Friday, July 22, 2016

Read My Mind

Any idea what yours truly is doing in this photo?

a) consulting the dinner menu before the waiter returns to take my order?
b) examining my wife’s manicure set with a view to identifying the nail clipper?
c) reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky?

Yes, you guessed it: I was looking for the nail clipper. Incidentally, if you chose a), you really should try living in the Basque Country for a few years. But what if I had been reading Dostoyevsky’s harrowing tale?

And therein lies the real problem for Kindle lovers and e-book addicts in general: nobody will ever appreciate what magnificent literary tastes we have. Non-Kindle converts will tell us how much they love “the feel and smell of a real book”, how they like to “thumb and turn the pages”, how they need to “touch base with the physical world”. And similar bollocks.

What none of these romantics will admit, of course, is that their main reason – dare I say, their only reason – for not embracing the e-book revolution is that they want others to look at them and think, “Wow! I wish I were reading that book!”; “Dostoyevsky? That guy must be really smart!”; and so on.

Fortunately, thanks to Kindleractive Electronic Cover Technology™, Kindle owners no longer need to feel like second-class readers.

Simply press the Kindleractive button on your Kindle to let your fellow poolside users know what masterpiece you are reading today.

Beware, however, of the deadly Kindleractive Trojan virus which, once installed in your Kindle, will destroy in one fell swoop what little street credibility you might once have enjoyed:

‘Never mind all this Kindleractive nonsense!’ I hear you saying. ‘What’s with all this Dostoyevsky stuff? You’re not going through one of your silly existential crises again, are you?’ Well, no more than usual. No, the point is, a few years ago, I very unwisely decided to buy Fyodor’s masterpiece, The Brothers Karamazov. “The most magnificent novel ever written,” said Sigmund Freud; the book that would “teach you everything you need to know about life,” added Kurt Vonnegut. As it happened, I hated the blasted book and would happily have thrown it out of the window had it not been on my Kindle at the time. Come to think of it, perhaps that’s the real reason why some bookworms still refuse to read e-books?

That said, I am nothing if not a glutton for punishment forgiving, so I decided to give Fyodor one last shot. On this occasion, however, I set my sights lower and plumped for Crime and Punishment. “Start with this one. It’s the easiest,” said Amazon Customer. Whether it’s his easiest, I couldn’t say, but it’s certainly his most entertaining. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.


After a while they came to a fork in the road. Who left that lying there? Colin wondered. There was no sign of a knife or spoon. Colin was beginning to feel a little peckish. It was way past his dinner time.

‘What’s that noise?’ asked Mal.
‘Just my stomach rumbling. Sorry. Is there anywhere we can grab a bite to eat?’
‘If it’s not sex, it’s food. Is that all you Earthlings ever think about?’
‘No,’ said Colin, lying through his teeth, and somewhat taken aback by the ferocity of Mal’s sudden outburst.
‘Don’t you ever spare a thought for the starving millions, Colin? Well, I’ve got some very bad news for you. Welcome to the Land of the Starving Jillions, sunshine.’
‘ “Jillions”? Is a jillion bigger than a zillion?’
‘Stop trying to change the subject. Now where was I?’
‘We were discussing large numbers.’
‘Down here, there’s no breakfast, no lunch, and no dinner. Got that?’
‘How about afternoon tea?’
‘No afternoon tea, no morning tea and, no, before you ask, no evening tea, either.’
‘But— But what do you live on?!’
‘ “Live on”? “Live on”?! Did you hear that, Louise?’
‘Shall I saw his legs off, Mal?’
‘Maybe later, Louise. Let’s wind him up a bit more first, shall we?’
‘Whatever you say, Mal. Just give me the nod when you’re ready.’
Please, God, wake me up.
‘I know exactly what you’re thinking, Colin.’
‘No you don’t.’ Does he?
‘Yes I do.’
‘Prove it.’
‘You’re thinking, “Please, God, wake me up”.’
‘And now you’re probably calling me a bastard, aren’t you?’
‘No.’ Bastard.

dayrealing, Chapter 42, “The Passenger”


  1. Another brilliant post, Mike! Very funny extract from dayrealing! (But any bit of dayrealing is bound to be funny!)

    1. Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to drop a line, Gerry. I'll reciprocate soon, I promise... Assuming 'reciprocate' means what I think it means :) xx