• Slow wit

    Photo by Chris Montgomery

    One of the unsung boons of the fast-forward into remote working has been the rise in slow wit, or the ability to be funny at a more leisurely pace.

    If, like me, you’re one of those people who is really, really funny in their own head, this new way of working is a godsend. All those one-liners you never quite got out now stand a fighting chance.

    A cracking lag

    The beauty is in the technology. Nearly anyone can be witty in the Teams chat function, since you have hours to polish and refine your repartee. But it’s in meetings that your standup routine can shine.

    Video chat in a largish group offers so much mileage. It’s all in the lag. You know that if a reply is too quick, it’ll simply get caught up in static. No one’ll hear it. Your brilliance will go to waste.

    And so, slow wit is born. When someone requires a response, you can hold your tongue a moment. Make a silly face. Unmute yourself. Wait until all static has subsided. Drumroll. One-liner. Gold.

    West Country bons mots

    The new slow wit reality isn’t all roses for everyone. I feel for almost the entire Irish and Jewish peoples, naturally. But I hail from the farms of the English West Country.

    Now, as any rapier-witted Glaswegian or Londoner will tell you, the English West Country is known for its pace. Those West Country farmers, they know their way around a joke, and no mistake.

    Want more slow wit? Try talking to a three-year-old

  • If life gives you cucumbers…

    Cucumber in a plastic wrapper
    (Photo by Charles)

    …write a blog about cucumbers.

    Sometimes life descends into pure farce. On a wet January evening in a shopping mall on the outskirts of Malmö. Or anywhere. It goes from the mundane to slapstick silly. 

    So I was in my local supermarket. I had my large-volume backpack on (I cycle my groceries home) and I was standing in front of the organic cucumbers. But why did I feel wetness just above my left hip?

    It was definitely wet

    I was wearing a heavy winter coat. It wasn’t raining outside. I took off the backpack and looked at it. The bottom left corner was dripping wet, as if it had been dunked in a puddle. Strange. I hadn’t put it down once. 

    I opened it. Empty. I’d come shopping. Of course it was empty. It was going to be filled. Perplexed, I put it back on and chose an organic cucumber from among the sad specimens, reflecting on how quickly my wife had eaten the last one. 

    Is that a cucumber in your backpack, or are you just…?

    I walked away into the avocado aisle. Once more, I felt the wetness on my skin. Dammit! What is this? I whipped the backpack off again and glared at it. Why? Where was this water coming from? 

    Then I clicked. The side pocket. The long, thin side pocket. I unzipped it, thrust my hand in, and slowly drew out… what? 

    A long, thin plastic codpiece, containing the remains of an organic cucumber bought at this same supermarket the week before. It was now half liquid, and the top half was a phallus without gusto. 

    I held the dripping member in my hand and stared around the shop wild-eyed.


    I saw the headlines already.

    I scurried to the organic cucumber section and flung it on the pile. Then thought, Noooooo! What am I doing? That’s disgusting. I picked it up again and ran with it dangling in my hand. 

    Finally, God placed a wastepaper bin at the foot of the kumquats. I was saved. I slam-dunked it. I straightened up. I looked hastily around. Act casual: Oh, two paw paws for only 20 kroner. A surprisingly good deal…

    If you enjoyed that, try Talking To A Three-Year-Old