Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Proof that boredom isn't good for you

Ever done something completely irrational?
If you’re a woman, you don’t have to answer this.

Irrationality stems from two emotions:
1) Anger (“well fuck you, I hate you too, and my dress might look stupid, but at least I don’t have manboobs.”) (I don’t have manboobs, you dumb bitch).
2) Boredom.

I haven’t been bored for ages. But not to say that I haven’t too wiped the boredom floor with the wet rag of irrationality. Oh, I have.

I did something when I lived in France I am extremely embarrassed about. (Including some of the men I chose to fraternise with in the medium of a pull.)
Nobody I know has done this, perhaps because it is so psychotic.

Let me explain.

I was an au-pair in a minuscule little village in the French Alps. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. The place was achingly beautiful, and my families looked after me like their own daughter. But. Sometimes weeks would go by when I’d do the same thing day-in day-out, and it is this type of routine that makes people like me go mental.

Part of my job entailed picking up children and shunting them across the countryside to their ballet or music lessons, and to and from school. Because it snowed frequently, this process wasn’t as cut and dry as it said in the brochure.

You had to put their snow suits on, layers of jerseys, socks, boots, hats, mittens, then carry them to the car, strap them in, while one pulls on your leg because he decides that now he needs to pee. Then drive them to school. Once there, you need to take off all the layers and pack them into their lockers. By the time I got home, excited ‘cos now I could eat Pringles on the couch spreadeagle and watch porn, I was exhausted.
So I made this process more exhilarating for myself.

There was one very bored woman, who looked exactly like a middle-aged Heidi who also dropped her kids at school. She probably watched Doublirege all day while her husband Jean-Paul went downtown to work at the Michelin tyre factory.
It all started when I decided to take the kids five minutes earlier to school, to make time for this dressing process, and yet found her there first, sitting in her Renault 5. She was always early, sitting in the same parking place every single day. She’d sneer at me as if to say, “Ah bon. I ween, I ween.”
It drove me bananas.

I’d show her.

Boredom and frustration turned into fully-fledged irrationality, when the next day I left ten minutes early. To my horror, she was there again. In the same place. The next day, fifteen minutes.
The enquiry: “Peas why are we going to school so early these days?”
“To beat Mademoiselle Heidi there, Joffrey.” By now, the school doors weren’t even open. But still the bitch was there before me.

I jumped to 30 minutes. And hark, one gleeful day, I was the first one in.
I slid smugly into her parking space.
The feeling of accomplishment, like after a long race, was overwhelming. Not so much five seconds later, the Renault 5 comes screaming around the corner with Heidi inside. Her face fell like a jackhammer into hot cement. I grinned, showing all my teeth.
I felt like I’d just stormed my own bastille.
To celebrate, I went home and stuffed three chocolate croissants into my pie-hole, washed it down with Beaujolais from the bottle, then devoured half a brie.

Thing is, we never said anything to each other for the entirety of a year. Nothing. Not a squeak. Even when standing side-by-side awkwardly, waiting for the teacher.
Mum phoned me one day and asked, “So, done anything exciting this week?”
“Most definitely. I beat this woman to school on Tuesday.”

This childish banter carried on for weeks. Sometimes she’d win, sometimes I would win, but sadly, it was mostly me. One day I feared the competition, the sheer thrill of driving Heidi into a quiet Hell, had finally run its course.
She arrived a whole 7 minutes after the bell had rung..
Immediately suspicious – what was she up to?
I smelt a rat.
I put it down to the Renault 5’s battery going flat, because the very next day she was back in action.

Things started bordering on the ridiculeux. I had to stop, take a step back and reassess my life when I was there 55 minutes early one morning. Only an hour after I had last picked them up. The competition and excitement had worn thin, I had become mademoiselle crazypants.

So I got a life, found friends and resorted back to French porn and Pringles.

Hell I miss those days.


Anonymous said...


How come it is already Tuesday in your blog

you see.... what boredom drives you too!

Peas on Toast said...

Anonipoo -
Well tomorrow I'll be at an all-day conference, so I just went and stuck it up today hoing nobody would notice. ;)

Boredom knows no boundaries tomorrow, believe you me.

Anonymous said...

I can do one better. Mix boredom, freezing weather and booze together and you end up repeating the phrase "It was a good idea at the time" endlessly to the looks of shocked horror and amusement on your friends faces.

Anonymous said...

Fuck, but that is hilarious. I used to have the exactly same battle with one of the women at work - except, of course, her version of "Ah bon. I ween, I ween" was more along the lines of "I can like to kicking you in the jean-pant, boetie"
It also drove me bananas. Eventually, I gave up and bought a scooter and now I park next to the bollard.

Anonymous said...

Man alive...

This level of competitiveness has to take some beating.

But I understand. I have a favourite parking place which is wider than the others, the result of there not being enough space for two bays when the road painter fellow reached the wall of the chem building.

It pisses me off no end to find someone else parked in it when I get to work early. It is superwide. It is a Mercedes parking. It allows me to open both doors of my car without banging the car (or wall)next door - more to the point it allows me to park without having anyone in the next bay denting my beautiful, shiny, pristine bodywork.

I really cannot understand why the prof from from physics feels the need to park his scruffy, dented Punto in it. It is not as if there are not other spaces available in the morning.


sdfa sdfasdfadsf said...

Haha! Hilarious.

You really are a special character!

Drinks next week hey... (Ant suggested wine?)

Have a fabulous week :)

Tertia said...

Moobs. Man boobs are called moobs. I heard that on the radio today.

Unknown said...

French Porn....
I had a girl friend a few years ago.
She had this huge satellite dish on her house, and actually got French TV.
I lived there for a while, and remember, if you put the TV on after about 22:00 at night, you would get full-on, hard core sex orgies to watch.

Daedalus said...

"French porn and Pringles"
Pheck! Thud!

... and that was normality again then? Well, as supposed to having this unannounced competitive thing with Hidi.

Actually we all do the Hidi thing sometime or another... I race off to work at dark hours of the morning, simply to get a parking close to the front door LOL! (and to miss traffic of course, but, mostly the parking thing)

Anonymous said...

Poor kids..

Anonymous said...

Ps- On earlier point, Maybe your not ready to live in Cape Town at this point in life.. But remember that choice is tempered by the fact that you have family here etc.

Personally I couldn't live up dere, there's niks to look at when im in a contemplative mood.. and I don't mean skirt.

But I do understand, anyway Im sure we would all much rather live on the beach in Moz... just so long as we had an internet connection and some power...

This is why I like cape town.

ExMi said...

french porn and pringles....sounds like all a girl needs....

Anonymous said...

I was so bored at work yesterday. i first started with a few minutes of work, which progressed to my usual web surfing, then i got bored of that and ended up just clicking randomly at things on my desktop as fast as i could.

Anonymous said...

I love the madness of the whole thing. From boredom, its a very small step to insanity.

JamesW randomly clicking on your desktop...thats funny.

Unknown said...

Sounds familiar except my level of competitiveness does not drive me to inconvenience my version of Pringles and French porn.

must say it's good to find someone as focused on doing something random when they lose all their senses.

Peas on Toast said...

Ha ha, thanks guys. :)

Kyk - that jean pant thing - priceless. I giggled all the way home in traffic yesterday. :)