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Thursday, November 2

Acting On Impulse

According to the old advert "men just can't help acting on impulse", which I guess is true from many different viewpoints. If we're getting back into my clearly ill-informed treatise on free will or lack thereof, then it's entirely involuntary impulses which cause all actions. If, alternatively, an impulse is defined as a quick unconsidered reaction to something, then, by definition, in order for something to be an impulse, it must be something that was acted upon impulsively, otherwise it was just a fleeting irrational thought. If, alternatively, we're going to go all Newtonian on your ass, and define an impulse as a force acting over a particular period of time, then, according to the laws of Newton's model of the universe, that which is having the force acted upon it returns that force both equally and oppositely.

Don't throw an aphorism at me and expect me to leave it undeconstructed.

Anyway, this lunchtime was formed from a series of whims.

Whim 1 - buy the computer magazine
Given that I was genuinely excited about the publication of today's Micro Mart and the article within it that I felt more proud of that any of my other submissions, I had pretty much hoped to make the time to go and buy a copy to read through. Even though I get a copy delivered for free, it doesn't always arrive on time (caused in no small way by its long journey via my old house and the Post Office's mail redirection system). I know what it says, having read it a few times, but I like to see an article in print - it looks different.

They've done a cracking job of the layout and pullout quotes and I think it looks good on the page. Buy it. That's Micro Mart.

Just in case this looks like an exercise in self-promotion, I'd have to say that Carol Midgley's article, which I lambasted a post ago, is at least better written than some of the sections of what I read that I'd written. Somehow seeing the words on the printed page makes me see them in a different light and there are some clunky bits hither and thither... it's still a blockbuster of a piece, and I've made some mental notes on what to improve on in further writings.

Whim 2 - buy the wood
On the way to the shopping centre where the WHSmiths lives, I remembered that I was still a couple of pieces of 300x300x18mm chipboard short of my guinea pig nesting box project. So, I nipped into B&Q, went to their woodcutting place and got two pieces cut to my specification. The grand charge for this whole exercise? 50p. That's cracking!

Whim 3 - get a flu vaccination
Parking outside Asda on the way to get the magazine, I noticed that Asda were selling flu jabs at £12 each. Though buying the wood had been a fairly impressive lunchtime impulse buy, buying a flu innoculation would have been much more extreme. I decided to go for it. Sadly, I'd totally misread the sign, which said it would be first come first served and not until Saturday. D'oh!

Though I think it's a crying shame that short supply of flu jabs has made the NHS run out and made a legitimate black market supply come through the supermarkets... if that makes any sense, I do feel the need to get such a flu jab. Something to do with working with the homeless over Christmas or something like that. The point is that I'm able to afford it, so I may as well pay if that's the only way.

It's an attitude like that which keeps the big supermarkets in customers. It's also an attitude like that which undermines the point of a national health service into which we all pay. As they sack the people who actually do the work, and create more paperwork for the people who do more paperwork, you have to wonder if the NHS has a future. Reading the blog of an NHS worker, I'd hope so, since they're clearly a good bunch of people doing a good service and doing it in support of this nation's strongly held believe that people, regardless of personal wealth, have the right to proper medical care.

Whim 4 - buy something from the health food shop
Talking of health, there's a health food shop between the WHSmith and the Asda which I almost always drop into when I'm at the shopping centre. They sell bags of healthy food, by which I mean things like dried apricots or nuts or whatever. I'm frequently prone to acting on my whim to go in there and be healthy - which translates as "buy something to gorge on which causes me to go to the toilet a lot for a day or so". I had a whim enter my head that, since I don't actually LIKE any of the things I buy there, perhaps I should resist the habit of going in there. I felt like my body was going to go in there anyway. In the end I won (either way I would have won, since it was just me) and did not buy a half a kilogram of poo-inducing fruit-concentrate.

Is that a whim, or the resistance of a whim? Who knows?

Who cares?

Don't answer.


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