When I was a child my parents called me the Boy with the Curl. I’m sure you recall the rhyme, the Girl with the Curl: “When she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid”
I’m not sure I was that different from most children in that I had tremendous mood swings. They were rapidly cycling moods. I could be crying one minute, laughing the next and then in a rage, having a temper tantrum. That’s not so abnormal for a child, unless you’re my parents who labelled it as a weird pathological behaviour to be frowned upon.
I still do it now but sadly my moods last a lot longer. The last few days have been a case in point. I was forced to go on a course through work. It was an utterly hideous prospect; a course about communication skills involving role play workshops. I’m sure the thought of role play makes most people blanch in terror but this course had an added element of horror. The role play lasted an hour and a half and was videoed. It was also done with an actor who was briefed to make life a little difficult for you. The course was mandatory from a health service initiative and being my usual wily self, I’ve managed to avoid it for three years so far. They finally caught me.
My mood began on Saturday tea time and lasted through till this afternoon, gaining momentum as it rolled. The course was held in a golf club. I decided I hated golf more than anything in the world. I decided I hated role play, which is a pretty fair thing. What’s the point in doing role play? It just proves how good you are at doing role play. It’s a vile experience and one to be avoided at all costs. It was held in a small neighbouring town. I decided I hated this town as it smells of Marmite (no, really, it’s where they make it). I decided I wasn’t doing the role play. I decided I hated all actors. I decided that actors who do corporate training courses are one step above bad am-dram and one step below Murder Mystery Train actors in status and as such deserved my disdain. I’ve ranted on Facebook, ranted to poor Paul, stuck my lip out, banged about the house, angrily smoked cigarettes, moaned to my friends, complained to my colleagues and generally been totally and utterly unbearable.
I went to bed in a bad mood, hating my door banging Russian neighbour, who never fetches her washing in (the slattern), more than usual. I woke up in a mood today. I hated the people on the train. I hated the music on my I-pod. I hated the way the countryside looked.
I arrived on the course, unhappy that it had cost me £14 to get there, bitterly cold, hating golfers and hating grass for being so green. I pouted through a few hours of lectures, puffed angrily on cigarettes in the breaks and wondered “WHY THE FUCK WOULD ANYONE BE DULL ENOUGH TO GET MARRIED ON A FUCKING GOLF COURSE?” as I noticed the bridal accessories and adverts for weddings. I munched through a poor selection at lunchtime (meat and cheese based dishes only, which for a cheese avoiding vegetarian isn’t great) and resented the caterers.
In short, I was cross.
I did the role play which involved a scrawny actress with poor skin who stayed in character for the full 90 minutes. It reminded me of the Alan Bennett story, “The Greening of Mrs Donaldson”, which is about people who play volunteer patients for medical students (very funny story which I’ve pasted a link to at the bottom). I watched the videos back as everyone gave constructive criticism and my mood went as fast as it had arrived. I feel fine now.
What a quaint little town it was held in! How green the grass looked and look at the lovely little finches swooping down. I loved the chips we had for lunch. I’m somewhat of a chip connoisseur and these were great. It was a glorious afternoon, all told. So what if I learnt very little? I met some lovely people.
Do you want to know a secret though? I actually love my little moods. Whilst I might be gaining an ulcer, I revel a bit at the fun of it all. Long live the boy with the curl.