Monday, July 11, 2005

Don't mind me.

Just back from london, where simply everyone is playing a new game called 'Exuding Polite Stoicism'. You can play it on your own, or you can play it in groups of just under eight million people.

The rules are as follows:

1. The game begins when an annoyance of greater or lesser scale is launched on the player (known from this point as Player 1). However, Player 1 is not allowed to enter the game until the perpetrator of the annoyance apologizes.

2. At this point, Player 1 must then Exude Polite Stoicism.

3. Bonus points are gained for bringing other Players into the game, and persuading them too, to Exude Polite Stoicism.


As I sat on the Tube, a man accidentally kicked my foot as he got up to depart. In pre-Game days that would have been it. Instead, however, he apologized sincerely for the annoyance, thus 'tagging me in' and allowing me to reply: 'Not at all! Don't worry about it!' The man smiled pleasantly as he got off the the tube, and I was able to bask in the glory of one point of Polite Stoicism well-earned.

Later, at the Sigur Ros concert*, as PP and I were sitting in the courtyard of Somerset House, wondering when they'd play that high-pitched one that went on for a bit, the person behind us accidentally knocked over a bottle of water.

PP: Ooh, that went right down me arse crack!
I then made an inappropriate comment I now regret. While neither here nor there Stoic-wise, it was certainly impolite, and had the game started I would have been bounced out quicker than a British tennis player. Or rugby artiste. Or Seb Coe from my home town two elections ago (he might have done very well to get us the Olympics, but his tenure as MP of Falmouth gave off a distinct whiff of Man Holding His Breath Until He Got Back To London).

Fortunately however, it wasn't until then that the water-spiller apologized, thus allowing PP and myself to unleash a double-barrel of Polite Stoicism.

PP: It's all right.
ME: No harm done.
PP: It'll dry quickly.
ME: Spirit of the Blitz and all that.

Which would have won me the game quite satisfactorily had I not attempted a further bout of Polite Stoicism while the ball was still, metaphorically, in the air.

ME: After all, we had the Luftwaffe pouring bottled water all over us in 1944, and we didn't worry about it then, did we?

Which game-wise, may have been just on the line, as t'were. No response, and on post-match analysis, the question mark at the end may have been been the weak point, possibly causing some confusion as to whether it was genuine or rhetorical. Anyway, the point has gone to the official adjudicators, and I await their decision. If it goes against me, I shall of course have no option but to accept their decision, and shake each and every one of them by the hand.

Still, it's a good game, and long may people continue to play it.

* Which was excellent.


JonnyB said...

Did EVERYBODY go to Sigur Ros except me?!?

[insert unhappy face here]

james henry said...

We left a space for you, and everything. But there you weren't. So yes, basically.

Kalista said...

Was it magic Kitten?

(I couldn't resist, sorry)

JonnyB said...


I wondered where everyone was.

And what they were whispering about earlier.

Bearded Lady said...

actually james - i think all these people are playing 'the game of love'. they are clearly just trying to pick you up, accidently kicking you, spilling water on you - typical playground flirting i'd say

james henry said...

Ori - that would explain a lot, although I did slightly flirt with the hotel receptionist, which was exciting.

JonnyB - no, that was something else. And all I can say is "I'm appalled, quite frankly".

cello said...

On your point of order, I think you may just squeak through, as long as you were eating a pickled egg at the time.

Sparkling said...

If I had been alive in 1944, I am sure I would have remembered something drastic we would have done to retaliate the luftwaffe pouring bottled water all over us. But as I wasn't alive in 1944, what would I know.

Maus said...

hahhaha another excellent post - thanks!

Anonymous said...

good game, il shall start playing that with my invisible hamster