#76 Lazy – ‘Pulling Away In 5th’

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Some cities and towns around the world are steeped in culture and history. Take Washington D.C for example, it is known for being the home of great structures such as the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial. It is also the birth place of monumental moments in history, from speeches by Martin Luther king and Lincoln himself, to the Obama inauguration and that scene in Independence Day.

My home town has also stamped its mark on history. Take a look back in the record books and you will see that in 1999 we got our first set of traffic lights. 2001 the little known burger place McDonald’s opened its doors, and 5 years after that Martin Sargeant got 5 GCSEs. But it’s the traffic lights which really changed things, the mood of the town changed and it affected people’s lives in so many ways. Life just wasn’t as fluid anymore, gone were the days of never stopping to let old people cross the road.

It was 2008 and I was running late for an interview, it was a big deal, it was the best paying factory in town. Reserved for people who managed to make it to the age of 18 without getting a criminal record. I was in, all I had to do now was go and prove that I could spell my name correctly on a form. Being late would not help my chances though.

I’m in my little Renault Clio, the Dynamique model no less, and I pull up at the aforementioned traffic lights in town. There is a line of traffic behind me, and I’m waiting to turn right. I spot my moment, I see the gap and I try to turn, suddenly the car lurches forward violently, and shudders to a stop, then the engine just cuts out.

I’ve broken down, and with a line of traffic behind me I begin to panic. I don’t know what to do. I jump out of the car to try and convey my plight to neighbouring motorists. But I am from a town where any communication is seen as aggressive gesture, the driver behind me thinks I got out of my car to fight him. He darts out of his car with purpose and menace, I simultaneously and bravely get back in my car and lock the door.

So I’m sat there with an angry man approaching, locked inside what is now a big expensive metal toy. That’s when I had my moment of inspiration, I would attempt to start the engine – it worked! I immediately turn right and I only need to park 300 meters away for the job interview – perfect! I pull into my space and close my door. That’s when my key gets jammed. Just a little side note though, the front driver side window on a Renault Clio Dynamique 2001 model goes right to the edge of the door. Thus, the whole driver side window shattered instantly.

OK, so I admit, it is possible to argue that this event had less cultural and historical impact than Martin Luther King’s ‘I had a dream’ speech, but you must also concede it is close.

I woke up late again today, I had planned to enthusiastically cease the day and make the most of my time before work. But I couldn’t seem to get going, I had all the energy and I had all the enthusiasm, but I seemed to pull away in 5th gear – which is exactly what I did in my Renault Clio all those years ago, and not actually broken down as I told everyone.

I do this occasionally, where I do something idiotic and then blame something else, or change the story slightly to make myself look/feel better. I am sure that is a natural thing (or maybe I am just trying to do it again), but I noticed myself doing that today. I’ve been lazy again, I am struggling to get going, but in lieu of any genuine excuses I just have to accept that I’m not being productive enough. I’m still confident even Martin Luther King sat around in his pants some days though.*


*May or may not have just compared myself to Martin Luther King.


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  1. Buffy Devane

    Talking of history: in my youth I attended a primary then a secondary school in different geographical counties: both schools can count a 2016 British Olympic Gold Medallist amongst their former pupils. I am neither of them.
    (Just thought I’d throw that in… it’s as near to a “boast” as I’ll ever get…)

    Anyway Mindfump, never worry about 5th gear, or even neutral. On my worst days, when certain friends have been kind enough to ask me how I am, I go with the old standby:
    “Well, I’m alive… what more can be asked?”
    For what it’s worth, I think that’s a fair comment.

    Take it easy, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mindfump

      Well that is certainly a claim, I do find those things interesting, they’re like yardsticks for what you could of achieved. A girl I used to work with in a sports shop is the current England women football captain. She has won the FA cup, Womens Super League and played at the Olympics and World Cup. I just knew her as shy Steph, turns out she’s not that shy. At the same time I can tell her I got Hartlepool to the Champions League final on Fifa, so there.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Mindfump

          I went to see Forest Green Rovers play a match once. A friend and I were passing their stadium for no apparent reason and realised there was a game on so we bought tickets but most of the game had already been played. They were very confused as to 1) why we wanted to see them and 2) why we wanted to pay full price to only see them for about 35 minutes.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Buffy Devane

            Good Lord… well, you were a couple of chancers that day. 😉
            It’s a strange part of the world: the only football ground in England (perhaps the UK?) that allows no meat products on the premises.
            A culture clash if ever there was one(!)

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Mindfump

            Got to love the terminology. whilst in the US I noticed that they eat a lot of yellowly guey stuff they call cheese. Further inspection showed the true product description as ‘American Imitation Cheese’, which contained no dairy products.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Buffy Devane

            Ah yes… my friends in the US keep asking me about the differences between “British English” and “American English”… but I think when it comes to food, it gets even more complicated?!
            (Though I’m still rather miffed to find out that there are no actual Cheese Mines in Wisconsin…)

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Bless

    This sums me up quite nicely. Can’t actually remember the last time I had a fully functioning day! Even when I tell myself I’ve done everything something’s always missing. Changing the story thing? Don’t think it’s safe enough to share my own, but I’ll say it involves a mini marathon and a member of the royal family. (To be fair I narrowly missed out because I was being a sore loser)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      I know I look back at when I was younger and I’d have the odd bad day, now its completely flipped to the point I celebrate the odd good day. You have intrigued me no end with your story… do go on.


      1. Bless

        I feel like an absolute pessimist around people but genuinely have about 90% bad days and the other 10 is somewhat good but I still feel rather empty.

        To summarise, completed a mini marathon was meant to meet a certain prince harry when I was done, I crossed the line last (broken wheelchairs are not fun) went home rather annoyed that I came last only to realise I came third and had to have my medal posted to me so I missed out on harry! Of course I told everyone I saw him for pride sake. Massaged my ego for a while now I just avoid it

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mindfump

          I know exactly how you feel – about the bad days. What a story though! You should write about that, I think the true story is even better. There is no pride lost in doing something like that, at least in my eyes. Well done! Plus he is just another person after all.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Cassandra Stout

    Ha, what a great post! You’re an inspirational writer, Mindfump. We all have our lazy days, and we all have days where we pull out in fifth gear. The key is powering through it as much as you can, and then giving yourself permission to be lazy after your work is done. 😉


  4. Paul Sunstone

    I tend not to have bad days, just some dull days, but when I do have a genuinely bad day it’s usually a catastrophe for me, if no one else. Sort of like a M-80 firecracker going off in your toilet. It might not have affected dozens or hundreds of people by destroying a whole city block, but it’s bad enough you yourself no longer have a bowl.

    By the way, I once met an heiress to one of America’s largest fortunes. She was a lovely young woman, and I made a very bad impression on her. She was visiting my one-traffic light home town because a local boy had gone to Harvard, met her there, wooed her, and they were to be married. I was invited with my two brothers to meet her over the dinner table. Naturally, both my brothers coasted through the evening as if born to entertain young women with house-hold famous last names. I, just as naturally (for me), nervously cracked one flat joke after the next until I suddenly realized I was leaving the wrong sort indelible impression and shut up. She was perfectly gracious about it, but I could not have made things worse if I’d given her financial advice.


    1. Mindfump

      I know what you mean about the dull days, sometimes life is neither good or bad. Although I must say I get more bad days than dull. Your interaction with the heiress sounds anything but dull though. Nothing wrong with awkwardness, it is my favourite form of bonding.


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