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Rules for Survival

May 25, 2011

In London there are now three big musicals running that are aimed mostly at the family market. I’ve seen all three now (the last being ‘Shrek’ last week – opinions on after press night, as I follow the rule of not releasing one beforehand).

Having had a particularly stressed week / month / year / decade / century / life,  I was amazed at how therapeutic a couple of hours of ‘taking my brain off the hook’ and watching somebody else work their gluteus maximus muscles off for a change was. And thus I formed another of my simple rules for survival. Everybody’s are different, of course, but as I have a blog entry to write, I thought I’d make a few notes of my own as it fills up a page and makes Mr P happy that the blog still works.


Mobile (cell if you are a follower of Uncle Sam) phones are for emergencies. We got along perfectly without them for about a billion years. Keep your number private and don’t become a slave to them.

Email beats phones any day for daily communication, as you can leave them until you are ready to deal with them, thus organising your time for yourself rather than being dictated to by ringing bells / bleeps / the Nokia tune etc.

If you are in the bath and the call is that important, they’ll try repeatedly. Soak until at least the fifth call in two minutes. Anything else is probably just advertisers.

Never underestimate the power of hydrotherapy. Your body is mostly water, you first grew in a tank of fluid, and bathrooms are often tiled for maximum acoustic potential – both external noise blocking and voice reverberating. Bathrooms also usually have locking doors.

Singing (however badly) releases stress. Behind a locked door in a bathroom, nobody can raise your stress level as you reduce it by warbling through the complete works of Webber A.L. (see ‘locked door’ note, above).

It’s not worth getting stressed when a tube stops in a tunnel on the way to one of his shows. You can’t do anything to get it moving again. Have ‘customer charter’ forms for a fare refund available, and hand them out to other passengers at the 15 minute mark. Financial revenge on large and lousy organisations with poor customer service is good.

Customer Service departments can be an oxymoron – that is, having to enforce rules made by oxen and morons. Give them one chance to fix your problem, then head for the top – those oxen and morons. Google makes finding info on the bosses (from names and titles to the really personal stuff – outside of a Super Injunction of course) simple. Use it.

Accept that anything “Super” probably is “pretty OK” at best. Buy cheap, buy twice is a great mantra, but ‘Buy expensive without checking just how super it is” can work out even more expensive.

Even if you buy this year’s model today, accept that next year’s will have more features. Don’t worry, though – this year’s will have had all the snags worked out, and will eventually become the “they don’t make ‘em like that any more” of next year.

Last year’s stuff mostly was better because you can forget about the struggle you had learning to use it, but there is one thing worth remembering…

The biggest survival tip of all… and the one most adults forget or have twisted and atrophied over time, and that came back to me last week at “Shrek The Musical”… LAUGH FREELY WITHOUT INHIBITION WHENEVER YOU ARE GIVEN THE CHANCE.

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