplaced hubris – and hopes to seek asylum in the world of silence.

Any attempts at conversation by Average Man post the Hearing(s) is followed by a voluntary sermon session by the Intelligentsia, with the dual objective of highlighting the futility of Average Man’s endeavours and downplaying their own achievements, ending with a been-there-done-that. All over again. The Hearing serves as an advance warning to Average Man of the impending failure of his attempts at engaging the Intelligentsia’s concentration. Who cares about Average Man anyway?

Another common setting conducive to the Hearing is a conversation with a couple-friend, minus one half of the couple. Friendly banter is frequently interspersed with reminders of the absent partner’s many unknown talents. ‘(S)He has been there, done that…’ The absent partner serves as a wonderful catalyst for The Hearing.

Another instance is when a young human (hapless, of course) finds him/herself in the company of humans more advanced in years. The young human is so bombarded with the Hearing he struggles to keep pace with who’s been where and done what. The complexity is augmented when the young human is heavily outnumbered by the more-advanced-in-years pack. In such instances, the young human is well advised to search for a quick exit (unless they want to hang around for the amusement).

A final instance comes from the wannabe (…no, what an uncouth word.). Well, the sniff-happy drug-addict-hopefuls-who-flunked-the-drug-test group. A few sniffs here, few furtive trials there and this group carries with it a fine sense of achievement. Of having ‘been there, done that’. Amen.

Been where, done what?

Mental torture by clichés is beyond culpability. Should the law change in the future, The Hearing could make the cut. The Hearing is noxious when used as a medium for conveying hubris, indulgent self-gloating and as an unwanted ingredient in social banter. Admittedly, The Hearing is often used with harmless intentions. However, those occasions would be too drab to write about.

But all is not lost. The Hearing serves as a worthy subject for dark humour. On most occasions, rather than stressing a sense of purported achievements and sagacity, The Hearing amusingly highlights the delusion content of the speaker’s utterances. Delusion is one of humour’s best pals. All is forgiven.

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Do I hear been there, seen/done that from you, my dear Reader, after reading the above?

You have company.