Common People

I thought I'd write a column. Then I thought "About what?" My everyday life, possibly, but then again, my everyday life isn't interesting. Who's is? I'm sure some people lead interesting lives, or at least have jobs that are interesting (like cops, er...scientists working on some project that will change everyone's lives...). Then again, the art of a good columnist stems from his or her ability to make whatever happens (or doesn't) in their lives interesting. Let's see...we helped friends erect an Ikea bed on Saturday, poor buggers. After fours hours, we'd slotted together the frame, only to discovers that that two of the upright posts were in the wrong place, by which time I'd long since lost my initial enthusiasm for the task and wondered why they didn't use the futon that was sitting amongst the mess that made up their collective domestic possessions. Not really interesting...

If I had kids I could do one of those family-man-domestic-situation-type 'comedy' columns, but I don't, so I can't. I can't have kids. Not for any physical reason, but because they'd grow up to wear clothes and listen to music that would make me hate them. I'd inevitably end up beating them for not appreciating Miles Davis. My father didn't beat me but, likewise (like all parents) he disagreed with my political stance and sartorial preference. I guess there's no danger of one's child adopting a 'political' stance, these days, although, at most, they might take to throwing a brick at a fast food place once or twice a year. This I would applaud, whilst recounting my poll tax riot experience, no doubt. Not being middle-class, though, I dare say that our offspring wouldn't take to the streets to riot against capitalism.

What class would our children be? Class-less, I imagine. Despite having been born in a council house, I don't feel as if I belong to any class. My sister (married with three kids) is definitely working class. How do I know? Because the Gladiator video appeared in their house at Xmas. A broadsheet 'paper never appears in their house, neither does foreign food (unless it's from the Indian or Chinese take-away). I did notice a novel on the kitchen table, once, but they don't have a bookshelf. They all smoke. None of them paint, or write, or talk about Art, or Film (which is not the same as talking about the latest Blockbuster video, as you know). I love my sister and her family, despite the fact that they're so working class.

They all like music in the way that Common People do, which is casually, and defiantly chart-bound, of course. I would talk about music, some music that I've heard recently, but apart from the Lee Perry compilation (as mentioned in another column), I've heard nothing to get excited about. In fact, I've been listening less to music in the last few weeks, which is faintly disturbing. I mean, is this the start of a lengthy divorce procedure between me and my life-long love? Surely not. But for the first time that I can remember, despite have a few pounds to spare, I don't feel compelled to go into a shop and buy anything. I'm sure this phase will pass, but in the meantime, it's feels odd. Perhaps, what with Spring on the horizon, I'll do more gardening this year, and this will become a gardening column! You Tangents readers would be thrilled, I'm sure.

Robin Tomens

Read the next part of Robin's 'All The Time In The World' series here.