I often wonder  … am I mad?

Do I take that rather Irish thing, O’Fence, too easily? I go into  a house, for instance. My host says ‘sit down’. Now why down? Why must he be so cautious and explicit? Is there not a clear suggestion there that if he had neglected to be precise, he might turn round to find me seated on top of the bookcase, the head bent to avoid the ceiling and the air thick with fractured cobwebs? How equally stupid the phrase ‘stand-up! ‘ And how mysterious the sit-down fight as opposed to the stand-up fight!


The Best of Myles Picador 1977 p 371

3 thoughts on “Introspection

  1. Delightful, the image this recalls for me: my nephew, then a very small (even for his toddler age) boy who insisted on standing in his high chair at the table and, scolded for it with great regularity, then standing up and piping like a tiny blond bird: “SEET down! SEET down! SEET down!” and never actually accomplishing the act. Needless to say, all at the table laughed incontinently when he did it, so the performance only reinforced his unwillingness to sit and remain seated. Thankfully, despite (or because of) this contrarian behavior he managed to eat, thrive, and grow up into a healthy and clever young man who as far as I can tell from this distant continent has as little time to SEET down and eat as ever, being an itinerant rock musician and still, therefore, a performer as well.

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