Worry


By Paul Lester
November 7, 2008
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I'm not sure if you noticed, hopefully you did, but my column didn’t appear in the JC today due to circumstances beyond my control. I say beyond my control because it really wasn't down to me, but who should ring at 9am this morning, five minutes after the shops opened, but my ex-wife, who called from the newsagent, wondering where the hell the latest instalment of Suddenly Single was.

Don't get me wrong: I'm relieved that not only is she not annoyed by my mentioning her week in, week out, in the column but that she actively looks forward to it. I just wasn't expecting her to be annoyed by its non-appearance, as though it was somehow my fault.

But then, as my far as my ex-wife is concerned - far - everything is my fault. The Suez Crisis? That was me being lax with regard to foreign policy. Climate change? I shouldn't have used so many aerosols in the '80s. The assassination of JFK? If only I'd been on that grassy knoll instead of being glued to the TV, watching I Love Lucy.

You could almost see the speech bubble above her head: “You see?" I imagined her saying, because it was the kind of thing she would say. "I told you to buy shares in the JC. Then you’d have had more say in the decision-making process and the day-to-day running of the paper. You never listen!”

True, I have a problem with listening, and paying attention in general. Mainly because most of my time and attention is taken up with worrying. Because I worry a lot. I could worry for England, Europe and most of the Free World. I could give classes in disquiet. I've got a degree in Neurosis (a First, noch).

As soon as I open my eyes each morning, I start worrying. In fact, sometimes I set my alarm early just so I can get some worrying in before breakfast. I generally like to worry until lunchtime, then I take a quick break while I eat something unhealthy so I'll have something to worry about during that all-important post-prandial lull, then I carry on worrying for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Finally, after several hours' more energetic unease, I go to bed, exhausted from all the anxiety, only to wake up the next day and start again.

Memo to self: must stop worrying. I wonder if there's such a thing as a worry gland, and if you can wear it out from over-use? Great - something else to worry about.

COMMENTS

suzieh

Sat, 11/08/2008 - 21:20

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yet one more exercise in tedium - if the closest this columnist got to a female last week was holding the hand of a dental technician...yawn...this week he talks to his ex-wife - how exciting - it's all go, isn't it? What is the point?


Beryl Lester

Mon, 11/10/2008 - 10:49

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Well, the point is, you need to have a sense of humour. Where's yours suzieh? perhaps you could give us an insight into your week and let us all know what you consider exciting. You must be a laugh a minute, judging by your comments.


susiet

Mon, 11/10/2008 - 22:20

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I have a sense of humour and I find this column very funny. Anyone who doesn't find it amusing or entertaining, I suggest you don't read it. Paul Lester's Suddenly Single Column is most definitely a column that I now look forward to reading in the JC. I missed it this week and was sorry it had been cut.


Helen

Fri, 11/14/2008 - 16:47

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Good article, as usual Paul, though I was a bit worried to start with. Guess what? I was born in Clapham. Didn't live there long; I was sent to Paris for 2 years to live with an Aunt & Uncle when I was just a year old. So I wondered what you had to say about Clapham girls! Helen


Helen

Fri, 11/14/2008 - 16:48

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Paul, you know all the popular songs. So 'Don't Worry, Be Happy'

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