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Mundane pleasures

I was reading the erstwhile blog of Rob Coombes, musician and former astrophysicist, most well known as the keyboard player in Supergrass. He’s an amusing man, and I wish he’d return to his blog – it is a lot of fun. Anyway, what got me going today was another abandoned blog, of which he’d been a team member, Triumph over the mundane which is exactly what it says on the label.

I was also raving to Joel the other night about some of the stupid little things that I get perhaps a disproportionate kick out of, particularly mundane things at work. So, for your boring pleasure, are some of the incredibly ordinary activities that I find delightful for the most flimsy of reasons. Maybe you know what I mean, and I hope you do. There are some mundane experiences that are just a total hoot for no very good reason. There are reasons, oh most certainly there are, but they’re very silly or trivial ones.

  • For example, I really like using the paper puncher at work. It makes this satisfying “CHUNGK” noise. There’s also the tiny joy it stores up in the tray of business-paper confetti which I’m privileged to dump out every couple of weeks; it’s a miniscule festival in the copy-room trashcan. The comb binder is even better, but I don’t use it as much. But it punches through the paper with a satisfying crunchy-clunky noise, and yields a much larger, fuller tray of pleasantly rectangular “confetti.”
  • And then, sometimes you open a can or a bottle or a jar that has a plastic or foil seal bonded to the top of it that you have to puncture to get to the goods inside. Sometimes, you can rend it asunder with just your thumbnail, but sometimes you have to give it a good stab with a scissor or a knife. In either case, it’s strangely satisfying.
  • Some computer keyboards have gratifyingly clicky keys. The one I use at work is great – good and noisy. When I was a kid, we had a Commodore 64 at school, and the shift-lock key was delightfully clicky. It locked on with a staccato “tic-tik” and released with a “tik-tic.” It was called into play every time we started up the computer as the command for the boot disc was Load “$”, 8 And in order to get that “$” you’d go shiftlock 242 shiftlock, 8
  • I am perhaps abnormally satisfied with my current selection of pants. I went to the thrift shop last Saturday and bought a crapload of brown pants. I seriously own like 7 pairs of varying shades of dark-brown pants, mostly corduroy, and it makes me so happy that I don’t hardly have to even think about covering up my butt. The pants! They’re all basically the same! Man, talk about convenience! Okay, so I have an olive green pair, one black pair, and one cream khaki pair, plus those black-and-white striped flares, but the controlling interest in my selection of bifurcated butt-coverings is dark brown.
  • I really like the sound of a loud free-hub.  When I was a kid, I seriously coveted a grown-up bike without a coaster brake, so that you could backpedal and get that extra loud “zizzzzz” noise.
  • I get totally jazzed if I put together a particularly cute outfit.  Seriously, a really good outfit can set the tone of my day.
  • Likewise, if I have some excellent leftovers to look forward to, lunch time can be a real pick-me-up.  The first half of the work day, I’m faintly gleeful because I’ve got a great lunch to look forward to, and the second half of the day, I’m all satisfied because I had a delicious lunch and it was fab.

I’m not sure how to classify myself.  Am I hedonist because I live for the pleasures of life.  If so, I’d be a damn low budget hedonist.   A sensualist?  Maybe, but people tend to think of sensuality in terms of sexuality, and I’m definitely not Madame Sexy McSexalot.  I mean, I enjoy it and all but it’s not like the central focus of my life, so I’m a bit unwilling to stick myself to that label.

One of my operating philosophies is that if I have to do it anyway, I might as well have some fun with it.  Hence decent cookery, fun clothes, and making a game out of a lot of the daily, repetitive stuff I do around the office.

2 Responses to “Mundane pleasures”

  1. Stef says:

    How did I miss this one? I have always loved the sound of turn signals.

  2. Meetzorp says:

    My mom’s old Dodge Dart Sport had a particularly pleasant turn-signal noise.

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