A Portrait of the Artist as a Complete No Hoper

Some strive for glory. Others for riches. There are those who, from the moment they hit the cradle have an unquenchable thirst for greatness. Each hour of every day that follows is devoted to being the best at whatever it is they have elected to dedicate their lives to. Not me, though. I have long realized that I am destined not to be best at anything. Or, if I am, it will be in an area so hopelessly specialized that no one else will be interested. Say what you will, but being the World Champion of cutlery sorting (dishwasher division) is not all it’s cracked up to be. But if I can’t be the best at anything, or at least anything important, I’m a good chance of being the worst.
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In the Heat of the Night After Night After Night

Air conditioning is bad. It devours electricity like Augustus Gloop would an all-you-can-eat buffet and is helping turn this planet into some kind of giant sultana. Short of concreting a national park or strapping gelignite to penguins, it’s possibly the worst thing you can do for the environment. It’s for this reason we have decided not to have air conditioning in our home. While we often suffer a shortage of cool air, we have, instead, a near endless supply of an air of superiority, of which we make splendid use.
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Wind, Rain and Flood: Why I Love Easter

For me, Easter means one thing: wet camping. Whereas Christmas is a season promoting goodwill and charity to others, Easter is all about a grim determination to make the absolute most of a couple of public holidays and a commitment to the family camping equipment come hell or high water. And whereas ‘hell or high water’ is often just a turn of phrase, when it comes to Easter it is a simple statement of fact.
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The Orchestra: Life’s Ultimate Utensil

We’ve all seen the adverts. Jarring visuals and startling music combined with a voiceover that’s as close to hysteria as is possible without actually exploding. Easy to clean! Removes unwanted stains! (As though there’s any other kind) Turns a sandwich into a banquet! The problem with these commercials is that when the product is ultimately unveiled, it’s impossible to be anything but underwhelmed. Usually, the device is little more than a plastic lump with a metal attachment, resembling the results of an appendectomy if performed on a washing machine. Plastic surgical off-cuts are seldom much use. There’s only one thing that can truly do everything.
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